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SG-W:/ Land preservation wins at ballot booth yesterday

There was consistent good news in yesterday's election for those of 
us who care about preserving and maintaining land in Michigan.

In Ann Arbor, the City parks millage was approved with 72% of the 
vote.  Personally, I was delighted at the overwhelming support for 
this proposal, given that parks advocates had not waged an active 
campaign on its behalf, and the Ann Arbor News had editorialized 
aggressively against the plan.

Two elections in other parts of the state showed terrific results too.

In Peninsula Township, near Traverse City, voters enthusiastically 
passed a millage to support the township's PDR program.  This is the 
only locally-funded PDR program in Michigan, and the township voted 
59%-41% to assess 2.0 mills for 20 years to add funds to this 
program, which was started in the mid-1990s.

In Ada Township, near Grand Rapids, voters narrowly approved a 
natural areas acquisition program, despite the strong opposition of 
the development community.  While the Ada millage will only generate 
$250,000 per year, the vote was viewed as a "warm-up test" for a 
comprehensive and ambitious countywide farmland preservation program 
which is being considered by the Kent County Board of Commissioners 
next month.

These ballot proposals are another impressive sign that, no matter 
which way large-scale political winds are blowing, land preservation 
is still very popular with voters in Washtenaw County and throughout 
the state.
Mike Garfield
Ecology Center
117 N. Division
Ann Arbor, MI  48104
(734) 761-3186 ext. 104
(734) 663-2414 (fax)

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