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Re: SG-W:/ County Natural Areas purchases

In a message dated 1/17/03 9:34:26 AM Eastern Standard Time, aheise@wccnet.org writes:

What makes these places worth saving?  What will the County do with the properties once they close on them?

The DeVine property (Scio) has quite a few old growth trees, including a bur oak (I think) that takes four adult males to reach around and a sizable stand of large swamp white oak; extensive high quality wetlands; Honey Creek flowing through; outstanding wildlife habitat; and is near populated areas.  The parks dept. will likely create a small parking area along Liberty Rd. and trails/-boardwalks leading to an observation tower in the wetlands.

The Brauer property (Freedom) has an outstanding maple swamp, a sizable pond, several good-size wooded areas, several streams and other wetlands, along with a half mile of frontage on heavily-travelled Parker Rd. (and a quarter mile on Waters Rd.) with scenic views across the rolling land from the road.  The dept. will likely create a small parking area along Parker Rd. and use the two-track as a foot trail back to the pond, where there might be a fishing dock or something, and then other trails.

The Meyer property (Superior) is a large chunk of the LeFurge Woods, a mature woods with many large trees, wetlands and streams flowing through it.  It is adjacent to the sizable preserve owned by the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy, which has offered to manage and maintain the county land.  Foot trails will likely extend from the SMLC land.

Most of us on the advisory committee have only been to these properties once, so there is likely a lot of biological value that has yet to be identified.  All of them scored highly on the screening criteria for one or more of public water resources; animals, plants and communities; recreational and scientific value; and proximity to protected land.  Hats off to committee members Sylvia Taylor, Tony Reznicek, Bill Browning, Dave Lutton, Peter Pollack, Mike Wiley (and me) as well as parks staff Tom Freeman, parks director Bob Tetens and the parks commissioners.  It really has gone well so far, and we're just getting started!

There will be no hunting, wheeled vehicles (other than, perhaps, wheelchairs) or overnight use of any of the properties acquired under the program.