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SG-W:/ Re: E-M:/ Sibley Prairie AT RISK!



You can view the permit information and submit public
comments here:

http://www.deq.state.mi.us/lwmpnh/default.asp?PermitNo=04820134

Comments must be submitted by August 15th. Even if you
don't live in the immediate area, please take a few
minutes to comment on the potential impacts on this
unique natural area. 

As Jack noted, the developer is not proposing any
additional mitigation. In submitting comments, I would
focus on the need to ensure that IF development
occurs:

1) The existing wetlands and lake prarie are protected
by a conservation easement held by the state.

2) That mitigation is required for any wetlands that
are filled. 

3) That alternative layouts be explored that reduce
the amount of fragmentation of the existing wetland
complexes. 

Unfortunately, the permit does not provide a "before"
view of the site but the proposed site plan is a mess
of roads that appears to fragment the existing wetland
complex. In some areas, the developer is running roads
tto gain access to small areas of uplands where roads
should not be run. In particular, the stretch of road
and homes separating the large wetland that extends to
Sibley Road from the interior wetlands is one that
should not get DEQ approval to build. The amount of
fill required to construct this road makes its impact
clear. 

Jack: What's the status of this plan at the local
level? Has this received approvals from the Township?

The following provides a quick summary of the impacts
and "benefits" of the plan. This is from the permit,
as submitted by the developer. 

"The proposed wetland impacts include 5.62 acres of
emergent wetland dominated by common reed with the
remainder of the proposed impacts being predominately
forested or scrub/shrub wetlands. The proposed
development, efforts to avoid/minimize impacts, and
alternatives are described in Section 4. Proposed
mitigation is the preservation of approximately 132
acres of existing wetland and approximately 40 acres
of primarily forested, upland. The habitats to be
preserved include 23 acres of globally imperiled
lakeplain prarie as well as approximately 15 acres of
wetland dominated by common reed. Management plans
will be implemented to restore the lakeplan prarie
habitat and to restore the wetlands dominated by
common reed." 
[all grammatical errors are from the original text]

Andrew Mutch
Novi, MI




> 
> The Sibley Prairie in Brownstown Township, Wayne
> County, is the largest 
> remaining lake plain prairie in the Great Lakes
> basin (according to the Michigan 
> Natural Features Inventory).  The prairie is
> predominantly wetlands and hosts 
> about 13 threatened, endangered and special concern
> species.  It is truly a rare 
> gem which should be preserved intact!
> 
> IT IS ABOUT TO BE DESTROYED!
> 
> Fritz Enterprises, Inc. (along with Kingtel
> Associates), has applied to the 
> MDEQ for a wetlands permit to construct a massive
> residential development of 
> 1,133 single family, duplex and mult-family units. 
> The application notes that 
> 21.7 acres of wetlands will be filled, and 4.2 acres
> of wetlands will be 
> excavated.  The entire development, however, will
> fragment and isolate numerous 
> acres of wetlands and prairie habitat.  No
> mitigation is proposed for the wetland 
> loss, except 132 acres of existing wetlands are
> proposed to be left alone as 
> "mitigation" (even though most of this wetland
> acreage will be isolated and 
> surrounded by development).
> 
> The MDEQ is holding a Public Hearing on this wetland
> application tomorrow, 
> Thursday, August 5, at 7:00 p.m. at the Brownstown
> Township Hall, located at 
> 21311 Telegraph Road (at the SE corner of Telegraph
> and King Roads).  Apparently, 
> the Public Hearing has not been publicized in the
> local papers and adjacent 
> landowners have not been notified about the
> application or the hearing.
> 
> THE SIBLEY PRAIRIE IS AT LEAST AS IMPORTANT AS
> HUMBUG MARSH!  WE NEED PEOPLE 
> TO GET OUT AND PROTEST THIS NEEDLESS DESTRUCTION OF
> A TRULY IRREPLACEABLE 
> NATURAL TREASURE!!
> 
> Please attend if at all possible.  If you can't
> attend, comments and 
> suggestions would be appreciated.
> 
> Jack Smiley
> 



		
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