Legislation would force Mich. DNRE to sell public land

HERE WE GO AGAIN. Last year, Rep. Joel Sheltrown (D- West
Branch) introduced a bill that would force the DNRE to sell 475
acres of prime forestland in Iosco County’s Oscoda Township to an
individual for the purpose of developing a golf course. The bill
passed the House, but lost steam in the Senate. Now an identical
bill, SB 730, has been introduced in the Senate by Tony Stamas
(R-Midland) and referred to the Senate Appropriations
Committee.

It’s not the sale of 475 acres that ruffles the feathers of
sportsmen and women, unless of course you recreate on that land –
then it’s huge. In the big picture, 475 acres is a drop in the
bucket of the some 4 million acres of public land the DNRE manages.
What’s most concerning is the message such a sale would send – that
publically-owned lands in Michigan are for sale if the price is
right. Forget about preserving wild space for public use and the
use of future generations. Grab the immediate financial gains.
Consider the annual tax revenue.

If state politicians think selling off our wild lands is the
answer to solving the cash flow issues affecting every municipality
in the state, we’re in big, big trouble. Wouldn’t another golf
course on the Pere Marquette River bring in a pretty penny? We’d
only need to sell a few hundred acres. How about an upscale mall in
the Pontiac Lake Recreation Area?

Categories: Michigan – Bill Parker

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