The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is hoping to make better use of its land.
DNR officials are evaluating state-owned land to find under-used property. If an area is deemed disposable, it will be swapped or sold to interested organizations. DNR officials say they're nearing the end of the land review process and over 600 acres of land are now available in Dickinson County.
But there are still seven other counties in the U.P. which remain under review. Officials say once land is approved for disposal, it will first be offered to government agencies such as cities and school districts. Conservation agencies will be next, and finally if no bids are made for the parcels, it will be offered to the general public. But it seems many organizations are already interested.
"The one thing we want to really check into is to make sure to find out if some of these properties that're being offered are adjacent or within preserve areas that we've defined," explained Jeff Knoop, Director of the U.P. Nature Conservancy.
The DNR prefers to swap land for land, but selling the land is the next best thing. The money would be used to acquire more land with higher recreation value such as hunting areas, lake front property, and trails.
Officials say Iron County is nearing the end of the evaluation process and land should be available for sale, within the year. They're hoping to complete the land review process by 2008. Then they can focus on tackling land sales and trades.
HOUGHTON, Mich. (AP) - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has earmarked $928,000 to preserve wetlands along the Lake Superior coast on the north shore of the Keweenaw Peninsula.
The funds will protect 1,475 acres with the cooperation of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Eagle Harbor Township and the Nature Conservancy, U.S. Rep. Bart Stupak said Wednesday.
The acreage will be added to other protected wetlands and shoreline in the area, including the North Woods Conservancy's Seven Mile Point and Merganser Pond; Copper Country State Forest; Long Lake Refuge in Eagle Harbor Township; and the Nature Conservancy's Mt. Lookout Preserve.
"This important partnership will protect some of Michigan's most treasured natural resources," Stupak said.
Water quality will benefit in the protected areas, said Jane Griffith, a member of North Woods Conservancy. She said the group would use the land preservation as an opportunity to educate the public, providing educational hikes, tours, and workshops on the ecological importance of coastal wetlands.
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