Speak up for Michigan's public lands!
Please show your support for public lands by attending a town hall meeting hosted by Rep. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City) on Monday, February 17, 2014 at 7:00 p.m. at the Acme Township Hall.
Doors open at 6:30, we suggest arriving early. The Acme Township Hall is located at 6042 Acme Rd, Williamsburg, MI 49690.
Rep. Schmidt and other public lands advocates will be speaking in support of his House Bill 5210, which would approve the new Department of Natural Resources (DNR) strategic land plan and lift the so-called "land cap." Rep. Schmidt should be applauded and supported for his efforts to right a wrong that was committed when the land cap bill was passed in 2012.
Please show up and speak out if you:
- Believe public lands managed by the DNR - OUR forests, rivers, dunes and parks - provide great benefit to Michigan's natural resources, people, economy and local communities.
- Think Michigan's residents want MORE protected landscapes, natural communities and outdoor recreation opportunities, not fewer.
- Want to remove the arbitrary acreage cap on state-owned public land that was put in place in 2012 (through the so-called "land cap" law).
- Agree with MEC's Board of Directors in their endorsement of the new DNR-Managed Public Land Strategy of 2013 "as a critical step to removing the state's current public land cap."
Background: Rep. Schmidt's bill (HB 5210) is needed to officially have the legislature approve the DNR's land strategy and to remove the acreage cap that currently limits the amount of public land the State of Michigan can own and manage.
The DNR land strategy was required by Sen. Tom Casperson's PA 240 of 2012, which limited the total allowable acreage of land under state management to 4,626,000 acres (just above current totals) until May 1, 2015, and to 3,910,000 acres north of the Mason-Arenac line thereafter (also just above current totals).
PA 240 also required the DNR to create a strategic land plan that had to be approved by the Legislature in order for the land cap to be lifted. The DNR has completed that plan, available here, and MEC's board has passed a resolution in support of the plan and of lifting the land cap through legislation (such as HB 5210).
Photo courtesy Robert Emperley via Flickr.