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News for January 25, 2022

New 32,500-Acre Michigan Nature Park Proposed

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Grant Township (Michigan) Supervisor Scott Wendt delivered a presentation before Keweenaw County Board members on Wednesday evening. He presented a proposal for what is to be known as the “Keweenaw Heartlands Collaborative Park“.

According to a report, the park could be greater than 32,500 acres of forest land.

The park will be constructed by combining four vast parcels of land offered for sale by American Forest Management.

Wendt claims that Heartlands park is a transformative approach to conservation, managed growth, and economics, by combining outdoor recreation, resource protection, sustainable forestry, and community partnerships in a regional, “forever collaborative park setting.”

The goal is to utilize it as a public park to preserve and conserve Keweenaw‘s distinctive and natural resources for educational, interpretive, and recreational purposes.

The four parcels being considered include more than 32,600 acres connected to, or adjacent to, state, county, and conservation lands. Once combined, the grounds would form the third largest public park in Michigan.

Alongside mixed hardwood and boral forest, the park might comprise 3.5 miles of Lake Superior frontage, four primitive inland lakes, 11 miles of Montreal River, the entire Little River/Betsy Basin; two miles of Upson; two miles of Silver River, along with two and a half miles of French Annie. According to Wendt, there are more than 20 miles of Type-1 trout streams and creeks.

The park could have access to Lac La Belle and Lake Medora. There are two long-term ski hills and seven miles leading into Copper Harbor.

The basic idea behind the park, Wendt said, will incorporate a well-planned, multi-faceted trail system that will satisfy all types of trail users who currently utilize Keweenaw Point. The park will also include strategically-placed, developed, and rustic campsites together with picnicking and day-use areas, historic, indigenous, mining, and logging interpretive sites. He added that it will connect the natural surroundings, the park’s amenities, the local communities, and park visitors.

The conservancy has declared that collaborative government is an integral part of their funding solution.

In a discussion with the Trust Fund directors, Wendt said that he was informed that the creation of parklands in the Michigan wilderness was the primary reason for the Trust Fund. At the moment, a substantial part of the funding is expected to be drawn directly from the Trust Fund.

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