Michigan Land Use Institute

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Letter to Russell Harding, MI DEQ

Uphold the law

November 21, 1995 | By Hans Voss
Great Lakes Bulletin News Service

Based on the guidelines set forth in the Jordan Valley Management Plan, the DNR has consistently refused to allow mineral development within the Management Area boundaries. The Forest Management Division has recommended that the two permits currently under question be denied, and has indicated they are prepared to stand firm behind this recommendation. Many leading DNR officials have spoken out against the proposed development. They recognize that approval of any well permits within the Forest boundaries is poor resource management policy, and is clearly not in the best interest of the State.

Moreover, the Jordan River Valley is the foundation of the region’s recreational economic base. The unmatched beauty and rare wilderness character attracts thousands of hunters, fisherman, fall color watchers, mushroomers, and nature lovers every year. These outdoor enthusiasts contribute significantly to local businesses. The reason so many people travel to the Jordan Valley is because it is one of the few sizable tracts of land that has maintained its natural character, by avoiding heavy timber cutting in recent years, oil and gas development, and the growing pressure from residential development. If the valley is opened up to Antrim gas development the unique appeal will be lost, and the area economies will suffer.

The recommendation for approval of the two well permits is a violation of the Jordan Valley Management Plan and a breach of the public trust. The Michigan Energy Reform Coalition calls upon the Director to, 1) recognize the potential negative environmental, recreation, and longterm economic implications of permitting these wells, 2) publicly endorse the Management Plan, and 3) support protection of the Jordan Valley by not allowing mineral development within its borders.

In these early stages of the DEQ’s history, you are now faced with a critical decision with far-reaching consequences. The DEQ has a chance to make a stand on behalf of one of Michigan’s most treasured resources. The Michigan Energy Reform Coalition holds the protection of the Jordan River Valley as an absolute top priority. We expect that you too will recognize the importance of this issue, and act accordingly.

Thank you for your time. We eagerly await your prompt and definitive response to our concerns. The coordinators of the Michigan Energy Reform Coalition are Hans Voss and Keith Schneider at the Michigan Land Use Institute. If you wish to discuss this matter by telephone we can be reached at (616) 882-4723.


The Partners of the Michigan Energy Reform Coalition:

Ann Baughman, Water Resource Specialist
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
Dick Daane
Anglers of the AuSable
Tom Edison, Director
Center for Wildland Conservation
Gerard Grabowski
Planning Commission and Board Member Pleasanton Township
Ann Hunt, Executive Director
Citizens for Alternatives to Chemical Contamination
John Hummer, Program Director
Friends of the Jordan River Watershed
Keith Schneider, Executive Director
Michigan Land Use Institute
Julie Stoneman, Director of Land Programs
Michigan Environmental Council
Hans Voss, North Woods Campaign Coordinator
Michigan Communities Land Use Coalition


cc w/enclosure:
Mr. Chad McIntosh, DEQ
Governor John Engler
Mr. R. Thomas Segall, DEQ
Representative Bill Bobier
Mr. Hal Fitch, DEQ
Representative Beverly Bodem
Mr. Michael Moore, DNR
Representative Allen Lowe
Mr. C. Edwin Meadows, DNR
Representative Bart Stupak
Mr. Don Inman, DNR
Senator George McManus
Mr. Ned Caveny, DNR
Mr. Gordon Wright, CMS Energy
Mr. Bill O’Neill, DNR

Michigan Land Use Institute

148 E. Front Street, Suite 301
Traverse City, MI 49684-5725
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