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Great Lakes Article:

Keweenaw County approves shoreline grant app
By Kelly Fosness
Daily Mining Gazette Writer
Published March 10th, 2005


EAGLE RIVER - The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners Wednesday, voted unanimously to proceed with a grant application to add 100 acres and 4,000 feet of Lake Superior shoreline to the Gratiot River County Park.

During a public hearing, held prior to the regular meeting, Keweenaw residents voiced strong support, with only few concerns.
County Commissioner Don Keith said the board would apply for a Michigan Department of Natural Resource Trust Fund Grant, which would provide 75 percent of the cost. The remaining 25 percent would be donated by North Woods Conservancy, the current owner of the property, who is also underwriting the work.

Keith said there would be no cost to the taxpayers.

"This is absolutely a gleaming gem in the mosaic of Keweenaw County," Keith said. "It will help shape the future of this economy and enhance the quality of life."

John Griffith, NWC president, said the property was purchased in March 2003 from private developers for $1.9 million.

"We wanted to prevent roughly 20 homes from developing, in addition to the construction of a bridge through the county park near the mouth of the Gratiot," Griffith said.

The NWC held the property on a three-year agreement, in order to find a public entity who would purchase the land, he said. A $1.9 million loan payment on the property will be due March 2006 and the NWC is hoping to apply for a grant in the county's name in order to keep the property open to the public.

According to information provided by NWC, the conservancy is a local, non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and enhancement of natural areas for the benefit of native biological diversity, science and education and public enjoyment.

 

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