Updated: Oct 28, 2021
Four weeks ago, when the DNR announced their October 12th meeting, at the Brighton Center for Performing Arts. The group of concerned citizens who erected the sign on Brighton Road, printed flyers, made road signs and created this website, requested to make an opposition presentation at that same meeting. That request was declined.
Through the efforts of Representative Bollin and her staff, the DNR agreed to schedule a small group meeting to allow us the opportunity to help them understand the extreme opposition of our over 4,000 residents living near the proposed aggregate mine.
Tuesday October 26, 2021, from 1pm-3pm at Constitution Hall in Lansing, we presented the slide deck available for download here.
The general outline was:
Identify and recognize the goals and key value components for both the DNR and the residents of Genoa Township.
Help the DNR understand that they created the environment for opposition by the Timber Sale which has been fraught with problems from its inception.
Address environmental and safety concerns using factual proof of the historical use of this and the surrounding properties.
Explain why this is an inappropriate location for an aggregate mine, as related to the requirements of the Michigan Zoning Enabling Act 110 of 2006.
Challenge statements made by the DNR at the Oct 12th meeting and since.
Ask that the DNR stop pursuing the mineral leases for these two properties in our Township.
In attendance were nine DNR employees including the Manager of Forest Planning, the Chief of Forestry, Land Management Leasing Mineral Rights, DNR Geologist, State Silviculturist, Land Use Manger and the Manager of Brighton Rec Area. Representative Bollin and a member of her staff were also in attendance.
The presentation was given by Mike Wilczynski, Geologist from Pangea Environmental LLC, who’s list of experience and credentials attest to his expert opinion, along with Tom and Ryan who are both neighbors from Glenway Drive.
The presentation went exceptionally well. We had an intelligent, factual, and civil conversation with all in attendance. We were able to effectively communicate several points of opposition backing each up with data and historical evidence.
The goal was to leave questions in the minds of the DNR employees as to if they are doing the right thing by leasing the mineral rights to these two properties. We feel successful as evidenced by their closing question, what would some alternative and acceptable solutions be? To this we responded with certainty any solution that includes the leasing of mineral rights to mine aggregate, for any length of time, would be unacceptable.
We hope that by acknowledging the initiatives of the DNR and providing them with the core value components of our community, which are not only the health and longevity of our State and our forest but those of our families, friends, and neighbors, it gave the DNR pause. We are also hopeful the DNR will consider a safer, healthier, and less invasive path to their goals without forcing us to compromise ours.
Note: The DNR may be pursuing other properties in the area for the seed orchard which may be more suitable (less costly and significantly less hassle).