"We told them the mine was going to be short term, there would be no environmental impact and no health concerns! We told them it'll be a public use seed orchard! :)"
We want to thank every resident who showed up to tonight's meeting to hear the State's proposal for the two properties proposed for aggregate mining.
When asked the DNR thought we had about 300 attendees. We know that we passed out 600 copies of the report from Pangea Environmental, LLC and ran out before 6pm. In our estimation there were more than 700 concerned residents in attendance! This is not a small group of 'radicals' as discussed on social media. We think now the State must know that.
Here are a couple of highlights from tonight's meeting. Please come back as we will be providing more detail on each subject in the days to come.
The tenor of the meeting had to do with a 'seed orchard' to expand the existing tree farm. The DNR is "out of space" (see What about the existing tree farm post) The new seed orchard will end up as a green space available for public use "just like the existing DNR tree improvement center". It was even mentioned that the space would be made available for Turkey hunting. If the existing tree improvement center is available for public use then we propose our next community information gathering be held on this property. We'll inquire and post meeting dates on this site once we have a response.
The truth is the existing seed nursery is leased to an out of country, commercial, for profit, business called PRT, you can visit their website here PRT.com. PRT sells seedlings all over North America. It is true our State of Michigan is one of their customers. We'll provide a separate post on PRT sometime in the future.
After the presentation several pre-written questions were read to which some were answered however, the most common answer was "we don't know". More than twice the forestry department responded threating "if we can't do this the property will be sold to a developer who will likely have to remove material anyway."
We did learn that the mineral rights are being leased differently for each property. The northern most site (Site A) is being offered for sealed bids which are due by January 2022. The southern site (Site B) is being considered for a direct lease to Lucy LLC. For those of you who do not know, Lucy LLC is owed by our neighbor Dave Keller (same as Keller Well Drilling.) More on this later.
We heard several times "we (the DNR) own 4,000,000 acers of land". In response many questioned then why here, in this densely populated area? That begs the question, are we not all public land owners? Who is "we"? If anyone can get us in touch with the gentlemen to spoke about the loss of hunting property, we'd sure like to contact him to contribute to this website.
Off site washing of the aggregate was mentioned as a way to minimize ground water contamination. Although this sounds good there are definite economical issues using this method, not to mention the dust at the mine site and along the haul route which has no choice but to pass by one or more public schools and hundreds of residents homes.
When DNR representatives were asked to raise their hands if they would be okay with a gravel mine in their community, all eight stared down at their shoes.
That's all for tonight. It's late. We again want to thank every concerned resident who attended tonight, especially those who brought forward questions and comments. Together we will be heard and protect our way of life here in Genoa Township.
If you would like to contribute to this website please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This is the place to make yourself heard without worrying about time running out.