November 2004 News
Dept. of Natural Resources KPAC Public Meeting Minutes: Oct. 5, 2004
Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) held a public meeting to
take comments on the The Keweenaw Point Advisory Committee (KPAC)
recommendations for recreation and resource management of the state's recent Keweenaw Tip purchase of 6,275 acres
for public access, recreation and conservation. At this meeting, held on
Oct. 5, 2004, in the Mohawk School, DNR staff presented the committee's
recommendations on Camping, Maintenance and Enforcement, Motorized
Access, Non-Motorized Access, Public Access and Roads, Minimum Impact Zones and
Public comment periods allowed interested residents and visitors to the area,
present at the meeting, to make comments to the DNR staff and to KPAC members
present. Following the meeting, the public was encouraged to send written
comments on these recommendations to the DNR during a one-month comment period
that ended Nov. 5, 2004.
|Ron Yesney, DNR West U.P. recreation specialist, asks
for public comments at the DNR public meeting on the
Keweenaw Point Advisory Committee recommendations. About 60
persons attended the meeting held Oct. 5, 2004, in the
Mohawk School. (Photo © 2004 Michele Anderson)
KPAC's recommendations were the fruit of 9 months of meetings and
research on the part of the volunteer committee members representing various
interests of both local residents and visitors to the Keweenaw Point area --
from non-motorized and motorized sports to logging, birding, fishing, hunting,
conservation and environmental protection.
Public Meeting Minutes: Oct. 5, 2004
Randy Hyrkas -- Houghton County
Tom Hyrkas -- Houghton Co.
Scott Hyrkas -- Keweenaw Co.
Gina Nicholas -- Keweenaw Co.
Michael McMahon -- Kew. ATV Club
Dave Erlandson -- Copper City
James Regis -- Kew. ATV Club
Pauline Johnson -- Keweenaw Co.
Janet Marr -- Houghton Co.
Mark P. Klemp -- Kew/Houghton Co.
Ted Klemp, Jr. -- Muskegon, Mich.
E. Munch -- Calumet, Mich.
Bill Hyrkas -- Houghton Co.
Garrett Neese -- Daily Mining Gazette
Vernon Heusinkveld -- Ahmeek
Carl Nordin -- Atlantic Mine
Sandy Britton -- Keweenaw Co.
Ken C. Bracco -- Keweenaw Co.
Michele Anderson -- Keweenaw Now
Lee Verberkmoes -- MDNR
Martin Nelson -- MDNR
Gail Voldarski -- MDNR
Ann Wilson -- MDNR
Ron Yesney -- MDNR
Keweenaw Point Citizen Advisory Committee Representatives
Charles Eshbach -- Michigan Nature Assoc.
Bill Deephouse (Chair) -- Trout Unlimited
Don B. Keith -- Kew. Co. Board
Sam Raymond -- Silent Sports
Clarence J. Monette -- Kew. Co. Hist. Soc.
Lori Hauswirth -- WUPPDR (Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development
Friederike Gast -- UPEC (Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition)
Dana Richter -- Copper Country Audubon
Jim Rooks -- Grant Township (representing Dick Powers)
Jim Junttila -- CK Sportsman's Club
Warren Suchovsky -- Michigan Timbermen's Association
Donald Kauppi -- Kew. Tourism Council
Meeting was called to order at 6:45 p.m. by Ron Yesney (MDNR). Ron opened the meeting by introducing the committee members. Jim Rooks sat in for Dick Powers who was unable to
Ron reviewed the charges and tasks of the committee.
|Ron Yesney, DNR West U.P. recreation specialist,
reads recommendations by the Keweenaw Point Advisory Committee (KPAC) to
the audience gathered at the DNR public meeting held Oct. 5, 2004 in the
Mohawk School. Pictured at the front table is Bill Deephouse, KPAC
chair. (Photo © 2004 Michele Anderson)
Committee was to develop:
Recommendations for Road System
Recommendations for Motorized Use/ORV and Snowmobile
Recommendations for Non-motorized Use
Recommendations for Access Sites
Recommendations for Forest and Timber Management
Recommendations for Day Use Areas
Recommendations for Camping (dispersed/unlimited/prohibited camping areas)
Recommendations for Minimum Impact Zones
Ron reviewed the recommendations developed by the committee
Minimum Impact Zones were reviewed. along with the map provided by MDNR.
It was recommended that a definition of minimum impact zone be included, i.e. area that would be non-motorized, no roads, keep existing trails and roads.
- Camping Recommendations:
It was noted that dispersed camping would be allowed on State property on Manitou Island.
The 3 types of camping areas were reviewed: motorized primitive, non-motorized primitive and wilderness.
- Motorized Primitive Campsites, by Location:
Non-motorized Primitive Campsites, by Location:
- High Rock Bay. It was noted that a land transfer might be possible at sometime in the future with the Nature Conservancy. This would allow access to the Rocket Launcher site, which might be the best location for a motorized primitive campsite.
Schlatter Lake. No comments.
Schlatter Lake Island. No comments.
Hoar Lake. No comments
Keystone Bay. A road would have to be developed to go around private ownership for access to parking area.
Wilderness Campsite - 2 single tent pads at Lost Lake at widely separated locations
- Mouth of Montreal - 1 campsite on east side, 3-4 campsites on west side.
- Montreal River - 1 east of old dam site.
Fish Cove - 1 in the western cove.
Keystone Point - 1 inland behind old fishery buildings.
Mouth of Hoar Creek in Big Bay - 1 campsite
Keweenaw Point - 1 campsite between High Rock Bay and the Point (if possible).
High Rock Bay - 1 campsite north of "commons" area.
Copper Lake - 1 3-pad campsite.
|At the mouth of the Montreal River, pictured here, KPAC camping recommendations include three to four
non-motorized, primitive campsites on the west side (left) and one east
of the old dam site. (June 2004 file photo © 2004 Michele Anderson)
Campsite placement in minimum impact zones was questioned. It was determined allowable under the last sentence of the Minimum Impact Zone Recommendation statements.
Also, it was asked if camping would be allowed on the beach. This would be allowed as long as it was not a large group or semi-permanent campsite.
An individual asked why the DNR had placed a berm on a road accessing Copper Lake. Nelson stated that the berm was not placed by the DNR because the road was not on State property. Property in question is owned by International Paper and the berm was most likely placed by their forestry employees.
All the recommendations were reviewed. Regis asked if the DNR, under ADA regulations, would allow traffic to the Point. Yesney answered that the DNR would not hinder or remove any existing ADA facilities. The trail to the Tip of Keweenaw Point would be for snowmobiles only, since winter trails don't require the extent of development that roads or ORV trails do.
There were no questions after these items were read into the record. It was noted that the inclusion of "horseback riding" was not worded correctly. Horseback riding would be allowed but monitored for conflicts.
No corrections or amendments notes.
Public Access and
No corrections or amendments notes.
There were no corrections or amendments. An individual asked if there would be a review before any logging was done in the area. Nelson explained that each year the department conducts compartment reviews and this would be the forum for public comment. Warren S. noted that he did not foresee a lot of logging taking place. He foresees some logging practices done for the sake of manipulating the land for other reasons or objectives (to mimic natural occurrences). He did not feel there was a lot of pressure to log Keweenaw Point.
Additional Recommendations from Committee to MDNR:
Maintenance and Enforcement:
In Addition to the preceding 8 charges the committee added this charge and addressed
it in the following four resolutions, which were presented by committee members and voted on and passed by the committee.
- Recommend the Department of Natural Resources seek Natural Wilderness designation for the Montreal Corridor.
Recommend the Department of Natural Resources hire 2 seasonal employees to perform cleaning and maintenance within the Keweenaw Point lands, and 1 additional conservation officer to patrol and enforce State rules and regulations.
Recommend the Michigan Department of Natural Resources protect, preserve, and manage the Keweenaw Point Lands in a manner that will insure future generations the opportunity to enjoy and experience this area in much of the way that it now exists.
Recommend the Michigan Department of Natural Resources produce maps and brochures to educate the general public and users about the unique area that is the Keweenaw Point.
~Regis asked if there was a timeline till a decision is made regarding the recommendations? Yesney stated there was a 30-day comment window, then unit review (unit mgr and his staff), then WUP Eco-Team reviews with unit's comments, then it is sent to Lansing for Forest Management staff review. A plan, which prioritizes projects and recommendations is developed, after which funds are sought to implement the plan. Some funds have already been applied for, to be used for best management practices (BMP) on road repairs.
~Bill Hyrkas asked in the 30-day period, could anyone comment? Yesney stated "Yes" and noted that comment forms had been published and distributed.
~Ron added that the 30-day comment periods would conclude November 5th.
~Ron then asked everyone to take a 3-5 minute break.
Yesney then opened the meeting up to public comment:
- Don Keith orated on the committee's work since January 20, 2004. He acknowledged the compromises and effort each member put forth to develop the recommendations. He is hopeful everyone will support and obey the DNR rules and regulations on this land.
|Keweenaw County Commissioner and KPAC member Don
Keith (standing) addresses DNR officials, and the audience at the
Oct. 5 public meeting. Pictured in the foreground, from left, are KPAC
members Lori Hauswirth, WUPPDR and nonmotorized trails, Sam Raymond,
silent sports, and Don Kauppi, Keweenaw Tourism Council and motorized
trails. (Photo by Michele
- Mark Klemp stated that as he reads the recommendations they are an asset to this
area; much of this area is pristine. He does have concerns about development of additional trails and asked that the DNR look at limiting access; opposed to spur trails that go toward beaches because of high use.
- Dana Richter stated he would rather err on the side of protection and defer to future generations.
- Scott Hyrkas recommended that the road to Keystone be a high priority.
- Sandy Uusitalo asked that the DNR turn the minimum impact zone into designated protected area, i.e., a natural features area.
- Warren Suchovsky advised that public comments should be encouraged on things the committee didn't touch on.
- Jim Rooks stated this is the first part of the goal of land stewardship. Everyone has a say, even those we don't agree
with; our opinions matter. All of us will be forgotten in a few years, but the DNR will still hold the land in stewardship for future generations.
|Longtime Keweenaw resident Jim Rooks of Copper Harbor
addresses DNR officials, KPAC members and the public during the Oct. 5,
2004, public meeting in the Mohawk School. Also pictured are Ann Wilson, DNR communications representative, Office
of the Press Secretary, Marquette, and Jim Junttila, KPAC member
representing the Calumet Keweenaw Sportsmen's Club. (Photo by Michele
- Friederike Gast stated that the DNR should develop a long-term acquisition plan for the area inholdings. She realized there are limited funds available and the DNR should work with the Nature Conservancy, and other partners, to this aim. Friederike
asked that the committee and DNR be thinking about additional desirable lands to acquire. Gast added that everyone should be grateful to the State of Michigan for purchasing these lands, so they will not be subdivided.
- Bill Hyrkas told the committee they did a good job.
- Mark Klemp stated that the DNR should take over the USA lands on Manitou Island, excluding the lighthouse property.
- Jim Rooks asked that the DNR look at the Keweenaw Point area as a whole peninsula. There are 20-30 sections of land that would tie in well with the current tip property. If acquired, these sections would make it easier to get around the peninsula. He also expressed his thanks to the committee, stating he was impressed how they stuck to the original statement and goal;
he thanked them for that. In closing he asked that the DNR strive to be fair and accommodate as many users as possible.
- Martin Nelson thanked the committee, stating that they had done a very good job.
- Ann Wilson also thanked the committee and the cooperation everyone exhibited. She gave special thanks to Garrett Neese, Daily Mining Gazette, on excellent factual articles published in the local paper.
Ron Yesney thanked everyone for attending the meeting. He encouraged everyone to submit comments during the next 30 days.
Meeting was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.
Submitted by: Gail Voldarski
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