May 2007 News
UPPCO reservoir development plan: Public comment deadline is May 21, 2007
HANCOCK -- A deadline of May 21, 2007, approaches for public comment on the Upper Peninsula Power
Company's (UPPCO's) plans to develop lighted private boat docks and "viewsheds" on
six wild hydro-electric reservoirs (i.e., Prickett Dam, Bond Falls, Victoria Falls,
Au Train, Cataract, and Boney Falls) in order to enhance the sale-ability of
7200 acres of adjacent forested lands that UPPCO plans to sell to a
The reservoirs, located in the Upper Peninsula, all have
license agreements issued from the Federal Energy Regulatory Agency
(FERC) for the generation of hydroelectric power. As part of the
mitigation for these license agreements, UPPCO, a subsidiary of Intergrys
(formally Wisconsin Public Service Corporation), is required to protect
and enhance wildlife habitat, provide for public access and manage the
forest for old-growth (at Bond Falls and Victoria Reservoirs).
Instead, UPPCO is working to add private docks on FERC-regulated water
bodies to service large-scale residential development planned on
adjacent property it intends to sell to a developer. In most cases, UPPCO-owned land on these reservoirs is surrounded by National
Forest and has been protected for many generations. The public
agencies that have been involved with the FERC licensing process
(National Forest Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and Michigan
Department of Natural Resources) have been consistently critical of
UPPCO's proposed plans outlined in the recently completed Shoreline
Management Plans (SMP). In addition to the docks, these SMPs
outline plans for trails (to access proposed residential development),
lighting on docks, the creation of viewsheds for would-be backlot owners and the removal of stumps to "improve" boating.
Detailed information on this issue, photos and maps are available on the
Upper Peninsula Public Access Coalition Web site, UPPAC.com.
These reservoirs are important for migratory and breeding birds, wood turtles, loons,
eagles and sturgeon.
Anyone who wishes to protect some of Michigan's largest undeveloped water
bodies, as well as old-growth forest, should consider commenting on UPPCO's Shoreline Management Plans.
Public comments must be received by May 21. Your letter can be a very simple
appeal that conveys your feeling about FERC allowing UPPCO to deviate from the intent of the hydro-license agreements by maintaining private
docks on regulated reservoirs for the purpose of making them more attractive to developers. A short letter
or email is better than none at all. It is important that UPPCO and FERC hear from all who have an
Here is an example of a letter that can be sent to Janet Wolfe, UPPCO
Communications Manager -- email@example.com
before May 21:
I STRONGLY OPPOSE CONSTRUCTION OF DOCKS as proposed by Upper Peninsula Power Company at Prickett, Victoria, Au Train, Cataract, Boney Falls,
and Bond Falls sites. Given the complexity of this issue and the
limited scope of the Shoreline Management Plan, an Environmental Assessment should be required of UPPCO in this matter.
For more information (including a convenient email fill-in comment form) please visit
www.uppac.com or send your comments
PO Box 130
Houghton, MI 49931-0130
In your comments, reference one or all of the following FERC reservoir project numbers:
Project No.1864 (Bond and Victoria)
Project No. 2402 (Prickett)
Project No.10856 (Au Train)
Project No.10854 (Cataract)
Project No. 2506 (Boney Falls)
Please also consider sending a copy of your letter (optional) directly to FERC at:
Kimberly D. Bose, Secretary
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission
888 First St. N.E.
Washington D.C. 20426
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