DNR buys land

MARQUETTE – Two Michigan Department of Natural Resources land purchases approved Thursday will provide greater public access for a range of uses in the eastern Upper Peninsula.

The two land purchases -one each in Luce and Chippewa counties- were approved in Lansing by DNR Director Keith Creagh at a meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission.

In Luce County’s McMillan Township, roughly 200 acres will be purchased for $325,000 from TH River Properties LLC of Newberry. Payment will be made from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The property -which contains about 80 percent wetland- is situated about 20 miles north of Newberry and two miles south of the Lake Superior shoreline and includes 4,800 feet of frontage along the Two-Hearted River, west of High Banks Road.

Pursuant to the DNR’s recently completed “Managed Public Land Strategy,” the purchase of the property meets three goals including providing quality outdoor public recreation opportunities, fostering regional economic prosperity and protecting natural and cultural resources.

Timber on the property will be sustainably managed.

DNR officials said they discussed the purchase with Luce County and McMillan Township officials and no concerns were raised.

In neighboring Chippewa County, an access easment purchase for $3,000 was approved. The easement was sold to the state by Harrison Bosley of Pickford. The land for the easement -which measures 30 feet by 75 feet- is situated about 15 miles west of DeTour Village.

“The offered ingress-egress easement will provide the department and the public access to 2,500 acres of state forest land that has long lacked sufficient access,” DNR division chiefs said in a recommendation to Creagh, describing the transaction.

The DNR described the purchase as a “critical acquisition” because of the access it provides in that location, which is expected to aid in planning for timber harvests, support healthy populations of wildlife species and greater hunter access.

Payment for the land acquisition will be made from the DNR’s Land Exchange Facilitation Fund.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net