[Editor’s Note: Here is an important call to action from the Anglers of the Au Sable in Michigan. The organization, founded in 1986 in the dining room of Gates Au Sable Lodge, is not just about fishing, but conservation, as well. It focuses on preserving the pristine waters that are enjoyed by all. Filmmaker Robert Thompson put the video above together last week to help the cause.]
In late October, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources auctioned nearly 2,800 acres in and near the Au Sable Holy Waters corridor (between the Whirlpool and Thendara) for potential oil and gas development. Most if not all of these leases were purchased by Encana, the Canadian company which is using massive amounts of water for deep-fracking wells in the Manistee River basin.
A number of these proposed leases could allow surface wells, pumping stations, and pipelines. Many of these parcels are in the Rayburn Tract. This wonderful piece of state land was once private, and slated for development, and only the efforts of dedicated conservationists prevented condominium development on the parcel, instead allowing it to become public land, accessible to all.
We urged the DNR not to lease these lands. They did it anyway.
We have one more opportunity to stop this. A few minutes of your time could really help.
While the auction is complete, the final decision on whether or not to finalize the leases will come on December 12. Before that comes to pass, please let DNR Director Keith Creagh know that you support leaving the Holy Waters undeveloped. Personalized letters are best. Form letters are not helpful.
As late as November 25th, we met with DNR Director Creagh, and requested that he not authorize these new Holy Water leases. At this meeting he requested letters from our membership supporting our position.
You can write to: DNR Director Keith Creagh at DNR-Director@michigan.gov. Please do not call on the telephone, as this will simply overwhelm and alienate DNR staff.
Please copy us (email@example.com) on your communications to Director Creagh, so we can hand-deliver all member comments to the Michigan Natural Resources Commission on December 12 where the final decision on the leases will be made.
Finally, we can’t tell you what to write, but it is most helpful if your communications to the DNR are
professional and well-reasoned rather than emotional.
For more information, visit Anglers of the Au Sable.