SPECIAL EDITION NEWSLETTER
This SPECIAL ISSUE is being to sent by the Officers of MLSA to ensure our members and subscribers are aware of actions being taken during the current “Lame Duck”session of the Michigan Legislature.
Your Immediate Help is Needed to Protect Michigan’s Wetlands, Inland Lakes, and Streams. Several Senate Bills are Rapidly Moving through the Lame Duck Session of the Legislature. Study the Issues, and Contact Your Senator and Representative Today!
Senate Bill 1211, introduced by Senator Tom Casperson, would eliminate significant protections for Michigan’s wetlands, inland lakes, and streams.
Here is what would no longer be protected should the bill become law:
Wetlands between 5 and 10 acres in size
Artificial wetlands such as wildlife floodings and impoundments
Wetlands that receive special protection because they support threatened and endangered species
Lakes between 5 to 10 acres
Artificial lakes and ponds, often found in the middle of communities and small neighborhoods
Any stream that does not meet the definition of a “Water of the United States”
Ephemeral features (not continuously flowing) throughout the State
What does that loss of protection mean in terms of numbers? Approximately 70,000 wetlands totaling about a ½ million acres. In most counties, it is about 50% of the wetlands. Almost 4,000 inland lakes and approximately 2,610 impoundment lakes. A minimum of 36% of streams, which are ephemeral, along with an unknown number of miles of stream due to the ever changing definition of “Water of the United States.”
Next Tuesday, December 4, Senate Bill 1211 will be up in the Senate Natural Resources Committee. It is expected to be voted out that day.
Consider calling the members of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and your State Senator today and express your viewpoint on SB 1211!
Tom Casperson (R) Committee Chair
Phil Pavlov (R) Vice Chair
David B Robertson (R)
Jim Stamas (R)
Rebekah Warren (D)
Jackie Mosher, Committee Clerk
Senate Bill No. 1188 and its progeny (SB’s1188-1194):
This bill prohibits units of government from adopting or enforcing any local ordinance that prohibits or restricts removal of trees and vegetation anywhere except on residential property. These bills may also prohibit planning commissions from requiring projects to have protected natural areas, regardless of whether the purpose is to manage storm water, provide buffers, or preserve unique natural features.
Many local governments in our state’s watersheds have ordinances and site plan review provisions to protect trees and vegetation, especially riparian vegetation, that is so vital for healthy water and aquatic habitats.
This bill has already passed the Senate without discussion and was sent to the House. Please consider contacting your Representative today with your viewpoint on this Bill.
SENATE BILL No. 1136 – AIS FUND AND GRANTS
After Public Hearing, this bill resulted in a substitute being created by the Senate Natural Resources Committee, which was then reported out favorably. The Substitute BIll, which retains many of the initial riparian-friendly provisions, has now been referred to the Committee of the Whole.
Since this BIll will most likely pass in the full Senate, now is the tme to consider alerting your House of Representative official to fully consider it, if it reaches the House floor during this most interesting Lame Duck period.
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Michigan Lake Steward Associations, Inc. is a non-profit, primarily volunteer organization dedicated to preserving, protecting and effectively managing Michigan’s vast treasure of inland lakes and streams as well as advocating for the protection of riparian property rights.
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