Local projects will boost recreational opportunities

With the Arctic cold that has left local residents shivering, let’s look ahead to warmer weather this summer.

Officials with the Department of Natural Resources have shared that two local projects in Alcona and Montmorency counties tentatively have been approved through the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund.

The Alcona County project is for a $108,700 canoe/kayak launch at Black River in 2018. In addition to the canoe and kayak launch, a fishing platform and paved handicap-accessible parking spaces will be constructed.

The Montmorency County project would allocate $203,700 toward the acquisition of 80 acres in Rust Township for a public access site and boat launch on the west side of Fletcher’s Flood Water. The property, currently known as Lyon’s Landing, contains 43 acres of upland, 37 acres of submerged bottom land and an existing boat launch.

Both projects are tentative at this point until the legislature approves them. State Sen. Jim Stamas, R-Midland, is a proponent of both.

Forty years ago this fund was established by funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The money was designated to be used only for land acquisitions and recreational improvements.

Certainly both projects will boost recreational opportunities for many, and are a great example of what the original planners had in mind when they established the fund.

We look forward to seeing them both become a reality in the months ahead.