Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund

LANSING, MI (AP)--   State Attorney General Bill Schuette says the Legislature cannot fund projects from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund that have not been recommended by the fund.

In an opinion released Monday and dated Nov. 3, Schuette also says lawmakers lack the authority to require the fund to spend a mandated amount of development funds on a specific type of development.

The opinion was issued in response to questions from a state senator and the director of the state Department of Natural Resources.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Legislature has approved funding for 114 public recreation projects, ending — for now — a dispute over senators' attempt to fund even more. 

The Senate on Thursday unanimously OK'd $47.6 million for 27 land acquisitions and 87 development projects proposed by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. The fund consists of royalties paid by oil and gas companies for mineral rights.

It's used exclusively to buy and improve land for public recreation.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   The Michigan Senate has approved significant changes in how the state buys and improves land for public recreation.

Legislation passed 24-14 Wednesday by the Republican-controlled chamber would empower the Legislature to have more say in decisions that largely are made by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board. Another bill would spend nearly $8 million more on projects this year than recommended.

LANSING, MI (AP)--   Governor Rick Snyder is endorsing a $47.6 million package of land purchases and improvements to trails, parks and other recreation facilities selected by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board.  

The money comes from a fund established 40 years ago from royalties paid to develop state-owned minerals.

Among the biggest grants for 2017 were $6 million to buy 60 acres and over 1 mile of waterfront on the Flint River for recreation improvements and $3.1 million for 1,020 acres near the Au Sable River in Crawford County.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Michigan Governor Rick Snyder was in Marquette Tuesday, touring the city’s brand-new Clark Lambros Beach Park. 

Dedicated on Saturday, the park is a product of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.  Snyder spoke at the park to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the fund, which awards money for recreation projects or land purchases.  Lambros Park is a collaboration between the City of Marquette, Michelle Butler—who sold the land for the park—the Lambros family, and the NRTF. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   The state House has approved a bill that funds several natural resources projects in the U.P. 

The projects will receive the money through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.  They include $300,000 to improve the Laughing Whitefish Falls Scenic Site in Alger County; $50,000 to provide universal access at the Schemwood Iron Ore Heritage Trailhead in Marquette County; and $140,000 to improve accessibility to Father Marquette Park in the City of Marquette. 

LANSING, MI--   The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is recommending the state purchase land in Houghton County. 

The MNRTF wants the Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division to receive $600,000 to acquire about 80 acres. The move would provide public access to Douglass Houghton Falls and Hammell Creek Gorge. 

Houghton County officials say the 63 acres surrounding the falls border state-owned rail trails and state highway M-26.  The property would serve as a trailhead for the Hancock to Laurium Rail Trail. 

MARQUETTE, MI--   Representative John Kivela joined news director Nicole Walton in the studio Wednesday to talk about several meetings he's chairing and other topics of interest to residents. 

Marquette Mining Journal

AuTRAIN, MI--   Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh has approved the purchase of some Upper Peninsula land for $2.5 million. 

The state acquired roughly 2,200 acres around the AuTrain Basin in Alger County.

The purchase was funded through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and has been in development for more than five years.

Creagh approved the purchase at a meeting last week of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission in Saginaw.

LANSING, MI (MPRN)--   A battle over how to pay for emergency harbor dredging is brewing in Lansing. Environmental groups are criticizing plans to tap the state’s Natural Resources Trust Fund. They say it would threaten the state’s ability to buy and improve parks and public land.

Michigan Public Radio’s Jake Neher has more:

Hugh McDiarmid of the Michigan Environmental Council admits record-low water levels in the Great Lakes mean emergency dredging is necessary. But he says there are better ways to pay for it than raiding the Natural Resources Trust Fund.