The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) announced an extension of the public comment deadline surrounding the 162,000-acre Camp Grayling lease expansion on Michigan public lands.
A public meeting will be held tomorrow at 6 p.m. at Kirtland Community College (4800 W. 4 Mile Road, Grayling). Members of the public are welcome to attend and learn about the proposal or submit comments.
Michigan United Conservation Clubs opposes the expansion of Camp Grayling except in the event of a national emergency per a 1989 resolution.
The department has released an interactive public input map and a press release regarding the expansion of the camp and what state lands would be impacted.
The DNR currently does not expect to receive any new compensation to cover the costs of the parcel review or for expanding the lease, staff noted in a meeting with MUCC on Tuesday.
“The proposal… is sought to adjust acreage to accommodate evolving military training methods,” according to the DNR press release from June 9.
Michigan United Conservation Clubs has concerns about expanding the footprint of the nation’s largest National Guard training base, said Amy Trotter, MUCC executive director.
“This proposal more than doubles the base’s current footprint and doesn’t provide any additional benefit or access to hunters, anglers or trappers,” Trotter said. “The exclusion of the public from our state-owned lands, even in limited durations, should only happen in extremely rare circumstances, and MUCC is not sure what the impact to the fisheries and wildlife or the public would be.”
Col. Scott Meyers, the Camp Grayling commander, said the proposed expansion would provide area for low-impact activities.
“This proposal will ensure public safety and provide an extended training area for low-impact training activities, allowing the Camp Grayling Joint Maneuver Training Center to train soldiers in evolving warfare methods including cyber warfare,” Meyers said.
Opportunities for public comment, or department updates can be found on the DNR Camp Grayling Lease Update Proposal website, and MUCC will continue to watch the proposal as it goes through the review process highlighted in the press release.
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For questions, comments or concerns regarding MUCC policy, please contact MUCC Policy Assistant Justin Tomei at firstname.lastname@example.org.