The Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians is opposed to the Graymont limestone mine going in near Rexton, Mich., because giving up control of over 10,000 acres of state land interferes with the 1836 treaty tribes' right to hunt, fish and gather in its treaty ceded territory, negatively affecting its members' court-affirmed right to have unlimited access to this land for spiritual and cultural purposes.
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Deny Graymont: This is OUR land
To Whom it May Concern:
I'm writing to strongly encourage the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Natural Resources Commission to deny Graymont's request to take control of 10,000 acres of state-owned land near Rexton to open a limestone mine.
This is a huge amount of land to turn over to a private company rather than letting Michigan residents continue using it for hunting, fishing, camping and hiking. As a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, I don't want to see these 10,000 acres turned over to a private company for private gain and taken away from the many people, Indian and non-Indian, who spend time enjoying this land every day.
Graymont has promised it will bring more jobs and economic development to the eastern Upper Peninsula if the mine is built. But the company has not guaranteed any jobs will be created, nor does it have concrete plans for either an underground mine or a quarry. I worry about the environmental damage the mine could cause and don't feel the potential economic benefits outweigh the risks.
The DNR and Michigan Natural Resources Commission are responsible for maintaining access to Michigan's public lands for everyone, not just for one company. I urge them not to take such a significant amount of land away from generations of Michigan residents.
Deny Graymont: Don't put business ahead of sound management
To Whom it May Concern:
As a member of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians, I'm concerned that letting Graymont take control of 10,000 acres of state-owned land for a limestone mine will negatively impact my tribe's court-affirmed right to enjoy the land.
I'm also concerned that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Michigan Natural Resources Commission are being pushed by some state lawmakers to consider business interests ahead of the interests of people who use state lands to hunt, fish, camp, hike and just enjoy the outdoors. Letting Graymont use state-owned land for its mine could set a precedent where those who have enough money and can get enough elected officials on their side can shoulder aside everyone else for their own private gain. Generations of Michigan residents have had access to this land near Rexton, and it should remain that way for generations to come. Our way of life in the Upper Peninsula is tied to our love of the outdoors. Turning over 10,000 acres to a private Canadian company while denying taxpayers access to state-owned land is simply wrong.