Michigan DNR Approves Graymont Land Transaction

Tags: Graymont, mining, Upper Peninsula

Yesterday, Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh announced the agency's approval of the largest single public land deal in Michigan history.

The Candian mining company Graymont will purchase 1,806 acres of land, 7,026 acres of mineral rights and acquire an additional 830 acres of state-owned land through a land exchange in the Upper Peninsula.

The approval for this land exchange was the green light Graymont needed to construct a vast 13,000 acre limestone mine operation.

Due to the potential risks an operation of this scale could have on large tracks of critical continuous forest land and fragile wetlands, Michigan LCV scored the decision as "negative" on How Green is Your Governor? — our accountability tool that reviews the actions of Governor Snyder and the departments he directs. 

Michigan LCV added their name to a collective letter of opposition to the deal last month spearheaded by Save the Wild U.P. — here's what advocates had to say:

“Graymont recently revised the land transaction for the umpteenth time, increasing their proposed royalty payments to 18.75 cents per ton — but only for a short duration,” said Kathleen Heideman, SWUP’s president. “That’s a pittance in comparison to current market values and contemporary royalty offers. It all adds up to nothing, really.” 

“These are serious and unresolvable objections,” said Alexandra Maxwell of Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP), who helped organize the collective letter of opposition. “Our message to Director Creagh is simple: don’t make this deal.” According to Maxwell, Save the Wild U.P. has been following the developments of this project since Graymont submitted its application; SWUP and other groups have consistently attended public meetings and submitted commentary critical of this potential land sale. “Now a majority of environmental organizations and concerned citizens throughout the U.P. have reached a clear consensus--the Graymont project must be stopped.”

For more on the Graymont deal, click here.

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