To the editor:
People often believe that all government grants are from taxes, but this is not true. Grant money from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from oil and gas leases on state land that is paid by industry to the state of Michigan for use of these lands. The Michigan Legislature determined that this money belongs to the people of Michigan and should be used for public recreation projects and public land throughout the state. Some federal programs are also funded from non-tax money; for example, the Federal Duck Stamp program which goes to purchase lands for wildlife habitat.
Brockway Mountain and the surrounding 320 acres is being purchased by Eagle Harbor Township with DNR Trust Fund money. Grants require a 25 percent cash match, which in this case was donated by private individuals and businesses. Partners who helped raise the cash match for Brockway Mountain included the Michigan Nature Conservancy, Copper Country Audubon, Keweenaw Land Trust and Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District. No tax money was directly spent for this recreation property, which will serve Michigan's public in a multitude of ways.
A recreation plan must be in place in order to receive DNR Trust Funds. Recently, Calumet Lake Park on the north side of Calumet was established and improved with DNR Trust Fund money. The mouth of the Gratiot River, Hunter's Point in Copper Harbor and Seneca Lake near Mohawk were also obtained by DNR Trust Fund grants. All of these special places are open to the public to enjoy year 'round.
President, Copper Country Audubon
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