How to comment on possible oil drilling under Hartwick Pines State Park

To comment on a proposal to lease land in and around Hartwick Pines State Park near Grayling for oil and gas exploration, send a letter to this address by Sept. 5:

Minerals Management Manager, DNR
P.O. Box 30452
Lansing, Michigan 48909-7952.

An auction on the mineral leases is set for Oct. 29.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources holds two auctions a year to take bids for mineral leases on state-owned property. An online interactive map shows parcels in each county that are up for bid in the next auction. See if there is a proposed lease in your county.

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June Turley
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 10:43am
Fouling this pristine state park would be a tragedy and reduce our Pure Michigan tourist industry attractions. We should beware of letting the almighty dollar prevail.
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 11:45am
Parallel to this discussion, please let me bloviate; I'm in a position in which find myself subjected to the claims and stridency of the "New Urbanism." The fantasy is that if we here in Michigan make our cities look like villages with "walkable" neighborhoods, public services and higher taxes, we will retain our "young" people who are technically adept and will bring jobs back to Michigan. Villages like Cleveland and Pittsburgh are often cited as success stories. I don't know much about Cleveland, but two of our kids moved to Pittsburgh. One, the gifted engineer, hated it and left after a year (around 2004-5); the other, the statistician loves it and now has a mortgage for what it's worth. Pittsburgh has had streetcars, planted trees, planned it's non existent new construction to look like tourist traps, and lost 5% of its population (both the city itself and the metropolitan area) each of the last two decades. It is dying of its new urbanism. But, here's the hook; PIttsburgh has a very bright future! As one drives up I 76 just north of the city, one is treated to the vision of a 12 inch pipe extending 50 feet into the air, and a 50 foot high flame of natural gas being flared off. Wasted, some will say, but just think of the free energy available to the mothballed steel mills, foundries, and infrastructure in Pittsburgh. The region should be able to compete with anyplace in the world if it harnesses the nearly free energy. The knuckle dragger jobs (so prized by Gov. Granholm) and local advances of metallurgical sciences at Carnegie-Mellon and at Rand will make that western Pa. stagnant economy boom despite having all of the silly frou-frou from "organic" neighborhoods, excellent public transit and like. Moreover, I like to believe what I see, not what surveys by vested interest assert. Advertisers and state officials allege that the "Pure Michigan" campaign is some sort of panacea. As my wife and I drove along the NY State thruway from Syracuse to Buffalo last month, I counted the number of out of state license plates. At least 30% were from visitors to that state. Here in Michigan, maybe 15% are from out of state. One cannot help but conclude that that ad campaign does not attract much in the way of tourism. The State of Michigan and politicians constantly try to "improve" the economy and "help" people. Despite the billions wasted, there is no evidence that urban renewal, new urbanism, campaigns to help stimulate tourism, free university education to prepare kids for jobs as English majors and the like have any beneficial impact. One of the few hopes for Michigan lies in using our natural resources. Hopefully there will be some fossil fuels under that middle aged forest.
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 12:13pm
The false premise is that oil drilling destroys the environment. I drive by two wells daily that coexist with fields of wheat and hay. Bet the farmer is making more on the wells. And does the state of Michigan not need added revenues? That's what's really helping our local community balance their budget.
Michael P
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 1:15pm
Pure Michigan is Pure Bull****, and Pure politics. Nothing is sacred except the corporate dollar under the current political climate in Michigan.
julie riegel
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 2:23pm
Here we go. Our beautiful northern woodland is now under attack. I can't believe we are going to destroy this too just for someone to make more money. Just walk through those ancient quiet pines, and you will understand how sacred this land really is. What are we doing to our future? I would love to know that my great grandkids could enjoy this incredible place without the smell and noise of oil rigs.
jack Clear
Thu, 08/07/2014 - 2:52pm
Most people do not understand oil and gas drilling and extraction First of all the drilling is done quickly and with slant drilling tech they can access a large area from one location. The extraction process is quiet and can be done with little visual appearance if you put it in the contract; If its oil then the material is gathered on site and trucked out. If its gas there will be pipe lines but again if done under good contract terms you won't even know there in the area. Many of you have pipe lines near your area and don't even know it. And the royalties will pay taxes that you wont have too
Fri, 08/08/2014 - 9:43am
America is not old enough to have the beautiful treasured buildings of Europe but we DO HAVE Hartwick Pines, our Michigan treasure. Please consider going elsewhere. The DNR owns most of the State already.
Joel Sharkey
Sat, 08/09/2014 - 12:05pm
I'm appalled that there are those who would destroy what is irreplaceable for profit. There has to be a limit and I suggest that it be here at a site that is one of the oldest undeveloped areas in the State.
dean Smith
Sun, 08/10/2014 - 12:15pm
Are we being bullied by corporate dollars and eagerness for income or do we show that the true meaning of the DNR is for the benefit of the people and the preservation of our States limited heritage resources. We've lived long enough and have witnessed numerous damaging results to mankind by public be dammed attitudes. In time there will be a regretful down side to this over eagerness to use our public lands.
Sun, 08/10/2014 - 9:07pm
Just be cause we CAN do something does not mean we SHOULD. Some of nature's gifts need to be respected.
Common Dreams Farmer
Mon, 08/11/2014 - 8:30am
First off I would like to thank Bridge Michigan for posting this important story. Having said that, the map of proposed lease sites is anything but "interactive", but then it is intentional that these maps and the ones already showing what is leased and what is being drilled are confusing. And why would the DNR make it difficult for the average citizen to make sense of these maps? The answer should be obvious.