Here’s an update on the current status of some of the legislative challenges we have talked about over the summer: SB 1238 was reported from the Senate Natural Resources Committee on September 27 on a 4-1 vote with Ann Arbor’s Sen. Warren in opposition. This was a substitute bill that removed some of the more difficult sections of the original legislation, but still makes it challenging for the long standing partnerships between conservancies and local governments and the DNR to continue. In a nutshell, if a landowner had placed a conservation easement on their land, or if a conservancy bought a parcel of land that was threatened by immediate sale, governments would no longer be able to use Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund dollars to add those lands to local or state parks.
Both of these techniques have been used extensively in Michigan to 1) reduce the costs of new park land, and 2) ensure that special places weren’t lost to development due to the time it takes for government to buy a piece of land.
Watch Legacy’s Facebook page for updates on this and other legislation. If you would like more details, please contact Susan Lackey at 734-302-5263.