Saturday, August 11, 2007

Swedetown Creek comments requested

City of Hancock parcel (in color) borders on Swedetown Creek, at left, and the Portage. The City is considering sale of the acreage for residential development. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2007 Joe Kaplan. Reprinted with permission.)

Some places are meant to be protected. The mouth of the Swedetown Creek is one such place. Found on Government Lot 5 and owned by the residents of Hancock, this natural watercourse is threatened with a proposed sale by the Hancock City Council for three residential lots. The area in question (above in color) represents the south side of the river mouth and protects forests, wetlands and sandbars.

Swedetown Creek, near the proposed land sale, is a recreational area for residents. Click on photo for larger version. (Photo © 2007 Joe Kaplan. Reprinted with permission.)

The cost to the taxpayers of saving this area is NOTHING, but selling it comes at the high price of keeping our citizens from enjoying one of the most important resources we have -- access to water.

Please send your comments to:
Glenn Anderson, City Manager
City of Hancock City Hall
399 Quincy St.
Hancock, MI 49930
Or email comments to:

The City of Hancock Planning Commission is inviting public input on this proposed sale ahead of their Aug. 27th meeting to reconsider the issue. Please take some time in the next couple of weeks to share your concerns and vision regarding the future of this natural area. In doing so you can help assure a more viable future for the City of Hancock.

To enjoy the beauty of the Swedetown Creek river mouth drive 0.4 miles north of the Hancock Campground on M-203. Look for the parking lot on the left directly across from the cemetery entrance.

Editor's Note: This post was submitted by a group of concerned citizens. For background information see the Keweenaw Now article, "Hancock Council hears public opposition to proposed land sale" and the Keweenaw Now Blog article, "Planning Commission hears public comment on proposed waterfront sale."


SEK said...

The city of Hancock has been squandering its natural beauty with no thought for its own future. Swedetown Creek represents one of the most lovely natural wonders of the area; the mouth of Swedetown Creek is the access point to the Portage for many people, i.e. those who can't afford their own lake frontage nor a slip at the marina. Selling any part of these assets for immediate gain shows a lack of vision; they are part of what make Hancock a quality place to live for everyone.

These areas could be enhanced to make Hancock even more of an attraction for both residents and visitors by incorporating them in a lakefront plan that makes the entire Portage frontage area available as a park/trail to the public.

Joe said...

The Swedetown Creek river mouth is an outstanding natural area and one of the few good birding areas for migrants (especially warblers) located within Hancock City limits. The Keweenaw is nationally known for the diversity of birds that navigate the Peninsula during the spring and fall migrations and is vastly underappreciated (and underutilized) as a tourist draw to our community. Places like Swedetown Creek river mouth contribute to the appeal of the Keweenaw for birding with residents and visitors alike. The property has a parking area, primitive boat launching popular with kayakers and canoeists, and a nice foot trail that follows the creek to where it flows into the Portage Canal.

I am encouraged that both the City Council and the Planning Commission appear to be seriously reconsidering this sale and deserve much credit for responding to the modest public concern that has been voiced so far. I am cautiously optimistic that the entire mouth of the Swedetown Creek will be protected and remain in the public domain with even a modest amount of public involvement -- but the key is P-U-B-L-I-C I-N-V-O-L-V-E-M-E-N-T. Here's a perfect opportunity to make the Keweenaw Peninsula a better place to live and visit -- so please write a letter and share you concerns. Also, please consider attending the next Planning Commission meeting Aug. 27th at Hacock City Hall. Even if you do not address the Commission your attendance will convey concern – the council members will know why you are there!

Joe Kaplan

mike hylton said...

Please stop this people. Dont let it happen. Keep this land the way it is.... perfect!!