Monday, January 23, 2012

Letter: Whitefish Point update -- good news!

Hey, it can't all be doom and gloom -- so here's one we can and should celebrate:

On Friday (Jan. 20), The Whitefish Point Joint Committee represented by Michigan Audubon, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), and Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society (GLSHS), along with Whitefish Point Bird Observatory and the Whitefish Point Preservation Society, met to discuss the future management of Whitefish Point. It was agreed upon at the meeting to amend the 2002 Whitefish Point Management Plan to permanently withdraw plans to construct two museum wing additions, two parking lots, and a service drive on the former US Coast Guard property, now owned by the GLSHS. As this development had been in the works for over 25 years and at times was as contentious as issues get -- it is with great satisfaction to be able to share this good news.

The decision to amend the plan was voluntary and met with the unanimous support of all parties involved in the stewardship of the site.

Instead of new construction, the Whitefish Point Joint Committee will work together to find an appropriate location for a historic boathouse to be returned to Whitefish Point and restored by the GLSHS. In addition, the Whitefish Point Preservation Society was invited to join the Joint Committee as an ex-officio (non-voting but fully participating) member. The committee also includes the Whitefish Point Bird Observatory, State Historic Preservation Office, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and Whitefish Township.

Joe Kaplan
Michigan Audubon
Whitefish Point Joint Committee Representative (with Michael Sauer)

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