Stamas completes 2016 Heritage Route 23 Legislative Tour

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas, Sen. Wayne Schmidt, and numerous state and local officials completed a two-day legislative tour of Heritage Route 23 with a stop at the Icebreaker Mackinaw Maritime Museum in Mackinaw City.

“My goal in leading this successful tour was to bring attention to Michigan’s sunrise side and to better engage state leaders with the community on local issues critical to the region,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “This hands-on tour offered us a unique chance to bring together multiple state department directors, tourism officials and economic development leaders to see what northeastern Michigan has to offer, promote tourism in the region and help improve the area economy.”

The tour traveled 200 miles along the U.S. 23 Heritage Route from Standish to Mackinaw City.

In addition to seeing the museum in Mackinaw City, tour highlights on Friday included attending the “Good Morning Alpena” breakfast at the Brown Trout Festival, touring the MidMichigan Medical Center in Alpena and visiting a local veterans office in Rogers City.

“As a veteran of the U.S. Army, it was great to tour the veterans office in Rogers City with Senate veterans committee chairwoman Margaret O’Brien,” Stamas said. “On Friday, we were able to see the good work they are doing and learn more about the challenges they face in helping our veterans.

“We also saw a series of construction sites that are bringing investment and jobs to the region, visited a hospital providing life-saving treatments for area residents and toured a retired icebreaker. This was all in addition to the great agriculture, recreation and tourism locations the tour visited on Thursday.”

Some of the first day’s highlights included touring the Anderson Grain Elevator in Standish, kayaking on the AuSable River, visiting the Sturgeon Point Lighthouse in Harrisville and checking out Butterwerth Dairy Farm in Alpena.

Joining Stamas and Schmidt, R-Traverse City, on the tour were Sen. Margaret O’Brien, R-Portage, chair of the Senate Veterans, Military Affairs and Homeland Security Committee; Rep. Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle; Rep. Joel Johnson, R-Clare; Rep. Brad Jacobsen, R-Oxford; Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director Jamie Clover Adams; Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Bill Moritz; Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Director Keith Creagh; Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Director Nick Lyon; Travel Michigan Vice President Dave Lorenz and numerous other officials from state and local government.

“It is clear that Heritage Route 23 is one of Michigan’s hidden gems, where visitors can enjoy a wide variety of activities,” Stamas said. “From relaxing on miles of Lake Huron beaches to kayaking on the AuSable River to visiting one of many historic lighthouses, the sunrise shore offers something for everyone.”

Residents can discover more information on Heritage Route 23 by visiting the route’s website at: The site includes information on community events, outdoor activities and even a “Plan Your Trip” link that can help visitors learn about what best fits their interests and assist them in mapping out their vacation.

For more information, residents may also contact Stamas’ office toll-free at 1-855-347-8036.


Editor’s note: The above photographs of the tour are available by clicking on the images or by visiting the senator’s photowire at: