Stamas supports 6 Northern Michigan NRTF projects

LANSING, Mich. — Senate Appropriations Committee Chairman Jim Stamas on Wednesday supported approval of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) projects for 2022, including six projects in Northern Michigan.

“This funding will allow families in Northern Michigan and across our state to enjoy everything Michigan has to offer and take advantage of our outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities for years to come,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “These projects will improve local parks and trails and provide new and exciting outdoor options for people of all ages and of all abilities.”

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. Since its inception in 1976, the NRTF has been used to fund 2,715 projects totaling $1.3 billion.

Senate Bill 1028 would authorize the NRTF to use $45.6 million in restricted funds to support 22 acquisition projects and 95 development projects. Matching funds of $39 million would bring the total investment to $84.6 million.

The bill features NRTF grants for several area improvement projects, including:

  • $185,000 toward a $265,000 renovation of Lakeside Park in Presque Isle County’s Rogers City with modern restrooms and play equipment to improve safety for children and access for people with disabilities.
  • $300,000 toward a $912,200 development of restroom facilities at Bay View Park in Alpena to support events and activities.
  • $300,000 toward a $2.9 million development of 4.8 miles of the nonmotorized Iron Belle Trail (also Phase IV of the Iosco Exploration Trail) along Lake Huron in Iosco County’s AuSable Township.
  • $50,000 for the DNR to replace a footbridge at Harrisville State Park in Alcona County that is a critical pedestrian link between the modern campground and the beach area.

It also funds two acquisition projects in Northern Michigan, including:

  • $950,000 for a Department of Natural Resources purchase of 404 acres of forestland, including nearly one mile in the Pigeon River Country State Forest for hunting, fishing, trapping, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, camping and wildlife viewing.
  • $1.7 million toward a $2.5 million acquisition of 144 acres known as the Lake Huron Coastal Preserve in Iosco County’s Alabaster Township to provide public access to over 4,000 feet of Lake Huron frontage and create connections between the Alabaster Bike Path portion of the Iron Belle Trail and the natural area.