Although we had hoped that they would at least allow us to have the summer off, it certainly comes as no surprise that the”brainstorming” has already begun on new ways to possibly divert the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF). Fresh off last session’s failed attempt to dredge the Fund, they appear to be back at their “noodling.”
In fairness to the sponsoring legislators, the northern Michigan Town Hall meetings which have been scheduled are not for the sole purpose of setting the stage for a Trust Fund raid. However, the mere fact that this is even on the agenda suggests that someone, well, HAS an agenda.
Legislators who feel that they have better ideas for the use of these funds need to be reminded that the citizens of this state sought and secured Constitutional protection of the Trust Fund to prevent the same legislative diversions which are being so casually tossed around by, you guessed it, legislators.
Even if you are among those who feel that we have enough public land, we need to remind this new generation of Trust Fund Banditos that its purpose extends well beyond the role of acquisition and is now far and away the biggest source of funding for local recreation projects. Additionally, land acquired through the Trust Fund only represents 3.5% of the State’s inventory – hardly an amount which would merit discarding its nearly 40 years of accomplishments.
We ask that you and others who believe in the Trust Fund appear at one of these meetings and share your thoughts with these elected officials. Please also remind them that the idea of using royalties from public mineral rights (a non-renewable resource), and reinvesting them in renewable resources such as public recreation, forests, lakes and streams, is as good an idea today as its was in 1976.
Town Hall Meeting – Hosted by: Representative Bruce Rendon
Special Guest – Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, Chair of House Natural Resources Committee
Monday, July 22, 2013 – 5:30 pm
Gerrish Township Hall – 2997 E. Higgins Lake Dr, Roscommon
Discussion Topics: Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and any natural resources-related issues
The second event will be held in Alpena on July 25th. The 6 p.m. meeting will be held at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, 500 W. Fletcher in Alpena. The link to this event follows: http://gophouse.org/residents-invited-to-natural-resources-forum-2/