For Friday, Dec. 9, 2016
1 – More than 1,000 acres on the Upper Au Sable River is closer to being protected.
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board has approved $3.1 million for a conservation project on the river near Grayling. The funding still needs approval by the Legislature.
The land has been owned for more than 70 years by a family who enjoyed it for hunting and fishing.
The land is to be sold to the state so it can be enjoyed by other families and outdoor enthusiasts. It is bordered to the north and south by state-owned property.
Huron Pines, a local nonprofit, says the project is important for linking together protected natural lands, maintaining healthy wildlife populations and protecting the waters of the Au Sable River.
The land sale has received community support from Crawford County, Frederic Township, the Grayling Chamber of Commerce and businesses. Huron Pines expects the sale to be finalized by the fall of 2017.
2 – Michigan needs to invest in infrastructure to address priorities including transportation, water and sewer systems, telecommunications and energy.
The group says close to $60 billion in additional public spending is needed for the improvements over the next 20 years.
The report calls for replacing aging water systems, investing in roads and bridges, modernizing the electric grid, and making Michigan a top-five state for broadband internet service.
Recommendations from the Commission include expanding efforts to reduce energy waste, and obtaining 30 percent of Michigan’s energy needs from energy efficiency and renewable energy.