Detroit paper missed mark in regional assessments

Some in the state have opined recently that the Upper Peninsula is nothing more than a “political wilderness,” apparently unworthy of a visit from officials representing the entirety of our state.

Luckily, our elected and appointed representatives seem to view things with a bit more foresight.

The previously mentioned commentary, cast from a glass house if there ever was one, came in the form of an editorial, published earlier this month by The Detroit News.

“Gov. Rick Snyder, who has hinted he will run for re-election but hasn’t announced, is spending five days this week in the Upper Peninsula – where 3 percent of the state’s population resides, or where trees and critters outnumber people,” the News editorial read. The paper further noted that the visit came on the heels of a U.P. trip by Mark Schauer, who is challenging for the Democratic nomination for governor in the 2014 election.

The paper’s snarky staff seems to think that Detroit – a chronically mismanaged city where just 7 percent of the state’s population resides – is more worthy of our governor’s time.

We’d simply like to take a moment to point out a couple of August trips that weren’t mentioned by that paper.

U.S. Sens. Carl Levin, D-Detroit, and Debbie Stabenow, D-Lansing, were in Marquette County, as was U.S. Rep. Gary Peters, who is campaigning for Levin’s soon-to-be-vacant seat.

In addition to our U.P.-based state representatives, a number of others made a trip up from Lansing, including Michigan Sens. Rebekah Warren, Jim Ananich and Gretchen Whitmer, who is also the Senate Minority Leader.

State Rep. Andrea LaFontaine, the chairwoman of the state House’s Natural Resources Committee, swung through to discuss possible changes to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, a topic also touched on by Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Keith Creagh when he was in town.

Oh, and Snyder was also north of the bridge last month, when he made a handful of public appearances during a vacation with his family.

Clearly, these officials understand something the staff at The Detroit News does not.

The Upper Peninsula, with just 3 percent of Michigan’s population, plays host to vast collections of natural resources and a near-endless supply of intelligent and innovative individuals, who choose to live in an area where trees and critters outnumber people.

The state’s contingent of elected officials often states that, after many downward-trending years, Michigan’s economy seems to be on the road to recovery. Many of those officials also realize that the Upper Peninsula and its residents stand to play a major role in that resurrection.