Crisp Point project a good deal for public recreation

Through a cooperative $6 million land deal worked out over the past few years, a new addition of 3,810 acres of forestland and waterfront has been secured for the public as part of the Lake Superior State Forest in northern Luce and Chippewa counties.

This is a wonderful acquisition which will preserve public access to the forestlands for a wide range of activities including hunting, fishing, camping, hiking, birdwatching and wildlife viewing.

A $4.5 million federal grant through the U.S. Forest Service’s Forest Legacy Program and a $1.5 million donation from a private donor financed the purchase. The acquisition was completed in December by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, with help from the Little Traverse Conservancy. A public ceremony commemorating completion of the land purchase was held Aug. 15 at the Crisp Point Lighthouse.

“This outstanding acquisition on behalf of the public will guarantee the protection and sustainable management of one of Michigan’s natural resource treasures, while also serving to support tourism, recreation and forest products industry jobs,” said DNR Director Keith Creagh.

The land is home to numerous bird and animal species, along with plants and trees, streams, small water bodies and the 83-acre Browns Lake. The parcel includes 2.5 miles of Lake Superior shoreline.

We think this cooperative deal -which put the land under the jurisdiction of the state with no state money involved in the land transaction- was a great way to provide a significant addition to the sensational portfolio of state lands Michigan already has, including parks, pathways, boat launches and other areas.

Forest Service officials said the Crisp Point project “also helps to enhance a previous federal investment, as it is directly adjacent to a portion of the 247,803-acre Northern Great Lakes Forest conservation easement that was funded, in part, by the Forest Legacy Program.”

Luce and Chippewa counties will receive payment in lieu of taxes for the parcel.

We think this is a fantastic acquisition and hope there may be others in the future, ensuring public lands for public use in some of the most beautiful parts of Michigan.