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A Message from Indian River Golf Club members (DNR Clear Cut on M-68)

As a part of the 2023 State Forest Management Plan, DNR is planning to clear cut trees along M-68 just west of Straits Highway in an area directly across the road from the Burt View Condos and many other private residences. The clear cut would include 80 acres of timber in this 200-acre parcel of state land including all the trees in a 40-foot wide swath along the road for three-quarters of a mile. A map of the proposed plan is shown below. This clear-cut would be an eyesore for anyone traveling between Indian River and Alanson and would be devastating to the natural beauty of our area. A group of concerned citizens met with DNR last week. DNR has indicated that there is a chance to change this plan if enough public input is received. The group is asking DNR to stop the clear-cut and if cutting is necessary, change it to select cut which is much less invasive. This will minimize the visual impacts and help with diversity of species. In order to change the plan, public input in the form of letters and emails to DNR is required. You can help by sending an email or letter to Tricia St. Pierre, Forester, Indian River Field Office, 6984 Wilson Road, Indian River, MI 49749, Emails are preferred as they are more timely. A deadline of February 28 has been set for public input. DNR is influenced more by fact-based arguments rather than emotional appeals, See the sample letter below. If you have questions, please contact Nan Prout ( or Margie Reh ( Thanks so much for helping with this important cause! Here is a sample letter but adding your personal thoughts is helpful too. Feel free to adjust parts or all of this letter. Thank you so much for sending a letter. We think we will be successful in changing the plan for cutting these trees. Maybe not all the trees, but make it not so visible from M-68. If you can copy us on your letter to Tricia that would be great. Margie Nan

The DNR will be presenting and discussing their plan - they are on the agenda for the Tuscarora Township Meeting this Tuesday Feb 7 at 7 pm. Expect a lot of people who are against the clear cutting on M-68. Sample letter Tricia St. Pierre Michigan DNR 6984 Wilson Road Indian River, MI 49749 Dear Ms. St. Pierre, We have recently learned that State property along M-68 west of Indian River is scheduled for DNR forestry management this year. As you know, the plan includes clearcutting along the road for 3/4 mile and more clearcutting to include 80 acres. As residents of this area, we would like to ask the DNR to consider revising the current logging plan. Clearcutting along the road will create a tremendous gap and wound in the tree canopy for many years to come (the rest of our lifetimes for sure). This road serves as a major gateway between Indian River and Alanson-Petoskey and beyond. This is a high visibility, scenic area, with thousands of vehicles traveling this road. In addition, clearcutting will result in primarily aspen rebounding and taking over the forest. We would urge the DNR to consider a select cut of species, if management is necessary. Diversification of species is important in this age of climate change and invasive species. Larger species such as oak and maple retain higher levels of carbon sequestration, important to help with climate change. Aspen is projected to decline quickly with climate change, while red maple and some oak species (especially white) are expected to do better. Uneven-aged management can help promote these beneficial species. This area has endured a large amount of logging, especially clear cutting, in the past few years impacting the beauty along recreational trails and the scenic beauty of the area. We understand that clear cutting is beneficial to some wildlife species but others benefit from having the larger trees standing for nesting cavities and habitat. Can you please consider revising this plan to minimize the impact on the natural beauty of the area while still completing the management DNR wants and creating a good environment for all tree species to thrive? Thank you for your time, A Concerned Citizen

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