Michigan Senate Bill 280: Public Land Under Attack

Public land is under attack yet again in the Michigan Legislature. Senate Bill 280 is a backdoor restriction on the purchase of public land, and it has already passed the State Senate. Let's stop it from going any farther!

Michigan has the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, which uses royalties from state-owned mineral rights to purchase and develop public land. SB 280 authorizes that fund to purchase land that is ALREADY PUBLIC in order to remove protections from it that the sponsor of the bill doesn't like, like riding ORV's in areas reserved for hunting, fishing and wildlife habitat purchased with license dollars. Which is also a tremendous waste of public funds - buying something the state already owns. 

It also forces all public land purchases to go through the Trust Fund first, which is not the purpose of the Trust Fund, so that, for instance, the DNR couldn't buy hunting land for the public with Fish & Game dollars unless it first applied to and was rejected by the Trust Fund. That bottlenecks the Trust Fund - which is also used to purchase land for trails, parks, etc, and in the meantime those lands may not be available. So less land gets purchased overall. 

Additionally, it allows local governments a veto on public land purchases within their boundaries, essentially allowing them to interfere with the free market sale of land by a citizen within their community.

It was introduced by Senator Darwin Booher and co-sponsored by Senator Tom Casperson, who have been introducing, pushing, and occasionally passing anti-public land legislation as long as they've been in office. 

Please call your state representative and ask them to vote "NO on SB 280."

About Michigan BHA

Our chapter is dedicated to serving the interests of conservation and access to clean public lands and waters. Through planning, collaboration, and dedication, we will make a difference.

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