August 14, 2014
Hartwick Pines State Park – which is in my opinion one of Michigan’s coolest parks – would be opened to slant drilling if the proposal by oil & gas interests on the table is accepted by the DNR. Bridge Magazine has a feature titled Oil lease proposed under 400-year-old virgin pines that begins:
About 9,700 acres of Hartwick Pines State Park and surrounding land near Grayling are on a list of parcels nominated by oil and gas companies for lease of mineral rights. The lease of those parcels, which include the largest remaining old growth white pine trees south of the Mackinac Bridge as well as the rest of one of Michigan’s most popular parks, is likely to be included in a Department of Natural Resources auction Oct. 29.
No development would be allowed on the ground surface. But the leases open the possibility of slant or horizontal drilling under trees that have grown since the first Europeans stepped foot in the region.
While mineral exploration deep below the surface isn’t likely to harm the trees, the possibility of drilling raises concerns about the boom of oil rigs at a beloved state park, and is symbolic of the occasional tension in the state between business interests and Pure Michigan.
“There are some special places in the state that oil and gas development should not be happening,” said Jack Schmitt, deputy director of the Michigan League for Conservation Voters. “And Hartwick Pines is one of them.”
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) is accepting public comments on its decision to lease mineral rights in Hartwick Pines State Park through September 5th.
The Michigan LCV has established a petition if you want to weigh in. They note that Hartwick Pines is home to some of the few forests that were protected from Michigan’s logging boom and holds the largest contiguous stand of old-growth white pine in the Lower Peninsula. The park is also home to the East Branch of the legendary Au Sable River, a blue-ribbon trout stream.
July 19, 2014
I don’t think that enough is made of the fact that as long as you’re in Michigan, you are never more than 85 miles from one of the Great Lakes. To make matters better, Michigan law permits you to freely walk the entire Great Lakes shoreline so get out and have some adventures this weekend!
About this photo, Jess writes: These images were taken on a hike on the Lake Michigan shoreline in Glen Haven MI roughly two years ago. Can’t recommend this hike enough! (I’m curious if any shipwreck remnants are still explorable with this year’s higher waterline.)
I’m curious too and will try to find out!
July 16, 2014
Last month Michigan in Pictures regular John McCormick aka Michigan Nut had a feature on the Pure Michigan Blog titled Eight Reasons to Get Out and Explore Michigan’s Waterfalls this Summer.
I think that I may have featured all 8 shots here on Michigan in Pictures, so here’s a pic I hadn’t seen of Manabezho Falls. View it bigger on Flickr, follow Michigan Nut on Facebook and if you need 98 more reasons, here’s John’s Michigan Waterfalls slideshow.
July 9, 2014
Fort Michilimackinac was built by the French on the south shore of the Straits of Mackinac in approximately 1715. Previously, French presence in the Straits area was focused in what is now St. Ignace where Father Marquette established a Jesuit mission in 1671 and Fort de Baude was established around 1683. In 1701, Cadillac moved the French garrison from St. Ignace to Detroit, which led to the closing of the mission and considerably reduced French occupation in the area. Several years later, as the French sought to expand the fur trade, they built Fort Michilimackinac to re-establish a French presence in the Straits area.
Fort Michilimackinac was a strategically located fortified trading post. The fort was not built primarily as a military facility but as a link in the French trade system, which extended from Montreal through the Great Lakes region and northwest to Lake Winnipeg and beyond. Overlooking the Straits of Mackinac connecting Lake Huron and Lake Michigan, the fort served as a supply post for French traders operating in the western Great Lakes region and as a primary stopping-off point between Montreal and the western country. Fort Michilimackinac was an island of French presence on the frontier from which the French carried out the fur trade, sought alliances with native peoples, and protected their interests against the colonial ambitions of other European nations.
In 1761 the French relinquished Fort Michilimackinac to the British who had assumed control of Canada as a result of their victory in the French and Indian War. Under the British, the fort continued to serve as a major fur trade facility. The Ottawa and Chippewa in the Straits area, however, found British policies harsh compared to those of the French and they resented the British takeover. In 1763 as part of Pontiac’s Rebellion, a group of Chippewa staged a ball game outside the stockade to create a diversion and gain entrance to the post and then attacked and killed most of the British occupants. The use of Fort Michilimackinac came to an end in 1781 when the British abandoned the post and moved to Fort Mackinac on Mackinac Island.
You can get more including visitor information at Colonial Michilimackinac and also check out this History Channel program on Pontiac’s Rebellion (the Michilimackinac story is about 20 minutes in).
More from Mackinac on Michigan in Pictures!
June 30, 2014
June 20, 2014
The Grand Island National Recreation Area is located on Grand Island off the coast of the U.P. just west of Munising. The island is accessible by private boat or ferry and features cliffs like those in the Pictured Rocks, with some as high as 300 feet! There’s a hiking/biking trail around the island, but Shawn says this location is probably only accessible by boat.
You really should check this shot out background bigtacular on Facebook. There’s lots more great pics in Lake Superior Photo’s amazing gallery too. Do yourself a favor and follow Shawn & Lake Superior Photo if you’re not already and purchase prints online or in her gallery & studio in downtown Marquette!
More summer wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
June 18, 2014
Amy Arnold has a cool feature on the West Michigan Pike called Highway to History at Seeking Michigan that says (in part):
You may know it as old M-11, old US 31, the Red Arrow Highway or the Blue Star Highway – all names for a road that was originally called the West Michigan Pike, the first continuous concrete highway in West Michigan. Begun in 1911 as part of a strategy to bring auto tourists from Chicago to Michigan, the road was completed in 1922 and ran from New Buffalo to Mackinaw City.
…In the 1920s, an effort to create a series of connected, safe places for auto travelers to stay resulted in the development of a series of parks along the route, including seven state parks between New Buffalo and Ludington. During the Depression, Ludington State Park was the first state park in Michigan to be constructed by the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and was a showplace for the National Park Service program. The West Michigan Pike was also important in Michigan’s early conservation history. Much of Michigan’s land had been clear cut and abandoned by the lumber industry. The state incorporated highway beautification and reforestation as part of its work to create good roads in Michigan.
Read more at Seeking Michigan, and you can also check out Amy’s historical study of architectural resources along the West Michigan Pike at Michigan Beach Towns. If you’d like to retrace the route, here’s an old flyer with the West Michigan Pike route.
Also, they note that there’s an exhibit titled Yesterday on the West Michigan Pike: Photographs by Vincent J. Musi, that shows the noted National Geographic photographers photos taken along the Pike in 2008. View some right here.
More beach wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!