Baraga County commissioners vote to accept grant for Covington land acquisition

The county is working together with the Superior Watershed Partnership to protect and prepare the land for public use.
The Baraga County Board of  Commissioners voted to accept a 2.7 million dollar grant from the...
The Baraga County Board of Commissioners voted to accept a 2.7 million dollar grant from the MDNR for the purchase of Covington Township wilderness.(WLUC)
Published: Aug. 9, 2022 at 8:17 PM EDT
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L’ANSE, Mich. (WLUC) - On Monday night, the Baraga County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to accept a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant at the Baraga County District Courthouse in L’Anse.

The award was offered to the county to put towards their acquisition of nearly 1,200 acres of land in Covington township, which includes around 4 miles of Sturgeon River frontage.

The total purchase is $3.65 million dollars, with the award covering approximately $2.7 million.

“The award covers about 75% of the project,” said Baraga County Clerk Wendy Goodreau. “The other 25% is going to be coming as a donation from the current land owner, and that amount is $912,500.”

Baraga County is collaborating with the Superior Watershed Partnership with this acquisition, which assists with applying for funding. They aim to ‘purchase and protect’ the land.

“Our goal as a land conservancy is to protect and conserve land across the Upper Peninsula,” said Superior Watershed Partnership GLCC Program Manager Tyler Penrod. “But just as it serves the environment, it needs to serve the community that it’s in as well.”

Both the County and the Partnership plan to open up the area to the public with trails and areas for potential camping.

“It offers fantastic access to the Sturgeon River, and a really beautiful portion of that is relatively untouched,” continued Penrod. “We’ll be working with Baraga County to build and maintain trail infrastructure as well as kayak launches and other opportunities for the community to enjoy this piece of property.”

The collaboration aims to welcome the public to select areas of the land next summer, with a full opening slated for 2024.

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