Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee impressed by flood recovery efforts

ONTONAGON, Mich. (WLUC) - "The DNR is doing more and more with less and less."

That was just one of the many comments made after the Western Upper Peninsula district supervisors presented storm recovery efforts to the Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee.

"A hundred years from now, people will look back today, and say 'gee whiz' we heard about all these bad storms, but they got it right and they did the right thing," said Ron Olson, the Chief of Parks and Rec for Michigan DNR.

The boat access site into Lily Pond located between Hancock and Calumet, was one of those 'rights' that went from washout to water entry, done in just a matter of months.

"Through water ways funding and emergency funding, we were able to rebuild that site and get it open before Labor Day," said Doug Rich, the supervisor of the Western U.P. District.

The district was also happy to report the several other restored boat access sites throughout the flood damaged area.

"We know that these sites are important to the local economy, local emergency management getting out onto Lake Superior and it was our priority to get out there and get these things fixed," said Rich.

The Michigan State Parks Advisory Committee, with members from both the Lower and Upper Peninsula, was certainly impressed by these efforts.

"They are extremely dedicated, they have a lot of passion and care about the end result. This isn’t about fixing stuff for the sake of fixing it. There’s a meaningful end result," said Olson.

Although the boat launches are back in business, the 160 washed out trails and roads in the Houghton and Keweenaw counties have a long way until they are completely repaired as they face many bumps in the road.

"Obviously the funding, but really the logistics, there are multiple property owners out in the counties, so it going to take a lot of collaboration and cooperation to make the big fix," explained Olson.

The Western Upper Peninsula District is also focusing efforts McLain Park through shoreline stabilization and renovation.



 
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