July 22, 2024

Sen. Bumstead highlights Manistee, Benzie projects supported through natural resource funding

LANSING, Mich.Senate Appropriations Minority Vice Chair Jon Bumstead on Thursday supported a Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) bill to invest $27.3 million in park and trail developments and public land acquisitions across Michigan, including two projects in Manistee and Benzie counties.

“The Natural Resources Trust Fund is a great way to reinvest money into our state’s outdoor recreation opportunities without adding costs to taxpayers,” said Bumstead, R-North Muskegon. “These projects help to protect our valuable natural resources and add to the quality of life for Michigan families as they are able to enjoy great outdoors in our beautiful state.”

The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. Since its inception in 1976, the NRTF has been used to fund 2,760 projects totaling $1.3 billion.

Senate Bill 817 would authorize the NRTF to release $27.3 million in restricted funds to support 35 development projects and 18 land acquisitions across the state. Local matching funds of $34.2 million would bring the total investment to $61.5 million.

In the city of Manistee, $300,000 would be allocated for boardwalk renovations at Veterans Memorial Park along the banks of the Manistee River. The project, which includes $305,000 in local matching funds, would update the existing walking paths, boardwalks, and fishing decks, add accessible parking spaces, and improve stormwater treatment.

The legislation also would provide $620,000 for the acquisition of land adjacent to the Bestie River Springs in Benzie County. The site’s 105 acres of forestland, springs, and feeder streams includes over a mile of Betsie River frontage. The Betsie River is a Type 4 designated trout stream, one of the state’s best rivers for naturally reproducing Chinook salmon, and a very popular steelhead stream that is stocked annually. The property provides habitat for white-tailed deer, black bears, upland game birds and wild turkeys, and many public recreational opportunities, including fishing, hunting, trapping, hiking and snowshoeing.


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