August 22, 2012
To the Journal editor:
I am writing this letter to express my objection to Marquette County Road 595. I cannot deny some of my reasoning is sentimental and emotionally based, but other conclusions are based on much thought.
I attended Champion High School, kindergarten through graduation. I now live in Ishpeming Township. Both communities are directly affected by the new mine and would be so by the new road. As a young man I hiked, hunted and fished areas where this development is taking place.
My extended family is large, I have two sons in college and am well aware of what new jobs will do and the history of what mining has done for our economy here. If the mine had come up for a public vote, I honestly do not know which way I would have voted. There is no doubt my vote on the new road would be a rock solid no though.
Just the fact that 22 stream crossings are needed should be enough to say, “Stop!” Wetlands, 25-26 acres affected? That’s like touching the first domino in a 10,000 domino set-up and saying, “But I only touched one!”
In order for this road to withstand the weather extremes and heavy truck traffic, constant maintenance would be required. Salt, sand, road grime and truck fluids will just add to the wetland disintegration. There is no question that the sole purpose of this road is for truck traffic.
I would say to our local road commission who is always claiming budget shortfalls; A) any road that has a taxpayer or school age child should be maintained, snow-plowed and repaired before a single piece of equipment is placed on the new road, today, everyday. To the law enforcement community, when a nature-lover is traveling 10 miles per hour and trucks are backing up, tell the truck drivers to enjoy the scenery.
Does anyone think this road will be good for the wildlife? Although this piece of land is not a national forest or park, it is definitely a local treasure and a piece of unspoiled wilderness.
Would anyone build a mine haul road across Yellowstone National Park? Hindsight is 20/20. Please, I would encourage some foresight on this proposed road and stop it now.