On the Natural Resources Commission (NRC) agenda for July 12 is a proposal to purchase 5 acres of tax reverted land in Weldon Twp., Benzie County for $32,400 from the restricted state Turkey Fund. Where once tax reverted property went to the state if now reverts to the counties. In this case the purchase would be from Benzie County.
To justify the purchase from the Turkey Fund the DNR is stating that it would secure valuable habitat for turkeys. A challenge was made that purchasing a non description parcel of 5 acres will have any impact on turkeys. Their statement falls in line with the Tooth Fairy.
The selling price for wild land in northern Michigan is in the $2,000 an acre range. By any stretch of the imagination would you pay $6,840 an acre for wild land with no unique features? It is understood the desire to block in state land, but certainly tax reverted land through land exchange can be made with various counties without paying highly inflated prices. In a July 2 letter to the NRC we also stated “it is unacceptable and ironic that at a time when there are no funds for turkey habitat projects and habitat equipment purchases that the purchase of 5 acres at a ridiculous cost is acceptable. We urge you to decline this purchase.”
On the same agenda was listed the purchase of 40 acres in Foster Twp., Ogemaw County for $177,000, again with no unique features. This is over twice the price that similar parcels are selling for. There appears to be a lack of funding for deer range projects but there is no problem buying highly inflated property.
A letter was sent to the NRC asking that they reject these purchases. At this writing we are not sure what the outcome was. If the past is any indication of the present be assured that the transaction went through as proposed as every division chief signed off on them.