The White River Township faces a threat to its protected dunes – an application has recently been placed with the Department of Environmental Quality that, if approved, would allow a road to be built through critical dunes in the Barrier Dune Sanctuary.
Land near the sanctuary owned by the Bro G Land Company is landlocked on all sides, with Medbury Park to the south and the Barrier Dunes Sanctuary to the north. The party who own the property feel they must build a 1,200 foot road through the dunes in order to reach and be able to build on their property. A septic system would also run through the dunes to make the property useable. The Bro G Land Company has attempted three times to build a road through the protected dunes and been denied permission each time time by the DEQ. However, new revisions to the Critical Dune Act may make it easier to build in protected dune areas. Many citizens of the township and others who support dune preservation are voicing their concerns.Through their community effort a public hearing with the DEQ has been scheduled for April 15 at 6 pm at Montague High School.
These dunes are protected by the Critical Dunes Act which was put in place to protect the 70,000 acres designated in Michigan as critical dunes areas. In An Overview of Michigan’s Critical Dune Areas the dunes are described as “unique, irreplaceable and fragile resource that provide significant recreational, economic, scientific, geological, scenic, botanical, educational, agricultural, and ecological benefits to the people of this state and to people from other states and countries who visit this resource.”
A petition has been created in opposition to the development. Sign the petition to help protect the Barrier Dunes Sanctuary.