To whom it may concern:
It is axiomatic with Audubon members that public lands are essential to the spiritual and recreational needs of all of our citizens and affect their health and well-being.
Demographers project that northern lower Michigan will experience unprecedented growth-development pressure in the next twenty years. Quality, unfragmented, wildlife habitat is decreasing everywhere.
Places of natural beauty, inhabited by a variety of wildlife, greatly enhance the quality of life for all who live in and visit this region.
As more people move northward seeking a better quality of life, it is imperative that action be taken to prevent the destruction of the very things area residents value and this northward moving population seek.
A tour of the proposed Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area on July 14, 2005 revealed the presence of a relatively rare Black-throated Blue Warbler and, less rare but still the least often observed member of the thrush family , the Wood Thrush. Both were in a hilly area of seeps distributed at all elevations within mature forest comprised primarily of beech, maple, yellow birch, oak, aspen, ash, and hemlock fir.
Extensive, mature, less fragmented forested areas like this can provide necessary habitat for valued and often rare woods warblers and thrushes whose numbers have been decreasing due to habitat loss and habitat fragmentation that increase the vulnerability of these species to predation and the parasitic behavior of cowbirds.
We therefore support preservation of the Glacial Hills Pathway and Natural Area for the reasons listed above, to slow the rate of the earth’s diminishing biodiversity, and for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations.
Vice-president – Environment
President – Grand Traverse Audubon Club