Grand Traverse Audubon Club

Maple Bay Farms

 

RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF ACQUISITION OF MAPLE BAY FARMS TO SERVE AS A BUFFER TO THE P’TOBEGO WATERSHED TO MAINTAIN CONTINUOUS QUALITY WILDLIFE HABITAT AND PREVENT THE DESTRUCTION OF SAME WHILE PROTECTING WATER QUALITY OF THE BAY AND AREA FOR FUTURE GENERATIONS AS WELL AS PRESERVING SUPERIOR, QUALITY OPEN SPACE VISTAS AND PROVIDING VALUED RECREATIONAL OPPORTUNITIES TO RESIDENTS AND VISITORS OF THIS AREA.

WHEREAS, public lands are essential to the spiritual and recreational needs of all of our citizens and affect their health and well-being.

WHEREAS, state demographers predict that the Grand Traverse Region will experience unprecedented growth-development pressure in the next twenty years.

WHEREAS, quality wildlife habitat is disappearing and diminishing in quality due to development pressure throughout the region.

WHEREAS, 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.

WHEREAS recent research in regional economic development at Carnegie Mellon University reveals that communities that learn how to improve quality of life by conserving natural resources and safeguarding environmental values are more economically competitive. Moreover, superior environmental quality and accessible natural resources
are vital in attracting talented people needed to compete in the new global economy.

WHEREAS this acquisition has ample space and would supply an ideal site for a botanical garden which would be an added asset to this community.

WHEREAS, this proposed acquisition, in addition to containing valuable wetlands, includes portions of woodland, and meadow that afford excellent habitat for a variety of plant and animal species.

WHEREAS this acquisition also contains over 2,000 feet of scenic East Bay frontage which, along with the woodland and meadows, will afford valuable recreation opportunities to residents and visitors, will serve as a buffer, and increase the likelihood that the critical P¹Tobego Creek-Marsh Area can function successfully as a passive recreation, scenic wildlife-refuge.

WHEREAS, the ECOSYSTEM OF THIS P¹TOBEGO WATERSHED is unique and rarely duplicated in this state or the Great Lakes Basin.

WHEREAS, a considerable portion of this proposed acquistion is vernal wetland which is an important, valued factor in providing nesting habitat for Mallards and Blue-winged Teal while providing valued spring feeding ground for the former as well as Wood Duck,
Green-winged Teal, Northern Shoveler, American Wigeon, Northern Pintail, Black Duck,Common Snipe, Canada Geese, Sandhill Crane, Rusty Blackbird, and other indigenous and migrating species while supporting the function of maintaining the water quality of the area and East Grand Traverse Bay in the future.

WHEREAS, this watershed is the only place in Grand Traverse County where Black Terns, species of special concern in Michigan, have nested in 2001; where Sedge Wrens also, nest; where Bald Eagles have nested and still visit for food; where Northern Harriers, also of special concern, nest; and where American Bitterns, also of special concern,
and Sandhill Cranes have been observed as possible breeding species. It is the only place (because of low water levels) in G.T. County where Pied-billed Grebes are known to have produced young in the summer of 2000 and 2001, and quite possibly the only place where Marsh Wrens, rare in Grand Traverse County, are known to have nested in 2001.

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the The Grand Traverse Audubon Club supports any action that facilitates the acquisition of the 458 acre Maple Bay Farms parcel by the Grand Traverse RegionalLand Conservancy for ownership by Grand Traverse County to maintain the scenic quality of the county, provide a possible site for a botanical garden,
preserve superior, quality open space and provide recreational area, and, in perpetuity, a critical buffer for, while preserving essential vernal wetlands of, the critical, unique ecosystem of the P¹Tobego Watershed.

Adopted this 23th day of July 2001 by the Grand Traverse Audubon Club .

Robert Carstens
Vice-President – Environment
G.T. Audubon Club

John Mesch
President – G.T. Audubon Club


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