Advisory Committee to Discuss Chassell to Houghton Railroad Grade: MI

Article Posted: March 13, 2005

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Advisory Committee to Discuss Chassell to Houghton Railroad Grade

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has created a citizen advisory committee charged with reviewing recreational options for the Chassell to Houghton railroad grade.

The first meeting of the committee will be at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 23, at the Chassell Township Hall located at 22115 7th Street in Chassell. The public is welcome and time has been set aside for public comment.

The Chassell to Houghton grade was acquired by the DNR in 2002. Uses of the grade are governed by state land use rules; however, a permanent management plan is needed to guide future uses of this recreational corridor that links the two Copper Country communities. It is anticipated the committee will complete its deliberations and submit management recommendations to the DNR by early summer. The DNR will take the recommendations under advisement in the development of a final management plan.

"The Chassell to Houghton grade, which follows US-41 and bisects highway access and private land holdings, has been a topic for much debate," said Ronald Yesney, western U.P. recreation management specialist for the DNR Forest, Mineral and Fire Management Division. "The subject most likely to come up in those discussions is whether it should be managed for motorized or nonmotorized use, or for both. We hope this committee will help us to resolve that discussion."

The advisory committee represents units of government, Michigan Technological University, Portage Lake Landowners Association, Michigan Department of Transportation and numerous local recreational interest groups.

Upcoming meeting dates will be announced at the March 23 meeting. Persons unable to attend can submit written comments to Yesney at DNR, 1990 US-41 South, Marquette, MI 49855.

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