2009-03-05 / Outdoors

DNR considering land deal for Ogemaw Nature park

The Michigan Natural Resources Commission, at its meeting in Lansing today (Thursday) will review a proposal to correct a mistake made nearly 50 years ago when the state deeded land to Ogemaw County for the Ogemaw Nature Park near St. Helen.

The proposal before Department of Natural Resources Director Rebecca Humphries would deed 42.4 acres of land, site of the nature park, to Ogemaw County. The DNR deeded 40 acres, part of the former Ogemaw State Game Refuge, to the county in October, 1959, under the assumption that it included the game refuge buildings. A boundary survey in recent years revealed the property contained only a small portion of the buildings and did not provide access to highway F-28.

Under the proposal, Ogemaw County will deed the 40 acres back to the state, and the state will convey a public use deed for an area that includes all the buildings and road frontage. Ogemaw County has agreed to pay $1,500 toward survey costs and have a restriction placed on the east 450 feet of the new parcel prohibiting construction of new buildings. DNR division chiefs said the restriction will "minimize impacts to hunting due to safety zones.

In 2006, the DNR revoked a squaremile no hunting zone surrounding the nature park parcel, saying fences the Ten Lakes Sportsmen's Club, which manages the nature park, had placed around the zone gave people the impression that it was not state-owned land.

The park includes pens housing deer and some other animals, which the public may watch and feed.

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