Zorn supports Crystal Waters project in trust fund bill

Sen. Dale Zorn

Sen. Dale Zorn

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn on Thursday supported approval of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) projects for 2017, including the Crystal Waters land acquisition in Monroe County.

“The Crystal Waters project would provide a great public place for our sportsmen and sportswomen to hunt and fish, and it is a positive use of the trust fund’s constitutionally restricted resources,” said Zorn, R-Ida. “Crystal Waters would be a place for personal solitude and family enjoyment in Michigan’s great outdoors.

“Although there are currently no inland public-access lakes in Monroe County, the property features seven bodies of water and a boat launch is proposed on an 85-acre lake. It would also offer more than six-and-a-half miles of proposed trails for hiking or just taking a walk.”

Senate Bill 76 authorizes the trust fund to support 27 acquisition projects and 87 development projects. Matching funds of $40.1 million bring the total investment to more than $87.7 million.

It includes $3.5 million to acquire 680 acres for a new state game area in northwest Monroe County. The land would be managed for deer, turkey, small game and waterfowl habitat, along with hunting and fishing opportunities.

“This is a prime example of the trust fund’s 40-year record of preserving our state’s natural resources and improving public access to outstanding recreational opportunities,” said Zorn, vice chair of the Senate Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Committee. “I was proud to support this project, which will help enhance the quality of life in our area for generations to come.”

The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The fund’s dollars are constitutionally restricted to recreation improvements and land acquisitions.

Since its creation in 1976, the NRTF has awarded more than $1 billion for land acquisition and public outdoor recreation development projects for communities in every county.