Drummond Island has been a wilderness getaway for Michigan outdoorsmen for decades. However, in recent years, the island has become a prime destination for offroading on ATV’s and snowmobiles.
The recreation groups that have been competing for land use have now decided to work together in order to manage the island in a way that benefits everyone.
Terry Minzey, with the DNR’s Resource Management division, said the islanders have been the driving force behind the proposed changes.
“I think it was 8 different organizations. We had the sportsmen group, we had people representing the Jeep and ORV community, we had the township supervisor. The Mantra that we used consistently was, ‘For the island, by the island’. So what’s coming out of this is not a DNR edict at all. This is ‘Okay folks, this is your area, you provide us recommendations, we’ll see if we can help you get those implemented.’”
He said this is a welcome change to the usual way the state makes changes on recreational land.
“The people on the island, and the people that enjoy the island want to partner with the DNR for managing and communicating the various activities that go on, on that island. This is really a very unique opportunity and activity here, in which a community is trying to partner with the department for the good of the whole.”
Minzey said residents there want to ensure the island remains a special place.
“The island is really a big piece of limestone that sticks out of the water. On the North end of the island there’s an ecological system that’s called Alvar. Well it turns out the Alvar on the Maxton Plains is one of the most intact and largest Alvar systems in the world. People love to go out and see this Alvar because you just don’t see it everywhere.”
The full list of suggestions is extensive and touches on everything from how old growth forest is managed to the amount and type of deer you’re allowed to take when hunting.
The DNR is holding a public comment period on the recommendations through Oct. 16th
To get a look at the suggestions visit the DNR, here.