Officials call on DNR to reject limestone mine land sale

Top officials with the Michigan DNR are calling on the agency’s director to reject a huge proposed sale of public land in the eastern U.P.

The sale and lease would be to a Canadian company, Graymont Incorporated. Graymont wants to develop a limestone mine in northern Mackinac County near Rexton.

The company wants to buy, lease or have options to buy more than 10,000 acres of public land in Mackinac and Luce counties. Graymont would pay the state 18.75 cents for every ton of limestone it extracts from that land.

Six DNR division heads have sent DNR Director Keith Creagh a joint letter, asking him to reject Graymont’s proposal. The letter mentions concerns about wetland impacts, opposition from tribal governments and uncertainty over economic benefits to the state.

Graymont wants to pay $2.9 million for what would be the largest sale of DNR land in Michigan’s history.

The Natural Resources Commission could make a decision as soon as its meeting on February 12th.

The DNR will hold a public hearing at Newberry High School two weeks from now, January 28th, to get public feedback about the Graymont proposal.