Residents tell Booher, Johnson to open land

State Sen. Darwin Booher and state Rep. Joel Johnson met with Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director Keith Creagh and local officials in Harrison recently to discuss opening access to state land in five locations with blocked access.

Booher’s office was contacted by local resident Irvin Mann, who was concerned that the DNR had blocked access to the land. Mann, who attended Thursday’s meeting, is unable to walk into the areas by foot due to a disability.

“State land, which includes some of the most beautiful and picturesque areas Michigan has to offer, must be accessible to all our residents,” said Booher, R-Evart. “I am thankful to Irvin for bringing this problem of blocked access to my attention, and I commit to working to ensure these areas are open to everyone.”

The five blocked areas are all in Redding Township. They include two state forest two tracks, the “Huckleberry Trail” bridge over Whisky Creek, the “Thornapple Trail” bridge over Halford Creek, and an area located within a major wetland complex.

“Today’s meeting was productive and hopeful,” said Johnson, R-Clare. “Everyone understands the importance of opening these areas, and I am confident we will find a solution.”

The group also discussed the possibility of reopening the state forest campground located in the township.

Also attending the meeting were Redding Township Trustee Sandy Mann, Redding Township Supervisor Tom Krchmar, Clare County Commissioner Jerry Burger, Clare County Road Commission Manager Ron Bushong and local DNR employees.

Booher and Johnson plan to continue discussions with the department and local officials on the issue.