Opposition to the proposed Camp Grayling Expansion is growing restless as they wait for a response from the Michigan Department of Natural resources.
Back in February, the DNR Director Shannon Lott said she would have more information on the Michigan National Guard’s proposal in the next week and a half, and now over a month later people are growing frustrated.
The DNR says they are now meeting with Michigan tribes to hear their concerns before moving forward.
“I don’t think they did look into the tribal factor of this and how it affects the Native Americans here,” Bear Lake Township Trustee, Jim Knight, guesses.
The Communications and Marketing Director for the Michigan United Conservation Clubs, Nick Green, says the time it’s taking the state to come to a decision should be no surprise. However, he believes the tribal consultation may have, ‘popped up’ at the last moment and prolonged the decision.
“The one thing that I might add, the state hasn’t done a ton of communicating on this issue and that’s something we wish they would have done a little better at least throughout the process,’ Green admits.
Both Green and Knight add they think it’s important the DNR talks with the tribe, but say they should’ve been involved in the conversation a lot sooner.
Meanwhile, the opposition to the proposed expansion has continued to grow with now nearly 60 government entities opposing it. Knight says he expects the opposition to continue to expand and hopes the DNR takes the proposal off the table completely.
“I think there is a lot of people that are concerned, and I think that’s growing across the state,” Knight says. “I think [The DNR] has to be very careful going forward, and they should be very careful moving forward.”
The DNR says they are continuing to evaluate the proposal but says there is no definite timeline for a decision.