Michigan House Hears Support For HR 230 From Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition

On February 14, 2018 Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition members appeared before a committee on the Michigan House to voice their support for HR 230, a resolution of support for the Shiawassee River National Water Trail. We are very grateful to Ben Frederick for his advocacy on behalf of the water trail. HR 230 will now go to the full house for approval in the next few weeks, this would show the State of Michigan's supports the effort of the Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition. "It will be a good way to build further interest in our collective work for the water trail, further engage our partners, and celebrate some good news for the River," said Tom Cook. Below are the testimonials given by David Lossing, Chair of Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition, and Thomas Cook, President of Friends of the Shiawassee River.

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Michigan House of Representatives

Committee on Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

Testimony of David E. Lossing

Chair, Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

 

Dear Chairwoman Hughes and Members of the Committee:

Good afternoon. My name is David Lossing, chair of the Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition, representing eighteen member organizations of local non-profits, local units of government, and a lake association, who have come together to support the Shiawassee River as a National Water Trail. We support House Resolution 230 that has been introduced by State Representative Ben Fredericks of Owosso, MI.

Our Coalition covers four counties: Oakland, Genesee, Shiawassee and Saginaw and three area codes (248, 810, and 989). Our designation of the Shiawassee River is eighty-eight miles from the headwaters in Holly, MI all the way to Chesaning, MI. Our water trail would be the second longest National Water Trail in Michigan.

The City of Linden, MI initially applied for and received a technical assistance grant from the U.S. National Park Service to assist in developing the application. Numerous key groups were key stakeholders to make this a reality: Headwaters Trail, Inc., Keepers of the Shiawassee, Friends of the Shiawassee River and University Outreach at the University of Michigan-Flint. From late 2015 until the application was submitted in April 2017, over three hundred supporters were engaged in the planning process. For the purpose of the application, the Friends of the Shiawassee River formally submitted the application and have agreed to be the fiduciary agent for the Coalition.

We believe that support of HR 230 by the House Outdoor and Tourism Committee, and the Michigan House of Representatives, will provide the needed support to make our Shiawassee River National Water Trail a reality with the U.S. Department of the Interior.

For the committee’s information, I’ve listed the partner organizations of our Water Trail Coalition as part of my testimony.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Shiawassee River Water Trail Coalition Partner Organizations

Oakland County

Headwaters Trails, Inc.

North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy

Village of Holly

Holly Township

Genesee County

Keepers of the Shiawassee

Ponemah, Squaw, Tupper Lake Association

City of Fenton

City of Linden

Argentine Township

Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission

Shiawassee County

Friends of the Shiawassee River

Village of Byron Downtown Development Authority

Village of Vernon

City of Corunna

City of Owosso

Saginaw County

Village of Oakley

Village of Chesaning

Chesaning Township


Testimony of Thomas Cook

President, Friends of the Shiawassee River

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

 

Michigan House of Representatives

Committee on Tourism and Outdoor Recreation

 

Dear Chairwoman Hughes and Members of the Committee:

Good afternoon. My name is Tom Cook, President of the Board of the Friends of the Shiawassee River. Our community-based organizations supports House Resolution 230 that has been introduced by State Representative Ben Fredericks of Owosso, MI.

The Friends were established in 1996 with a mission to care, share, and enjoy the Shiawassee River.  For the last several years we have worked to establish a National Water Trail on the Shiawassee because it will help us achieve all three goals of our mission.  Over the years, we have conducted many river clean-ups, worked to remove obstructions in the River, organized paddling trips, and raised funds and organized volunteers to construct five canoe/kayak launches; we are currently working to install a new launch in Vernon. 

We have partnered with local governments and other nonprofits to form the Shiawassee Water Trail Coalition.  We have worked to establish a National Water Trail because it will help more people enjoy the recreation offered by the river, will strengthen the communities located on the river, and will help bring us together as a watershed. 

We believe that passage of HR 230 by the House Outdoor and Tourism Committee, and the Michigan House of Representatives, will provide the needed support to make our Shiawassee River National Water Trail recognized by the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Thank you for your support.

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