Canadian Limestone Producer Moving Forward Buying 10,000 Acres of Upper Peninsula Public Land

Sunday , 8, February 2015 19 Comments

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources announced yesterday they received a revised land purchase proposal from Canadian mining company Graymont Incorporated. The company wants to purchase more than 10,000 acres of public land in the Upper Peninsula to mine limestone in three locations. The proposal has only one change from the original one submitted – a raise in the amount of money paid to the state for each ton of limestone. The land being considered for sale is in Mackinac county near the town of Rexton.

The new offer of payment per ton is 30 cents. The original amount offered in their January 2015 proposal was 18.75 cents per ton. The mining company has also offered to set up an economic development fund for the local community to provide funds for schools, governments, and small business. Another proposal from Graymont under consideration would exchange land from the parcel Graymont wants to purchase with land from the Hiawatha National Forest. The entire operation would impact Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac counties.

The issue that has many people concerned is the 10,000 acres being considered is state forest land that doesn’t fall under any of the criteria the DNR set for selling public land, according to the Michigan Sierra Club. The 10,000 parcel is forest land with wetlands, trailways, and full of wildlife. The British Columbia-based company wants to utilize both open pit and underground mines in what is essentially premium forest land in Northern Michigan.

Another problem with the proposal is the Canadian company has given no numbers on how many jobs the quarry could potentially produce for the region, despite promises there would be good-paying, long-term jobs.

On January 15, six DNR division heads urged Keith Creagh, Director of the agency to reject Gravemont’s proposal. State Senator Tom Casperson of Escanaba has been supporting Graymont in their interest to buy the land. Casperson believes the state owns too much land and needs to sell it to private business.

Director Creagh will be holding a meeting on the proposals on February 12, but he won’t make a final decision on the proposals until March 19. The public has until then to voice their opinions on this sale, and voice concerns about the destruction of pristine state and federal-owned forest land in the Upper Peninsula. You can write to Keith Creagh by email at or mail a comment to Customer Service Center, ATTN: Kerry Wieber, 8717 N. Roscommon Road, Roscommon, MI 48653. All comments will be accepted until March 19, when the final decision will be made. Please take the time to write or email the Michigan DNR and urge them not to allow this land deal to go through. We don’t need open pit mines destroying our forests and wetlands in Northern Michigan.

19 thoughts on “ : Canadian Limestone Producer Moving Forward Buying 10,000 Acres of Upper Peninsula Public Land”
  • Richard Denam says:

    What are they thinking . We get there trash from Canada. They don’t want the Key stone pipe line because of environment damage to British Colombia and now our state want this . How much money are going to there campaign?

    • Zoefire says:

      Michigan as a part of the United States, is selling out our state, our country to another country. To desecrate the sacred lands of our ancestors. Why would Canada care what becomes of another country?

  • Wm. D. Davidson Jr. says:

    Once this transaction is complete, what will be next. They will want more land as it is the Wildlife is being slowly displaced into residential areas and disrupting the Eco system. We need to stop this sale.

  • John Town says:

    Have you people lost your minds?? People come from far and wide to visit the UP, and you want to turn it into an OPEN PIT MINE?? I guess my first instinct was correct, if our governors plans don’t work out just right, he will just sell off the UP!! For Gods sakes tell Canada, TO GO DIG UP THEIR OWN DAMN COUNTRY! They have THOUSANDS OF MILES of land that NOBODY WILL MISS! STOP THIS DEAL NOW!!!!

  • CAP says:

    I love the open spaces of the UP and plan to spend many more summers there. How beautiful and peaceful the forests are! I have seldom been in the area that I didn’t see an abundance of wildlife. Somebody needs to get the message out that once these pristine areas are spoiled, it is next impossible to bring them back.

  • Sly says:

    Lived within 20 miles all my life! I bet most naysayers on here don’t. BUILD IT!!

    • If you lived in Rexton and had a water well would you want a mine under your property? Limestone hydrology is very complex. Wells in limestone usually get water from cracks that contain water, and mining can cause fracturing of rock and can water from cracks can drain into a mine. If your well goes dry because of mining, who will pay to replace it? Will the company insist that you prove in court that the mining caused your well to go dry (at your own expense, of course).

  • Native Upper says:

    The state owns over 2 million acres in the U.P. how much land do they want or really need. Must of this mining is going to be underground and one open out in the middle of no where. We need every job we can get and the tax money to the state, country and townships would be very welcome. In the U.P alone there are over 4 million acres owned by the DNR and U.S. Forest Service how much more of the of the Big Wild do you need? A lot of it is not being utilized at this time and probably never will. How much time do most people spend in the vast wilderness we have now? Quite drinking the Kool-Aid and bring jobs and money to Michigan and jobs to America. If people don’t work where s the money going to come from for all the entitlements in this country. Oh yes the way is going right now they don’t want people to work, they want us on the Government dole and control us fron the cradle to the grave. Read United Nations Agenda 21 folks and you will see where this country is exactly heading and it is not good, do you like to be a puppet? With all the tough EPA Rules do you think is going to be slip shod operation, go see how the Eagle Mine up in Big Bay and you will really be enlightened!

    • Up North Progressive says:

      How much land do the people of Michigan need? All of it. It belongs to us and if we don’t want to sell it then we shouldn’t sell it. Keep whittling away at our vast wilderness and it won’t be so vast anymore.

      Agenda 21 is simply a plan for sustainable development and not a conspiracy theory, no matter what Glenn Beck thinks.

  • Gordon Stone says:

    You bleeding heart liberals are nuts!!!! most of you probably never been up here in the first place….. If it means my kids dont have to leave to find a good paying job then so be it….. This is a very skewed lefty written piece….. Its funny how most of you have an opinion about this and will never step one foot here…… or you take a ride up here to look at trees…. The UP small towns are Dieing and most of you couldn’t be happier…..This place is not a vacation land for you Granola Eating Salad Shooters, This is my home and we need jobs to live here…..

    • Up North Progressive says:

      The question that Graymont hasn’t bothered to answer is how many jobs their operation will produce. They have no fixed number, just that there will be jobs. Republicans have tried to sell the KXL pipeline as a job creating project too, except it will only create about 30 permanent jobs.

      Have you even considered the environmental impact an operation this large will have on the region? This is going to affect groundwater, air quality, and displace wildlife. What’s the point of having jobs if you can’t even breathe the air or drink the water?

      State owned land means it’s owned by the state. That means it belongs to the citizens of the state of Michigan. Since this is citizen owned property, we have the right to say how it will be utilized.

  • Gordon, I am up there all the time. Please consider this:

    When you go to a bank for a business to get a loan you bring a business plan. Graymont has made a lot of promises and seems to be changing the deal on a daily basis. Heck they just doubled their amount per ton…..don’t you find that strange?

    But one thing they have not provided is a business plan.

    What specific jobs they ae hiring for? The pay and qualifications? How do we even know if they won’t bring people who aleady work fo them from the other plants they own nearby? And what is worse, none of this is regulated. They can SAY they will do this or return the land back to its state. But no one will regulate them. There is no guaruntees. If they do not live up to anything they say, they cannot be held accountable.

    And like a bank loan, it is we the people who are the investors. We need to see the business plan before we invest. Makes sense right? Would you let someone use your land without seeing something in writing in a form of a business plan? Would you just shake their hand and believe what they are saying in vague statements?

    And one advantage of these people you speak down to is sure, some of them do not live in your town. Perhaps you should take heed to what they are saying. Perhaps they have witness towns like yours being taking advantage of by slick talking politiicians who plant untruthful seeds in your mind.

    In the end of this, if this happens. And the wells you drink our of become contaminated due to the water tables under the lime stone are ruptured, the land next to you that you treasured so much because of it’s beauty becomes a wasteland, the noise the trucks will bring to yoru once peaceful community, the additional pot holes that will ruin your vehicle, you may recall these comments…and wonder why you did not listen.

    If you want job creation then why don’t US companies create them in your area? Why don’t you or someone you know create some jobs?

    And I live in Nothern Michigan. And I go to the area all the time. And my ancestors lived in that areas long before both you and I. And like me and many others here voicing ou opinions, we are keepers of mother earth. We protect our lands from being torn apart.

    Veteran, US Marines and Anishinaabe, Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians

  • […] ask myself every time I see a proposal like this from Graymont, or another Oil Pipeline repair or request from Enbridge Energy.  Where does it end? […]

  • Martin Reinhardt says:

    If the sale goes through, we need to shut them down. I will be there to protest this action and call on all my fellow citizens, tribal and non-tribal to join me.

  • Marty Walton Holihan says:

    Why do we want to sell our land to Canada I vote NO,NO,NO. They already dump their garbage on us. Don’t sell our land too.

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