BREAKING: DNR Director Keith Creagh Approves Graymont Upper Peninsula Land Purchase

Thursday , 19, March 2015 82 Comments

Keith Creagh announced a few minutes ago at the DNR Natural Resources Commission meeting in Roscommon that he would approve the land purchase proposal offered by Graymont. The Canadian mining company now has the green light to turn over 10,000 acres of state-owned forest land into open pit and underground limestone quarries.

The DNR Natural Resources Commission rejected the January proposal in that it was too vague and there was no business plan. Graymont raised the price per ton it will pay the state to 30 cents, and offered the town of Rexton half a million dollars over 5 years to go into a fund to be used by the community and local schools. The new proposal provided more detail including:

  • The direct sale of 1,781 acres of state-owned land and 7,026 acres of mineral rights to Graymont.
  • Land exchange whereby Graymont will acquire 830 acres of state-owned land.
  • A ten year option to acquire an easement of 55 acres of state-owned land with an identified area of 535 acres.

Graymont received mineral rights and ownership of land that totals $4.5 million. The DNR will use money received from this land deal to purchase other public land. The largest portion of land that will be an underground mine will still be managed by the state and the public will still have access to large portion of it.

The questions that are not addressed in this deal is the impact such a large mining operation will have on air and water quality in the area. The total land now being turned into open pit and underground mines spans three counties. More people living in the UP will be affected than just the people of Rexton. There’s promises from Graymont that they will protect important wetlands in the area, and public easements will be moved at company expense.

Michigan land and precious natural resources continue to be sold off to low bidders, and the landscape of Michigan will be changed forever – and not for the better.

82 thoughts on “ : BREAKING: DNR Director Keith Creagh Approves Graymont Upper Peninsula Land Purchase”
  • Carol Payne says:

    Wrong decision to sell our UP land to another country to destroy!

    • Lori says:

      I agree, not only that if the state is selling land should’nt the people have a fair crack at it? Not another Country!!

    • Margaret F says:

      This is a terrible decision. I, too, think the people should have been able to vote on this proposal. One man making a decision for thousands is just wrong.

  • Shouldn’t the residents of Michigan have a voice in what can be done to their environment? Why don’t the Canadian companies destroy their own country? Oh, I see, they don’t want to take these risks at home. Michigan has so much going for it, why do we keep giving our beautiful state away?

    • chefceric says:

      First. The Department of Natural Resources are the stewards for our parks. They are protectors, and in some sense the law enforcement. They ARE NOT the owners of the land.

      Second. We the people own the land. It is our taxes that protect these lands and pay the DNR.

      Third. The DNR circumvented proper legal proceedings to get voters to pass the legislation to allow a foreign company to drill on our soil. Direct violation by Keith Creagh.

      Fourth. I will be seeking for lawyers to help slap an injunction on this, and seek Keith Creagh’s resignation for clearly breaking laws. Laws that protect we the people from backroom dealings like this.


      • Tom says:

        I would like to help anyway I can. I live in mid-Michigan. I cannot sit by and watch our land be sold by a government entity that does NOT even OWN it!!! Everyone should be outraged like I am!!!! Email me if you need help finding those lawyers! I have a friend I went to high school with that is a defense attorney. Im going to see if their is anything we can do about this bullshit!

      • Landowner says:

        Protest it.

      • Lynn Shewmake says:

        I would love to be involved as well. This needs to be stopped. Please contact me at

      • Richard Denam says:

        I wish we could stop it but with a dictator for our governor it’s going to be hard but I’m rooting for us

        • mike says:

          There’s a lot of dictatorship going on in America starting with the guy in the white house.

          We should all have a say in this and a lot of other things that are destroying our great state and country. Leaders should not have sole control like this

          • Up North Progressive says:

            Every time someone posts a comment to my blog and starts out blaming the president I am going to call you out for being the racist you are and ask you to not reply on my blog again. The president has nothing to do with this.

      • Sabrina says:

        Keith was appointed by Snyder! He is quiet, and the people of the lower penn, are not informed, yet our tax dollars promote the UP constantly, too bad the press was destroyed by Heritage boy Finley who loves to keep agendas quiet as well as local news, not a word. Seems if I want to hear what is going on in my state, I have to watch MSNBC cable news to hear it, Synder and his cronies are criminals and our campaigning system needs regulating, MI is only state where by contributions can roll in and no one sees or knows how much or who is behind it, this is why we have bonus give aways to auto insurance,big pharma and energy etc… we are paying and the other farce is public funded arenas as well as the cable industry, whereby we not only pay their taxes, their players, but their franchise fees to boot! what a gimmick!!!!

  • Ginny Nadon says:

    This is awful. I think the Canadian’s should destroy their own land, and leave ours alone.

  • Kathy Lee says:

    this is wrong, wrong, wrong. Where and when were we given a voice in this matter? We have a beautiful state and to let a company from another country destroy it is beyond my comprehension. Tell them to go dig up their own country. Canada has a lot of unoccupied land they can destroy. I’ll bet Canada wouldn’t let them so they came here and were welcomed by Snyder and his cronies.

  • […] March 20, 2015 / FVEF! Thursday , 19, March 2015 Up North Progressive Community, DNR, Environment 4 Comments […]

  • Raymond Epskamp says:


  • ck says:

    Another great environmental move by the DNR…. It’s not good enough that: their controlled burns get outta control, put up rocks so people can’t access Scott’s point, can’t admit there are mountain lions until someone from Naubinway brings in the excrement, decide implementing wolves is a great idea, and now they’re selling off land and mineral rights!! What’s next? Fracking next to the lakes????

  • deanna says:

    they don’t care about what happens as long as they get money they aren’t looking in at the big picture and this is all wrong it will ruin the land and water

  • Once again big business and the almighty dollar wins. Greed plays such a huge part anymore. It’s sad really.

  • Mr Kreigh is a traitor to his country and the position entrusted him . why can his actions not be questioned ???? Why is he not being taken to court?

  • james frick says:

    were are your heads we gave our right to vote avay back when bush was in office when the government tricked us into giving are vote away to save the bear baiting ! And where is the Americans why didn’t we purchase this property

  • DNR should not had the authority for such a plan without approval of the Legislature or vote of the people of the state of Michigan – outlandish and I like what the DNR does over all to protect our natural resources – RETHINK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Vink says:

    On a positive note. Jobs will be created. Not a lot of those are around up here.

  • April says:

    Easy people. Easy. Wow, nothing but negative! For the ones complaining, have you been to the facility? Have you seen it? No? Well then, you don’t know much about this topic. Until you know all the details stop condoning it. It isn’t hurting the environment (it’s been there for centuries already) and its out of the way where no one see it. Not only is this company providing jobs, but they are impacting the schools and community in a POSITIVE way. Unless you live without glass and other essential material that is made from limestone, once again, you have little room to complain.

    • Allan says:

      I agree April also, not sure if anyone knows this but when the limestone is gone and mined Greymont re-soils and re-tree’s the land. I live about 15 miles from where this is going to happen. How many comments out there are from people who live here and not just spouting off for something to do.

    • edcat says:

      Condoning means accepting. I think you meant until we know all the details we should stop condemning it. Of course if the question of whether to sell environmetally protected land to a foreign mining company had been put to a vote as most here seem to suggest it should have happened all voters would have had the opportunity to learn ghe details and weigh in either to condone it or to reject it.

    • TOM says:

      For Centuries hu? April, Im sorry that you where dropped on your head as a child but that Company hasn’t been around for Centuries. You realize a century is 100 years right? I don’t care how POSITIVE your are, you cant fix stupid. People like you are the problem with this country, you all have your heads soooo far up your asses, if you would take two seconds and get off of face book you might actually learn a few things about what is going on around you. The mining is a very small part of the problem. The fact that a government agency can decide what land to sell and for how much allon their own is a fucking PROBLEM! Maybe if your unlucky enough the federal government will make their way around to you and sell your families land without telling you, then maybe, JUST MAYBE, youll get it.

      • C. Westen says:

        You are rude and crude…. and a bully. Learn how to talk to people and some of your anger issues might mellow.

    • tamyra says:

      April it has more to do with State sovereignty….which was thrown out the window…it should be against the law for foreign entity’s to buy US land

    • Lori says:

      More outsourcing of US money and jobs!!! Justify however you want…nobody will ever see it???? really?

  • Loren Witte says:

    who really profits from this and how does the Dnr have the right to sell it

  • I want to buy 10 acres of hunting land

  • David says:

    Its the same here in Minnesota. Selling off to big companies so they can purchase more public land that no one will be allowed to access . .

    • Michelle says:

      First of all, The DNR and our elected officials who work for all of the people should be thanked for bringing these jobs to the UP. This company wants to do business here because that is where the limestone is!

      • Mogar says:

        why don’t you google some pictures of Kentucky after the coal mine jobs dried up, or of the Canadian tar-sands, total environmental apocalypse. I hope you always thought that the beautiful UP landscape needed a few GIANT OPEN PIT QUARRIES!!

        but yeah ur right JOBS JOBS JOBS!!!

  • Who profits from this purchase?

  • theresa holcombe says:

    Save our land save our land go home Canada use your own land

  • K Berst says:

    This is just wrong

  • This is the stupid thing I’ve heard in awhile. Thanks for selling out

    Pure Michigan? More like pure garbage

  • steven payer says:

    Goes along with the tons of Canadian garbage trucked in daily, to pollute the largest fresh water supply in the world !!!!

  • Enrico T. Capogrossa says:

    I laugh at the words profit and greed when hopefully the same people go to work each day to profit! OOPS! To answer than idiotic liberal question, the people who will profit are the small groceries stores that struggle to survive all winter long, the high schools because the student bodies will increase (I live in Grand Marais and every young family leaves for the lower down under-our school student body is down to 35 students K-12; who will profit fools; local contractors, carpenters, electricians, realtors, restaurants, bars, gas stations, mechanics, schools, churches, and on and on and on! Johnny B’s will sell a lot more pizza, the little Rexton Store will sell a lot more bread. Who will profit with 50 to 100 middle class jobs? DAH! And, for hunting land, we still have millions and millions of acres up here Greg and most of it you can hunt on for free. Why buy it!

    • Dark Dungeon says:

      Doesn’t each resident of Alaska receive a check annually from oil profits made through harvesting that natural resources of their state? Hmmm, had the Ohio River Valley done that with coal, I bet the standard of living would look much less depressed overall. Sure there is trickle down, but that is miniscule compared to the profits this Canadian company will see, or they wouldn’t invest. No deal would satisfy everyone, that is impossible, but step back and look at the risks that are being considered. Are the local residents satisfied when they have considered alternative use, or a $500 check annually from the harvesting of the local resources and the impact that has on their lives and community? Excluding the scientific community and eliminating the requirement for environmental impact studies is quickly becoming the norm. Expediting these decisions is for one reason, short term profit. How difficult is that to see?

  • […] our exchange over my remarks here on the Marquette County Road Commission. The Michigan DNR’s green-lighting on Thursday of Graymont mining’s proposal to develop 10,000 acres of public forest […]

  • Tom says:

    This is just as bad as the deal Engler did with giving the company Nestle the right to drain our Lake Michigan and bottle it and sell it back to us!!! 100$ a year they give us to steal our water!! They found a loop hole cause you cant legally take water out of the Great Lakes so they went upstream and found a place to drill for it out of a natural spring that feeds the Great Lakes! When Will The Rest Of Us Open Our Friggin Eyes And Put A Stop To This Kind Of Shit!!! Pisses me off something wicked!!

  • Danee Ross says:

    Seriously!!?!?!?!??? As if the sewage in St. Mary’s River and Lake Superior wasn’t enough!!!!

  • deb says:


  • Brenda says:

    the DNR of Michigan must be taking lessons from the DNR of Wisconsin on how to destroy your state in 10 easy lessons

  • Joe says:

    The DNR has shown once again it can’t handle the resources of Michigan, they have screwed up,the deer population in the state, with the farce they are using to control TB. It’s time to get rid of the DNR turn law enforcement over to the State Police.

  • Bill Wieske says:

    Who appoints Keith Creagh? Did he have the final say?

  • Valvink says:

    You Tom are rude! You don’t even live in this area. Why would you say such mean things to April? You know nothing about her.

  • Valvink says:

    How many of you making negative comments live in the EUP?
    Lets see…….2…..

  • Ben says:

    Way to protect OUR natural resources…sellouts!!!

  • Enrico T. Capogrossa says:

    It’s a way to utilize our natural resources. And, I’ll bet each critic of this less than postage stamp size sale of State Land in the Eastern U.P. uses every resource they criticize the production of. That’s the pathetic thing about the Tony’s (he has a suit and tie on which is all made from oil and synthetics that i’m certain he opposes the production of) and Toms. April wouldn’t you say Tom most likely wipes himself with plastic because he objects to logging, but right in the middle, realizes plastic is made from oil so he has to reach for the leaves from fallen harvested trees! And, I don’t know the history of the Canadian Company, but one thing I do know. The company could be stationed here if our politicians didn’t crucify people who want to do business here with the highest corporate tax on the planet, 35%, while Canadians pay 15%. I doubt not a single hypocritical person crying “Greed” has ever even seen the already existing pit. Wow, it’s a real eyesore among the millions of acres of U.P. Wilderness! I doubt they’ve never seen the hundred inland lakes in the northwoods between Newberry and Grand Marais. I passed through Rexton today on my way to the Friday night two customer Trout Lake Tavern. All those small business owners are greedy to be able to pay off their January overhead in January rather than the 4th of July.

  • Tony says:

    This is a good thing for the U.P, it will strengthen the economy.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Graymont has never been firm on jobs numbers, “maybe 50 or so,” at the most. They’re offering a meager $500,000 over 5 years for Rexton, while they will make huge profits after destroying the environment. After they’re gone, the state will be left with 12.5 square miles of open pits, with no idea how this will impact air quality, water quality, or the impact it will have on the environment. Hunting will be restricted, people will not have access to land they once did for recreational activities. This means less people coming to the area to spend time hunting, camping, hiking etc., which means local businesses who rely on people coming to the area for recreation will lose business. This is not a good thing for the UP.

  • It may seem counter-intuitive, but if I were the go-to-guru community organizer, in this case, I would recommend a sit down strategic planning meeting with all the folks involved with rescuing the Detroit Institute of Arts, from similar pillaging….

  • It would also be interesting to find out if this land is actually being considered for future fracking. It is unlikely that the Michigan Governor would ban fracking as ours has in NY, regardless of citizen organizing.

  • Enrico T. Capogrossa says:

    Great talking points Up North Progressive but the only fact you have is the $500,000. DAH! That number is hideous. It will bring millions into the area. You ever been to the Trout Lake Tavern like I was last night. 2 Customers! Right! Friday Night, two customers! Mega dollars from paychecks circulating through a community generates millions! Whenever I see the word progressive, I’ve always learned it’s actually regressive! The U.P. throughout it’s history has been built on logging, mining, and fishing! That is how we have PROGRESSIVELY existed and fortunately now coupled with the tourism industry.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Bring millions of what into the area? And is a 12.5 mile open pit in the earth worth the maybe 50 jobs Graymont may or may not create? Do you plan on all of those maybe 50 people with Graymont paychecks showing up at the Trout Lake Tavern to spend their money?

      Fishing requires clean water. You won’t have that once Graymont gets started. But yes, two people in a bar is empirical conclusive research that the UP desperately needs an open pit limestone quarry.

      • Benjamin says:

        Many of the lakes in the UP where I live are old mines that have been caved in and are stocked by the DNR and offer great fishing. Many of them have campsites built along them as well which generates touism during summer months. It will start with mining jobs and end the way it always has. The land is a renewable resource and a mine won’t kill it. Taking the limestone is less intrusive than you would think. Sure if the salty water from underground limestone deposits is pumped to the surface and enters a local stream or lake it can lower fresh water quality. But , the only probable side effect would be changing underground water levels and flowage. This means sink holes maybe and the swamp down the road might dry up a little but the water is only going to pool up somewhere else. When the pit is closed it will be collapsed. The trees and grass will grow back and no one will remember this debate.

        • Benjamin says:

          I will add that the way this deal went down is real ugly. Us U.P. citizens should have a say in every decision that includes the management of OUR land.

  • Damon Pine says:

    As man born and raised in the upper peninsula. I am in outrage.

    That being said. I will lend any support I can.

    This is my home, these beautiful landscapes are were a lot of my fondest memories are etched.
    Our kids and they’re kids deserve to Share those same memories.

    This is our home. Not some subject that a bunch of corporate fat cats discuss over a poker game.


  • deryk Roberson says:

    How can we sell off our land to let other countries destroy it? Greed can’t be our motivator. The kids will be alright.

  • Karl Frederiksen says:

    A sad day for Michigan.

    • mike says:

      If you worried about who is being appointed to what you may want to start with the man in charge of the ” free world”

      • Up North Progressive says:

        Excellent regurgitation of Fox News talking points, Mike. The president has nothing to do with what’s happening in Michigan. Republicans are the source of our problems. Republicans, and the billionaires they whore themselves out to.

  • dave says:

    where’s the monkeywrench gang? earth first?

  • Joe says:

    The DNR has a history of siding on the side of big business…and when over 90% are against the sale, and yet the director keith Creagh rule for this company,,,kind of make one wonder what he got from the company…just saying..

  • Dave says:

    Sadly our state officials don’t care what the people want, it’s those who are writing the big checks who really matter. This is obviously the wrong decision and those who are supporting it are either ignorant or on the take.

  • Sabrina says:

    Snyder was no nerd from no where, he like many Republicans have an interest in money. Using politics for large gains. Business man running for governor was a con to raid our state of natural resources for dollars, despite cost to the future and citizens of our state. Many in the political arena have known him well. We have been sold out and uninformed. There should be a surplus of money to maintain this state, instead of using good sense to fund our roads,(at least in the lower state and bridges are worse then wash board roads) he then wanted us to vote increase taxes to fix them, after we spend thousands in repairs, was rotten. He is not going to defend his future pensions or those of the elected kingdom. Auto Insurance rules here too,turns out Mi is the only state where campaigning is not governed. Those with an agenda to buy our elections is proving a success. Our education system is suffering, yet business’ flourish at the expense of taxpayers. No taxes for many to “help the business come here” Selling to foreign nations is business we can do without! Our taxes are ever rising, forcing new home buyers out after they get new tax bills. Yet Synder continues to invite foreigners to live here while being subsidized by state, helps to keep wages low as well, forcing citizens out of state or not to complain when the work next to someone on the teat and better yet, they don’t vote! Contracts galore and no accountability. Our state did not need to sell thousands of acres to other nations to buy up and steal our resources. The state could have made money and given jobs and maintained what is being taken and how much. This doesn’t benefit our state or nation or its people. Our lawmakers take office to advance their agenda and those of their pals in a global market. There is no way our citizens, or our veterans deserve to be sold out to those who pretend to want to represent our state, its people, our nation, while they quietly make “deals” Deals that the citizens hear about after the fact. Maybe instead of rewarding the same legal thugs who continue to rob us, its time to kick them out. We should have taken hint, when no questions were to be asked, this was the way it was going to remain, his way one in power has all power. Huge mistake allowing 70% of offices to be run by Republicans, they are not fiscally responsible, they are sticking it to us, and lying on top of it. Dont forget Canada likes to pollute our land, keeping Canada pristine, this is why they also want to run the Keystone through the USA more money for them at the cost to the people of USA., and the laugh is they want to keep us out of there?!

  • Cliff says:

    Bringing up the White House and Obama in no way means someone is racist and to say it is is ignorance on your part .it might be your silly blog but im sure your not God . And threatning someone for an opinion is asinine.

    • Up North Progressive says:

      Not sure what your comment has to do with an 11,000 acre limestone quarry going into the UP much less with Obama, the White House, or God. You seem really angry for a guy rambling incoherently. How is the weather in Clarkston, by the way?

  • Bonnie says:

    Michigan is NOT FOR SALE….just plain WRONG.

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