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Media Statement: Michigan Environmental Council applauds MDNR’s decision to protect Au Sable River watershed from oil and gas drilling

Dec 12, 2013
The Michigan Environmental Council praised this afternoon’s decision by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) to protect state land alongside the Au Sable River’s revered Holy Waters from oil and gas drilling.

“Today’s decision affirms that there are special places in our state that should be fully protected from the dangers that are inherent in oil and gas extraction,” said Chris Kolb, president of the Michigan Environmental Council. “This is a world-renowned fly-fishing stream with a natural beauty that is spellbinding. We applaud MDNR Director Keith Creagh for recognizing its value in this decision.”

The parcels were among those up for bid in an October auction of mineral leases on state land. The winning bidder on the leases was Encana, a Canadian company with plans to drill hundreds of wells across northern Michigan using the controversial method called fracking.

MEC joined the Anglers of the Au Sable, Grayling Township, local Realtors, business owners and other environmental groups in signing a letter to Creagh asking him not to authorize the leases.

Creagh announced today at a meeting of the Michigan Natural Resources Commission that he intends to amend leases on nine parcels east of Grayling to make them “non-development” and thus off-limits to surface drilling. ###
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