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Ambience and Zoning/ Hand in Hand?
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 11:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
RV accomodations on BBI?


Wasn't my idea nor is one which would pay off. Season is too short and there is not much reason to haul a motor home to BBI in the first place.

I may have missed my own point:

By making improvements on the north shore... toilets, well, picnic tables. road widening, etc. ie turn it into a state forest type "primative" campground... The amount of traffic would be increased including larger RVS. It costs money to make these improvements and in charging more, "campers" expect more. What next, a north shore state park?

There is a monumental difference between a camping "area" and a formal campground... "if you build it, they will come". Likewise "if you don't build it, they won't come" A camping facilities upgrade= an aesthetic down grade.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I honestly believe there are simple, low-cost ways to better manage the situation on the north shore with out upgrading facilities. True primative camping opportunities might be worthy of preservation? I think it is more a matter of keeping a closer eye on things during the peak summer camping mos... and know who is camping EXACTLY where so if there are problems (and there will be) there is a solution...

Some moron leaves trash all over or a fire burning? That qualifies "moron" for no further camping on BBI...and fines after that. As long as this moron can be identified. It wouldn't take but about one summer to gain control.

When campers apply for their permits... they get a little brochure that states littering and unattended fires WILL NOT BE TOLERATED (a heads up in advance) and that those in disregard will be prosecuted... and make it stick... A "notice to campers" sign at both ends of the N shore drive, stating the same thing, wouldn't hurt either. Ditto for the Thompson Lake landing and a couple other spots.

Fines should be redirected back to this effort. The easist solution is often the most direct.

I have other ideas of how this could be enforced... which I will save for later. I don't want to get stuck on this camping issue.

How many "clearly defined" camping "clearings" are along the north shore?
Less than a dozen? I am thinking 6-8 good ones?

C
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lets get real:

Today I'm paying my semi-annual $2000 real estate tax bill on undeveloped BBI land. $4000 per year isn't a high price to pay to maintain wild, open space if my neighbors do likewise. However, if the community decides collectively that my vision doesn't work for them, why swim upstream?

My choices become:

Ignore them,
Sell and move on,
Or develop, and harvest the new reality.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Charlie,

You looked at the LTC website? Ever consider putting your land into conservation trust? Many are going that route for tax breaks and as an option to keeping wild land wild. Done right... win-win situation.

C

I just paid my tax bill today too. geezeopetes!
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I looked into several land conservation trusts several years ago. There are pluses and minuses. The best results are those like have occurred with Snake Island and Vosper's.

I'm pretty tax efficient, so tax write-off's don't help much. (Think AMT)
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Charlie Trie
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 3:17 pm    Post subject: Noise pollution Reply with quote

One thing I notice hiking inland on BBI is that some of the motor noise permeates miles into the woods.

I've always wondered why sound waves and light waves shouldn't be treated like water wave. viz, when you pull into a harbor such as the Cheboygan River, if you speed and cause damage via your wake, you pay. You're responsible for that wave action.

Noise and artificial light in your own space is your own choice. When these waves intrude into someone else's space, it's pollution. It would be nice to have an effective means of controlling noise and light pollution.

If folks muffled engines, that would work. If they directed light so that it only landed on their property, that would work.

I'm always amused when I look south across to Cheboygan and see those giant lights from WalMart or the High School football field. Or pass by the Bar with it's pointless high intensity lamp that doesn't illuminate the parking lot well but can be seen everywhere else. Or the undirected lights on the Township dock. Or the high intensity 'burgler' lights that have popped up on houses.

I know, I know: the spate of cheap LED christmas lights that you see all over the country are a harbinger of what's to come.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

When BBI paved its runway, I thought: There goes the neighborhood.

Then I thought: when Eclipse gets its jet planes certified this year, BBI is closer than ever.

But you gotta wonder if BBI becomes an exurb of Ann Arbor/Bay City/Detroit/Flint/Lansing/Pontiac, maybe it's just as easy to fly to somewhere that's still remote?

I hope not to have to make that choice.
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 5:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Noise pollution Reply with quote

Charlie Trie wrote:
One thing I notice hiking inland on BBI is that some of the motor noise permeates miles into the woods.


That's been the case for decades (at least three decades, anyway). Our camp was about as far inland as you can get on BBI while I was growing up, and you could hear ships, the ferry, cars, etc. Sometimes as though they were a quarter mile away when, in fact, they were miles away.

I always listened intently, thinking we'd see a truck coming down our little two-track (which almost never happened). Of course, nothing ever came, and the engines I was hearing were probably boats out in the straits. Sound just carries back there. Gunshots, chain saws, we've heard it all. About 15-20 years ago, around dusk, I was hearing enormous amounts of gunfire that seemed way too close for comfort. I jumped in the truck and cautiously explored every road within a mile radius, looking for signs of life, finding none. Not a light on anywhere, not another vehicle, not another human being. The sound was carrying from farther away.

What I'm saying is, the noise pollution situation isn't getting radically worse, and has changed very little over time. Light pollution... well, I suppose there are more cottages these days, with more lights on them. But even now, in the miles between the Pines and our place toward the west end (even our old place back on Thompson), there are maybe two or three lights you can see from the road, at the most. Not much different than 30 years ago.

Dan
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 07, 2006 6:14 pm    Post subject: Lights Reply with quote

OK, I'll bite. The high intensity, mercury vapor light down the beach from me shining out to the beach, North a mile to my place and straight up to the first planet in its way, Why? Why is this on? These people do not have a clue. On the darkest, moonless nights, that light pollutes the night scene. A clear sky on black nights, standing two football fields from the nearest tree, on the edge of the lake, looking up and at 360 degrees horizon, and WHAM, that light pokes you in the eyes. Why can I see it, people? C'mon you know the answer...no trees on the shoreline. House is in plain view...with its m.v. light.... it's on and off with an electric eye so when the owners leave, the light still punishes those that remain...ahhhhhhhhhh! (Howard Dean scream here)
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If a property owner doesn't plan on developing land but still wants to own there are many options beyond conservation trusts. One such is selling the development rights to a "non-profit organization". This results in considerably lower taxes for the owner and results in preservation of the land but the owner still has full access and ownership.

Conservation easments are another option as well.
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 5:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I normally hop right to the latest postings in the Forum. But things are a bit slow lately, so I lingered on the Home page and then, enlarged John's photo of the red covered bridge and dog with bandana that won the "Your Neck of the Woods" contest.

First let me say that I was really impressed by that bridge--not only by its size and by the fact that you built it, but by its very pleasing dimensions, the nice red color, and the way it just seems to fit in those woods. Add the snowy/foggy day and a neat looking dog with matching bandana, its a great picture. If it was just woods and no bridge, I don't think it would be the same.

As someone who must drive 10 miles from the dock to our cottage, and as much as I love the woods, I still get a little tired of seeing nothing but trees pretty much all the way. I would love to see a red covered bridge like the one you built in those woods. And if a dog was wandering nearby, all the better.

My question, John (on this slow BBI newsday) is how a bridge like this (which I know is down in a more populated area) fits into your overall philosophy on building and growth on the island. Would such a thing be appropriate and even a beneficial addition to BBI? Or would it be just a necessary evil, something used to cross a creek?

Thanks in advance for your thoughts.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 14, 2006 9:17 pm    Post subject: Bridge Reply with quote

Doug, I was wondering if anyone would ever get around to asking me that question.

Thanks for the bridge comments. Before that bridge, it was all natural back there. I could not, however, get over Culver Creek to my property on the other side without getting my feet wet nor could I drive my garden tractor over to retrieve wood, carry tools, etc. Naturally, some kind of bridge came to mind. Anything exposed would crumble in a few years. And I happened to look at a covered bridge just a couple miles from my house and that got the juices flowing. So the first reason I built it was for practical reasons.

Secondly, it is totally hidden to the public. Unless you walk back to it, you will not see it. I would not have built it if it was in full view from, let's say, my neighbors house. It does contrast with the nature. But this brings me to a point that I want to make very clear...I am not against building...I am against building that is overly aggressive to the natural state of the land or is in full view of the public. Too often, when people build something that is hidden from view, they think they have a ticket to throw up something that gets the job done but looks like crap. I did not want the occasional passerby, hunter, or walker to have to look at something poorly designed and shabby looking. Plus I did not have to cut a tree to put it in...did some serious digging, by hand, for the footings and piers though.

Would this be acceptable at BBI? As long as it not an imposition on someone's view. If it was a part of, let's say a public trail smack dab through the middle of BBI, allowing the public to venture through this awesome island, I would say build it.

I am not against building. I just have this love of the land as viewed from the water. Natural lake shorelines are rare and unique. We've got 'em on BBI. Cabins can be built and the shorelines can remain intact. It is called a "filtered' view as described in Michigan Land Use Institute.

Now, Doug, you know if you have read all my previous posts that I would never get tired of "pretty much nothing but trees" Where else, is there such a spectacular drive! I love driving on BBI. If someone carefully places a structure that blends into those woods, great. If it is something ugly, then we all suffer.

I guess it all boils down to consideration for the land and others.
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 2:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is highly subjective subject matter. Seeing nothing but trees pleases some, and does nothing for others. Seeing a cabin, or a light, from the shoreline irritates some and pleases others.

One of the things I like about the Island is seeing what people have done, or tried to do, with their own land. No, I don't like seeing trees mowed down, or abandoned junk trailers parked everywhere. But it's part of the character of the place. And, after all, it is not my land. I hate to see the land abused, but my definition of whats's good or bad for it almost certainly doesn't match the next person's definition.

While I don't ever want to upset my neighbors by building something they consider unsightly, putting up a light that they think is too bright, cutting down trees they'd rather I left standing or parking a car outside that is too old for their tastes, I also realize I could spend the rest of my life worrying about those things and STILL upset someone. At home, I have worked hard to build and maintain nice-looking buildings and grounds - nonetheless, I had a complaint from a neighbor who didn't like the way I parked my truck on my own property. How can I live up to such a standard without giving up an otherwise reasonable freedom?

I cannot stomach the concept of "subdivision associations" - my apologies to those who live in such a place. They are everywhere and are fine for those who don't mind accepting someone else's definition of what is attractive in a home or property. But to think a self-appointed gatekeeper can dictate what is acceptable for me to do with properties and possessions I have worked my whole life to own? Forget it. I know people who've spent the better part of a million dollars for a home on acres of land - and they can't build a single outbuilding, no matter how attractive it may be, nor can they park certain kinds of cars in their own driveway, nor can they have a mailbox that looks different from the others on the street, nor can they have certain kinds of fences or trees. THIS is terrifying to me.

I LOVE the wilderness, and I LOVE the Island. I HATE cutting down trees and don't like seeing junk trailers or ??? sitting around abandoned. But I don't want to see BBI turn into a case of "my idea of beauty trumps yours".

Have you seen the giant swath of trees mowed down out near the airport? Of course you have - how could you miss it. It marks the boundary of someone's property, or so I am told. Wow, what a scar on the land. I would never do such a thing. But someone else would. Go figure. I don't like it, and it doesn't make sense to me, but I am not the owner. Then I think about how many times Island trees must have been dessimated for timber harvesting. And each time, the Island has managed to reclaim its own wilderness. It's reassuring. I've watched junk cars literally sucked into the ground, becoming more organic than metal. Amazing natural process. One person's ability to cut down a few trees or build an unsightly building or abandon a piece of junk is nothing compared to the awesome regenerative power of the Island. Now, you can quote me all sorts of environmental statistics about how many eons it will take to overcome oil spills and air pollution. I understand. But those are the kinds of problems that deserve intensive regulation. Unsightly buildings and unwanted mercury vapor lights are fleeting problems. They come and go, and are most often a matter of taste. As long as my neighbor respects my rights, I can respect hers or his.



Dan
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Conis
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 3:01 pm    Post subject: Old school, new school. Reply with quote

Dan: Many good points. Many tough questions without clear answers. We live in different times.

Within my lifetime... within the last 30 years... A property owner owned his/her property and could pretty well do whatever so long as it didn't directly endanger or adversly impact a neighbor. Neighbors lived likewise and these rights were taken for granted. Do what you wish, up to the fence. Old school thinking?

Along came "land use" and zoning and rules and regulations... maybe based on supporting property values. "Pollution" was not only "dumping oil in the swamp" but extended into "visual" or "noise" pollution and this gets pretty subjective? Your neighbor doesn't like the way your parked truck looks? You are guilty of visual pollution, no doubt... He needs to get a life.

New school: if someone can see it or hear it and they don't like it... then there ought to be a rule about it? Bring on the "thought police" because thats the next step...

Someone tell me where the edge is because I have no clue. Whomever hacked that god-awful boundary gouge through the trees has no clue, either. 30 years ago, no one would have even said anything. "Its his land, his privledge to trash it as he sees fit". Now, everyone else has to look at it, too. Eventually, It will grow back.

These are different times we live in.

C
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doug miller
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 15, 2006 5:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan, I heartily agree with the points you made.

I don't think there is a clear line between a person's right to use their land as they see fit and the community's interest in having some say as to how that land is used.

As Conis has oft said, we have to find, in as civil a manner as we can, a balance between the competing interests. Some cases are easy--I don't want my neighbor running a meth lab or having 20 ferocious half-wolves running wild behind a flimsy fence. On the other hand, if my neighbor on the island has an old car on his property he is working to restore, or even a camper that he uses when his friends and relatives come, I think it is a closer call.

I can remember my uncle Bob (who, by the way, would be your grandma's first cousin, Dan) living in a small cement block house he built in the little town of Edwardsburg, Michigan in 1952. Not a very beautiful house by today's standards, but very functional. And I remember the big garbage pit he kept in the back yard--maybe 100 feet from the house, that he buried garbage in for many years. I think that was pretty common then, but would, for a lot of health and environmental reasons, be frowned upon now. But standards were different then. My point is, even the balancing act is going to change as time goes by.

By the way, Dan, I don't know if I told you before that I have a picture, faded though it is, of my grandmother's parents--who would be your great, great grandparents I think. I remember my grandmother telling me that he, at least for a time, delivered ice by horse-drawn cart to people in Chicago--this would have been in the 1870s to 1900 period. And I remember my grandmother telling me a story that seems only partly true. The true part is that her mother and father had several children that all, apparently in rapid succession, died of smallpox. My grandma and your great grandma were from what was essentially their second family of children. The part that I am not sure about is that, according to my grandma, the night before her mother's first child came down with smallpox, she dreamed about 4 small coffins sitting on her bed. I suppose that, in light of the fact there were smallpox outbreaks occuring at the time, maybe she did have such a dream. Oh well, enough family stuff on a public website!
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Kevin Gibbons
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 08, 2006 4:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dan I agree with a lot of things you said I think if you own the properity and you are paying the taxes why sould the guy down the street that didn't want to pay the extra money for water front or even the added taxes get to say what I do with my investment. If you don't want the properity cleared then you buy the properity ,and you can get your way. but don't tell the properity owner who pays taxes and has just as much to say about his properity as you do your own what he sould do. Maybe you should do what he did, because in his eyes your place would look a lot better.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 3:56 pm    Post subject: Waterfront landuse Reply with quote

Kevin I own waterfront property. I pay the taxes. I respect my neighbors property. I respect the public which views my property from a public road, from the water, and from the beach. How many people do you know come up north to view a 30' Jayco Grand Canyon trailer exposed to the beach and water? What was once a natural shoreline, is now a waterfront trailer park.

Lets make bochures....let's advertise with photos of trailers on the previously awesome shoreline....let's rave about the variety of trailers that can be viewed from the water...where else can a vacationer go and see so many RVs amongst so much beauty! And that is EXACTLY what is being allowed on BBI. Why? Because they pay taxes and don't give a rip about the valuable assests of the land or what the public sees. When I see the trees on the shorelline slashed, I....well it is better left unsaid.

Nowhere on earth are there shores like BBI. The transitional area between beach and the deep forest is like no other area on the island. Why are we in such a hurry to eradicate it before we even realize what it is, how it works, the name of the plants, and the living community it protects? The water is not going anywhere. Walk out and enjoy it.

As landowners, we have much more responsibility than just paying taxes and owning the property and that is to keep the natural gifts of BBI intact as much as possible. What is becoming extremely rare, not only in Michigan but also in Maine and Wisconsin, states like us, is the existence of Natural shorelines. We can build on waterfront property and keep the beautiful, rare, valuable shoreline and still have the water to view anytime we want. Because I am a part of the BBI community, I believe that what keeps BBI natural also is in the best interest of my neighbors.I believe that vacationers, kayakers, hikers, and others come here to see the absence of McMansions and castles dominating a shoreline.

The real question is when do we all, realtors, excavators, builders, owners address the issue of "smart growth"? When will BBI realize that the commodity that is the rarest is also the most valuable? When BBI embraces its landscapes instead of destroying them so "I can see the water", we will have a commodity that will attract those that cannot find it anywhere else in Michigan...and that is natural shorelines.

Kevin, don't get mad at me. You don't know me yet. Get to know me and talk to me and then get mad if you choose.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't seen a large number of trailers or RVs stationed on the Bois Blanc shoreline, but I'm sure there are a few. You're probably referring to a couple of specific examples to make the point, which I can understand.

They've come and gone, and will continue to come and go. I'd rather see an occasional travel trailer on the shore than dozens of cottages spaced 3' apart like you see downstate. And, if these "less pleasant" sights of Bois Blanc turn a few people away, maybe that means fewer people will be there to cut down the precious trees in the future. Think of it as a natural deterrent for those who cannot see the beauty of Bois Blanc in spite of its sporadic clutter. Wink

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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:33 pm    Post subject: Trailers Reply with quote

Hi Dan. Just got back from the cabin.

Actually, four trailers decorate the shoreline. All cleared the trees, pushed, pulled, backed, or shoved the trailers in so they are seen broadside, all within walking distance of my place, South and west of Lafayett Pt. For me, it raises alarm flags.

I could care less if people camp on their property. I did for eight years. The difference is noone saw me behind the shoreline trees. I knew I wouldn't want to see my tent on wheels in place of the trees. And there's the rub. These trailers may come and go. Yet the trees won't return in our lifetimes. If structures appear, we will see those as well.

The opportunity we all have on BBI is this: if we act now, while there is substantial natural shores, we can offer this increasingly rare landscape to new landowners, vacationers, our children, and grandchildren. As more and more frontage is destroyed, that opportunity will vanish...just as it has on Mullett lake, Higgins Lake, Houghton Lake, etc. Gone forever.

BBI's waterfront property is inexpensive, cheap even, compared to other waterfront property. Unfortunately, it is treated cheaply too. We allow it. Why? Why are we not united in protecting it? It doesn't matter what people have done with their property in the past. That's in the past. Let's take a bold step and preserve what remains.

By the way, the island was beautiful this past week. It was quiet, sunny, hi fifties, perfect.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wouldn't be adverse to a little regulation. However, it needs to be done fairly. Rather than prohibiting future trailers, clear-cutting, bulldozing, too-close houses, etc., I'd prefer to see taxes raised on property where that has been done. Or, conversely, lowering property taxes for those who maintain natural space. Even to the point of subsidizing property owners who do not subdivide.

I'd like to see elimination of property taxes on property that is maintained as wetlands. Or perhaps an investment tax credit that can be applied against owed income tax - sort of like the pollution credits or carbon credits.

I believe that economic incentives will be more powerful than vague aesthetic ideals.

Also, I think that it would be terribly unfair to permit someone to buy a small property, denude it, then legislate that their neighbor can't do the same.
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 7:49 pm    Post subject: BBI land Reply with quote

Hi Charlie.

When any regulation is enacted, we both know that plenty of cussing and name calling will take place. Any bold action to save natural places anywhere, anytime is/has been fought.

I agree with you on the money incentives. In Wisconsin, I read an article that gave owners that preserved the natural shores with a one time $250 dollar tax break and $50 break every year after as long as the shore kept its natural elements.

As for adjacent land owners where one clears his land before any regulations and the other cannot clear the frontage...I guess the cleared land owner just has to suffer Smile Smile
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 12, 2006 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was there over the weekend. Great weather indeed.

If, by protection, you mean I have to tell someone she/he can't park a camper on her/his own property or build something that might be visible to a neighbor, I don't want any part of that. Even if it's adjacent to the shoreline, and the individual(s) have cut down trees to put it there.

I love the trees that stand on Bois Blanc. Anything I've ever done, or will do in the future, is done with great consideration of those trees. I don't come to BBI to change it; I come to enjoy it as it is. However, past experience has taught me that my freedom is even more fragile.

Once our freedoms are gone, they don't come back. I can plant trees. They don't have to mature in my lifetime; I'm transitory. But neither I nor my children can reclaim freedoms after they are taken away.

You own property on Bois Blanc because of a freedom that's been granted - the freedom to own land. If you take away my right to clear a driveway and park a camper on my own property, it's akin to someone else taking away your right to own the land because you don't do what they think you should do with the property.

In short, of course you and I both support preservation and conservation of Bois Blanc's natural resources. But your views and mine are not necessarily superior. Prohibiting campers we deem 'unsightly' doesn't solve anything. What you've identified are symptoms of apathy, and treating the symptoms won't address the problem. How do we treat apathy? I don't know. I'd be a better father if I did know. But I do know that limiting freedoms isn't the answer.

Dan
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:44 am    Post subject: freedom Reply with quote

Saving the ecosystem on the shores through regulations means losing freedoms? What freedoms are lost? The land wins, the owners win, and the public wins. When freedoms mean illadvised destruction of fragile environments what is so great about freedom?

Let's not make the leap from intelligent growth to loss of freedoms.

Let's say that BBI implements tomorrow that no further intrusion of any kind can be made on the shorelines. Every NEW land purchase will be qualified as a natural shores designation and the prospective buyer will either buy under those rules or will not. I maintain that there are buyers that would jump at just that type of designation because they now know that some overaggressive, uninformed neighbor will have to honor those same regulations.

I have said many times that building, camping, is great as long as unnecessary land destruction is avoided. Yes, access and building must be allowed and both are destructive forces on the land. But what sound reason is there to continue to wipeout fragile, important landscapes beyond the structure? The view of the water is not an excuse to eradicate irreplacable stands of cedars or bulldoze the berms...these are natural treasures for ALL Americans and their loss is a loss for ALL Americans. For some reason, it seems that some BBI folks undervalue the unique beauties of the shorlines.

Isn't owning land on water enough? Isn't walking out to the water, sitting on a bench and viewing that grand expanse enough? Isn't that freedom?
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
When freedoms mean illadvised destruction of fragile environments what is so great about freedom?

Shocked
I think freedom's pretty great either way.
Quote:
Let's not make the leap from intelligent growth to loss of freedoms.

What if someone disagrees about what constitutes "intelligent growth"? When someone else's opinion of intelligent growth prevents me from cutting down a tree that I ostensibly own, when I feel it's necessary to do so, then my freedom is lost - simple as that.
Quote:
building, camping, is great as long as unnecessary land destruction is avoided.

I cut down a tree on my land because I feel it's necessary to do so. You disagree. What arrogant soul is going to write this grand rule book?
Quote:
The view of the water is not an excuse to eradicate irreplacable stands of cedars or bulldoze the berms.

You could further argue that direct access to your cabin is not an excuse to clear a driveway. Make clearing driveways illegal! Hike it and leave the trees and soil alone. In fact, how dare you build a cabin when a tent would've sufficed? No more structures! How dare you tread on BBI soil when you could've stayed elsewhere and let nature take its course, without your potentially destructive influence? Ban humans from BBI. Preposterous? Yes - but it's a fairly short "leap" from where this discussion began.

I seem to recall someone on the east end incurring steep fines, compliments of the Army Corps of Engineers, because he used his tractor to make his kids a small gravel walkway across a low-lying area to the shore. Maybe he shouldn't have done it, but the point is, he got his hand slapped and had to put things back the way they were, immediately. Based on events like that, it seems there are already plenty of regulations in place. Adding to them only attacks the symptom and unfairly restricts those who do not wish to harm the land (which they own... or do they???).

As I've said before, I avoid clearing trees or changing the landscape whenever possible. But we have all suffered the ill effects of overzealous regulation, enacted carelessly because of a few "bad apples" who truly do not care about the world in which they live. The gentleman who rearranged gravel on his shoreline was a nice fellow, just trying to make his kids happy and enjoy the property they owned. He didn't deserve to get stuck with thousands of dollars in fines, but that's what happened. The same result could've been reached with no regulations or fines - just a simple conversation and perhaps some education about how to avoid damaging the ecosystem.
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Squeaky
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thousands of dollars in fines? On Bois Blanc Island? I hope this is not on BBI! Rolling Eyes If so, not good!
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Dan Reynolds
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It happened back in the '80s, somewhere in the area of Crystal Beach - unfortunately, I don't remember the details or the name of the person involved. As it was explained to me, he was fined something like $100 per day until the changes he made to the shoreline gravel were "undone" and the area returned to its original state. I don't know how this was determined or who enforced it, but I seem to recall that the fine amount ran well over $1,000 before the "damage" could be corrected. I just remember this fellow, who had a very tidy cabin on a thickly-wooded lot (with lots of trees between cabin and shoreline), being baffled as to why such a harsh punishment was dealt. He complied with no arguments and, presumably, paid the fines.

I'm not saying this guy had the right to rearrange gravel along the shoreline or possibly endanger the ecosystem, if that's indeed what happened. But this is someone who, aside from one minor oversight (that carried a major penalty), was in total compliance with John's vision of how the land and shore should be treated. He didn't do anything drastic. I can imagine myself unwittingly making the same kind of mistake, and I don't think a hefty fine would be required to make me do the right thing. Perhaps some people need that kind of incentive, but I don't deserve to be punished for their transgressions.

In short, more regulations and restrictions can quickly create a legal mine field and put any BBI landowner at risk of a similar violation.

Dan
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 13, 2006 1:18 pm    Post subject: shorelines Reply with quote

Dan, you are aguing for the sake of arguing. No one is stepping on your rights to cut a tree to build your house. No one is suggesting no driveways.

What are you willing to give up to keep the island's natural beauty?

What are you willing to give up to benefit the island community?

What are you willing to give up to benefit the future economy of BBI?

How loud would you holler if your neighbor, builds a vacation village next to you and eradicates the trees and berms to more easily access the water with PWCs?

Preservation is good for everyone including you.

Speaking of the "good" person that was fined for dozing the shoreline, is an example of why we must regulate or this is the problem we face. If this guy wanted to do his children or grandchildren a favor he would have taught them the science behind the berms, the intricacy of the life on the shoreline. As it was, he taught them that land destruction was part of their American freedoms. I know the person, now deceased, and the property. There is NO natural shoreline left on that property. He exercised his freedoms and snubbed his nose at All Americans, at the BBI community, at Michigan, and at you and I. Did he do it because he was a bad person? NO. He was a good man. He just didn't understand the greater value of the land in its natural state.

Sustainability and preservation are learned. Education is the key. Freedom has nothing to do with it.
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