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Republican lawmakers speak out against Camp Grayling expansion

Michigan National Guard

Four Republican lawmakers are urging Governor Gretchen Whitmer to reject the Camp Grayling expansion – even though the decision isn’t really hers to make.

The proposed expansion, led by the Michigan National Guard, would double the base’s size by leasing 250 square miles of public land from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

In a letter, authored by Republican State Representative Ken Borton, he calls on Whitmer to “reconsider her intention to proceed” with the expansion. The letter cites opposition from his constituents, residential concerns, and potential environmental impacts. The letter is co-signed by Northern Michigan representatives John Roth, Cam Cavitt, and John Damoose.

"It is our belief that proposed expansions have the potential to threaten the health, safety, and general welfare of the people in this region, and we should therefore be granted some authority on the expansion with respects to the protection of the air, water, wildlife, and other natural resources of the state from pollution, impairment, and destruction," the letter reads.

So far, no decision has been announced. And since the proposal was introduced last summer, the governor has not publicly commented on the expansion.

The director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, who is appointed by the governor, is set to make a decision on the proposal later this year.

Borton denied WCMU’s request for comment. The governor’s office did not respond in time for publication.

Teresa Homsi is an environmental reporter and Report for America Corps Member based in northern Michigan for WCMU. She covers rural environmental issues, focused on contamination, conservation, and climate change.
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