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Deadline looming for Keweenaw Natural Areas purchase

Director John Griffith says he is confident his group can meet a deadline of March 31st to raise enough funds to secure a land purchase along the Gratiot River in Keweenaw County. Dubbed the missing link, the patchwork of property reaching from Conglomerate Falls to the mouth of the Gratiot River, along with Lake Superior shorefront, would wrap around an existing county park and land owned by another conservation group to create a mega park.

Griffith says it would complete a 30-year vision he has helped execute at Keweenaw Natural Areas. As of the first of the month, the group is $100,000 short of its goal. He says the organization has already received so much help just to make the opportunity possible.

We had to borrow $1.4 million that we didn’t have. Luckily, we have an amazing donor who has that money and put it in the bank as security.

Griffith moved to the Keweenaw in the late 1980’s from San Diego. He says he had never seen snow before relocating here. He founded Keweenaw Natural Areas to help ensure access to the the county’s natural habitats could be enjoyed by all. Keweenaw County relies on ecotourism for 70 percent of its economy, compared to an average of five percent throughout the rest of the state.

You can listen to Griffith’s entire interview from this weekend’s Copper Country Today here.

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