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Funding For Western UP Outdoor Recreation Projects Approved

More than $800,000 has been approved by the state for outdoor recreation projects in Baraga, Keweenaw, and Gogebic Counties.

State Representative Greg Markkanen said this funding will go toward a half dozen projects that range from trail construction to park upgrades and land acquisition.

“Our state’s outdoor recreation and tourism industry brings billions of dollars to Michigan each year and supports more than 170,000 jobs – many of those dollars come to the Upper Peninsula, home of our state’s most treasured landmarks, lakeshores and forests,” Markkanen said. “I am proud to support a plan that supports jobs, growth and our U.P way of life.”

The full plan includes $26 million for 34 recreational development projects and 30 land acquisition projects statewide.

The project investments outlined in the proposal were recommended by the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board in December.

Photo by Neil Harri

Funds will be used for the development of a pathway and picnic area upgrades at Point Abbaye Natural Area in Baraga County.

In Keweenaw County, the money will go toward the development of 15.6 miles of a 30-mile bike-optimized, looped multi-use non-motorized trail through rugged and remote terrain paralleling Lake Superior at Keweenaw Point near Copper Harbor on state land.

The Gogebic County projects include upgrades on the Iron Belle Trail and at Ironwood’s Miners Memorial Heritage Park.

These projects come in addition to roughly $4.4 million in funding administrated by the Department of Natural Resources for projects in the Western U.P. that will get underway in 2019.

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