Casperson, McBroom to host town hall meetings Friday & Saturday

LANSING―State Sen. Tom Casperson announced he and state Rep. Ed McBroom will host two town hall meetings with constituents this week in Stephenson and Iron Mountain.

Casperson, R-Escanaba, and McBroom, R-Vulcan, will give a brief overview of current issues facing the Michigan Legislature. There will be a question and answer session to follow.

The events are free and open to the public.

The town hall meeting schedule is as follows:

Friday, April 29
5 – 7 p.m. Central Daylight Time
County Annex Building
S904 U.S. Highway 41
Stephenson, MI

Saturday, April 30
3 – 5 p.m. Central Daylight Time
Dickinson County Circuit Courtroom
705 S. Stephenson
Iron Mountain, MI
 

Casperson to host more town hall meetings Saturday

LANSING―State Sen. Tom Casperson announced he will host two additional town hall meetings with constituents this week in Houghton and Baraga.

Casperson said he will give a brief overview of current issues facing the Michigan Legislature. There will be a question and answer session to follow.

“I look forward to meeting with 38th District residents, answering any questions they have and discussing the many legislative issues that are important to the Upper Peninsula,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba.

The events are free and open to the public.

The town hall meeting schedule is as follows:

Saturday, April 23

9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Isle Royale Ballroom within Memorial Union Hall
Michigan Technological University
Houghton, MI

1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Baraga Housing Commission
412 Michigan Ave.
Baraga, MI

Casperson is also hosting two events on Thursday. Visit his website for more information on those: http://www.MISenateGOP.com/senators/readarticle.asp?id=3880&District=38

Casperson to host town hall meetings

LANSING―State Sen. Tom Casperson announced today that he will host two town hall meetings with constituents next week in Munising and Seney.

Casperson said he will give a brief overview of current issues facing the Michigan Legislature. There will be a question and answer session to follow.

“I look forward to meeting with 38th District residents, answering any questions they have and discussing the many issues in the Legislature that are important to the Upper Peninsula,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba.

This event is free and open to the public.

The town hall meeting schedule is as follows:

Thursday, April 21
11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Sydney's Restaurant
400 Cedar St.
Munising, MI

6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Seney Town Hall
1576 Railroad St.
Seney, MI
 

Northern Michigan lawmakers propose solution to state forest campground closures

LANSING – Twelve northern Michigan lawmakers are seeking an alternative to a Department of Natural Resources plan that is closing 23 more state forest campgrounds throughout the region.

The legislators, whose counties have been affected by the announced closures, have formed a coalition asking local units of government to consider owning the campgrounds.

State Sen. Tom Casperson, who chairs the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee, says the plan is a sensible, long-term solution.

“We know that local units of government could do a spectacular job managing these campgrounds,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba. “This could be a great opportunity for them to create and enhance recreational attractions in their own backyard, while providing them with a potential source of revenue.”

Casperson added: “The closure of these campgrounds is a prime example of the DNR not being able to manage the property that it currently owns. It speaks to the need for a better plan for state ownership of land. If the state cannot afford to manage the land it owns, the state should not be adding to its acreages. It is time to look at strategies to make sure the land is owned by someone who can care for it, increase recreation opportunities and help revitalize Michigan’s economy.”

The coalition includes Casperson and Sens. John Moolenaar, R-Midland; Darwin Booher, R-Evart; and Howard Walker, R-Traverse City; and Reps. Jon Bumstead, R-Newaygo; Frank Foster, R-Pellston; Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine; Greg McMaster, R-Kewadin; Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan; Peter Pettalia, R-Presque Isle; Phil Potvin, R-Cadillac; and Wayne Schmidt, R-Traverse City.

The group is developing legislation that would transfer the management responsibilities of the state forest campgrounds as well as the land rights for $1, if the locals agree to keep the property open for campground purposes.

"With the Department of Natural Resources indicating it is unable to properly manage these campgrounds, local governments deserve some options," said Sen. John Moolenaar. "If the DNR is unwilling or unable to handle this assignment, then local units may be the answer. Their involvement could provide needed services to the public and attract visitors to northern Michigan."

Moolenaar said that the program is voluntary.

“It’s up to the locals,” he said. “If they want to take ownership of the campground they can. If they don’t want that responsibility, then there would be no obligation to do so.”

The coalition is working at several levels to seek input from the local governments affected.

“These campgrounds are precious resources and we are eager to hear from the people most directly impacted,” Casperson concluded.

Casperson working on bill to limit state ownership of land

LANSING — State Sen. Tom Casperson is pursuing legislation to establish a no-net-gain policy for land owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

Senate Bill 248 would cap the amount of land that the department can own to what it currently owns, roughly 4.5 million acres of land or 12 percent of Michigan’s land base.  According to the DNR, Michigan owns more land than any state east of the Mississippi River.

“Our state lands are valuable assets and treasures for the people of Michigan to enjoy,” said Casperson, R-Escanaba.  “While we value the opportunities that some publicly owned lands provide in terms of recreation and tourism, the DNR continues to limit access and use of these lands by the public.  It makes little sense for the department to continue to buy land when it cannot properly manage the land it already has.”

Casperson added: “A perfect illustration of this problem occurred this week when the DNR announced its plans to close 23 more state forest campgrounds claiming that it can no longer afford to operate them. Yet the department continues to pursue acquisitions of more land.”

The legislation would allow the DNR to continue to purchase land, such as parcels for connecting trails or property that may be landlocked by state owned land; however, an equal amount would need to be sold and put back into private ownership.

Other states, such as Iowa and Minnesota, are also considering changing their policies concerning state land ownership.

“Given the challenges facing both our state economy and the state budget, we should not be in the business of buying more land.  It affects local governments and services, and it also hurts local school districts.” Casperson said. “Before proceeding with more land purchases, the DNR must have a clear land strategy in place and be able to afford to manage the land it owns.”

SB 248 is now under consideration by the Senate Natural Resources, Environment and Great Lakes Committee chaired by Casperson.  Gov. Rick Snyder has indicated to Casperson that he supports the concept of the measure. 

Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan, has introduced House Bill 4473, which is similar legislation in the state House.
 

Sen. Casperson to hold town hall meeting in Marquette

WHO: State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; and interested parties.

WHAT: Casperson plans to hold four town hall meetings in the 38th Senate District in the next week.

WHEN: Monday, April 18
6 to 8 p.m. EST

WHERE: Marquette County Courthouse
Circuit courtroom
234 W. Baraga Ave.
Marquette

BRIEF: The town hall meetings are designed to give citizens of the 38th Senate District an opportunity to express their concerns about major issues affecting residents of the Upper Peninsula, in particular, and the state in general.

For more information, contact Casperson’s office toll free at: 1-866-305-2038.

Casperson, Huuki to hold town hall meeting in Iron River

WHO: State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Rep. Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine; and interested parties.

WHAT: Casperson plans to hold four town hall meetings in the 38th Senate District in the next week.

WHEN: Saturday, April 9
6 to 8 p.m. CST

WHERE: The Station
30 Fourth Ave.
Iron River

BRIEF: The town hall meetings are designed to give citizens of the 38th Senate District an opportunity to express their concerns about major issues affecting residents of the Upper Peninsula, in particular, and the state in general.

For more information, contact Casperson’s office toll free at: 1-866-305-2038.

Casperson, McBroom to hold town hall meeting

WHO: State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Rep. Ed McBroom, R-Vulcan; and interested parties.

WHAT: Casperson plans to hold four town hall meetings in the 38th Senate District in the next week.

WHEN: Thursday, April 7
6 to 8 p.m. EST

WHERE: Delta County Courthouse
Circuit Courtroom
310 Ludington St.
Escanaba

BRIEF: The town hall meetings are designed to give citizens of the 38th Senate District an opportunity to express their concerns about major issues affecting residents of the Upper Peninsula, in particular, and the state in general.

For more information, contact Casperson’s office toll free at: 1-866-305-2038.
 

Casperson, Huuki to hold town hall meeting in Watersmeet

 

WHO: State Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba; Rep. Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine; and interested parties.

WHAT: Casperson plans to hold four town hall meetings in the 38th Senate District in the next week.

WHEN: Saturday, April 9
11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST

WHERE: Watersmeet Township School District – Library
4720 N. U.S. Highway 45
Watersmeet

BRIEF: The town hall meetings are designed to give citizens of the 38th Senate District an opportunity to express their concerns about major issues affecting residents of the Upper Peninsula, in particular, and the state in general.

For more information, contact Casperson’s office toll free at: 1-866-305-2038.