State Rep. Greg Markkanen today voted for planned recreational upgrades in Keweenaw and Iron counties that he worked to secure in the Legislature.
Within House Bill 4238 is grant funding for:
- Acquisition of Fort Wilkins – Keweenaw Point: The state will add approximately 4,000 acres near Fort Wilkins Historic State Park, which contains lakes, streams, snowmobile trails, mountain bike trails, hunting, fishing, hiking, paddle-sports, and more.
- Replacement of the Pentoga Park Boat Launch and Iron Belle Trailhead: The state will replace the boat launch, while adding a vault toilet and accessible parking improvements. The launch site will be a trailhead connecting the park to the Iron County Heritage Trail. The park is 66 acres on Chicagon Lake and features a campground, beach, and picnic pavilion.
“Here in the U.P. we have some of the finest natural resources in the state, which leads to phenomenal outdoor recreation opportunities,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “The projects I was able to help secure will enhance portions of Keweenaw and Iron counties, making them more enjoyable for both residents and tourists.”
Money in the Natural Resources Trust Fund comes from revenues generated by the development of minerals on state land – not taxpayer money – and is distributed on an annual basis in partnership with local governments. The money must be used for land acquisition or recreational development projects, according to the Michigan Constitution. The trust fund program dates back to the 1970s.
The recommendations within HB 4238 advance to the Senate for further consideration.
State Rep. Greg Markkanen represents the 110th House District, which includes the Upper Peninsula counties of Iron, Houghton, Keweenaw, Ontonagon, and Gogebic, and a portion of Dickinson County.
State Reps. Greg Markkanen and Dave Prestin expressed frustration after Michigan’s request for assistance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) was recently rejected despite major damage to the Upper Peninsula between April and May.
Thanks to the most recent round of Going PRO Talent Fund grants, businesses in Gogebic and Houghton counties will receive nearly $90,000 in funding to help local workers receive the training they need to gain and retain high-skill, high-wage careers.