Will any shoreline or beach area be affected?
No. Any exchange of land would not involve any shoreline or beach property.
What will happen to campsites in the state park?
Not a single campsite will be lost under Option 1 or Option 2. With MDNR approvals, improvements including modern facilities could be added to some of the camping areas. There are no changes planned to the 81 rustic campsites in the park for either option.
Has any of the land proposed in the exchange been mined already?
If a land exchange were to take place, St. Marys Cement would trade un-mined land it owns further to the south and near the middle of Fisherman’s Island State Park to the State for un-mined land at the north end of the park.
Does this project involve any fracking or strip mining?
St. Marys Cement produces cement – they do not engage in fracking or strip mining and neither Option 1 nor Option 2 would involve those practices.
What will happen to current trails in the park?
All trails would be preserved under both Option 1 and Option 2. New trails – including a bicycle trail – could be added if MDNR would like to pursue that option.
How would a land exchange impact the entrance to the park?
Under Option 2, exchanging land between St. Marys and the State of Michigan, the existing entrance to FISP on Bells Bay Road would be closed and re-located. One or more new entrances would be built. However, any changes to the park, including to the entrances, would need Michigan Department of Natural Resources approval.
What does the state park gain in a potential exchange of land?
Under Option 2, the exchange of land between St. Marys and the State of Michigan would result in a net gain of about 40 acres of land for Fisherman’s Island State Park, including access to 4,000 feet of McGeach Creek and more natural wetlands and critical habitat.
Because it would result in some changes to the park, Option 2 would appear to
create an opportunity to achieve some of the “10-Year Action Goals” and “General Action Goals” presented by the MDNR in its General Management Plan for FISP. In exchange for being able to consolidate our future mining operations further from our neighbors than would be the case under Option 1, St. Marys would consider providing financial and other resources to support the MDNR’s ability to make improvements consistent with the GMP for FISP and identified during public discussions in the coming weeks and months.
How would a land exchange impact St. Marys mining operations?
St. Marys’ mining footprint would be consolidated under Option 2. The mine’s border with the park and berm would shrink from 3.8 miles to 2.2 miles.
How would a land exchange impact residential areas and local roads?
The mine’s future impact (noise, dust, trucks) on residential areas at the south end of the park such as Clipperview and Cedarview would be substantially reduced under Option 2. Groundwater impacts from mining operations would also decrease. Additionally, wear and tear on nearby roads would be reduced because SMC trucks would be traveling shorter distances. SMC believes a plant with fewer acres and fewer neighbors is better than one with more acreage and more neighbors.
Would Option 1 or Option 2 impact any jobs or operations at St. Marys?
Thanks to significant investments to improve longevity, increase production and efficiency, and the installation of more environmental and health protections, the future of the St. Marys Cement plant, and the 135+ workers it employs, would be secure.