Moolenaar to lead second tour of Heritage Route 23I am pleased to announce that on July 18-19, I will be leading a two-day tour of Heritage Route 23 with legislators and numerous state officials. We did a similar tour last year that was tremendously successful in highlighting the region and helping bring tourism, visibility, and attention to Michigan's Sunrise Coast.
The tour will mirror last year's trek by starting in Standish and traveling the 200 miles of scenic roadway along the Huron Shores Heritage Route up to Mackinaw City. The trip will highlight many businesses and attractions along the way, such as Harrisville State Park, an area blueberry farm and a glass-bottom boat tour of shipwrecks.
Stay tuned for more information on this tour or contact my office at 517-373-7946.
For those unfamiliar with the route, it offers spectacular views of Sunrise Coast and an astounding array of large public forest and recreational properties. Travelers wind up the Lake Huron coastline and come across some of the state's best recreational activities and distinctive historical and cultural sites.
Discover more information on Heritage Route 23 by visiting the route's website at: www.us23heritageroute.org.
Learn to fish for some summer funFishing offers an opportunity for families to get together and have a good time in Michigan's great outdoors. I encourage everyone to enjoy some the world's best fishing, pass down the tradition of fishing or just use fishing as a reason to get away from the stress of life and relax.
If you would like to learn to fish or need someone to teach the kids, plan to attend a "Hook, Line and Sinker" program at selected state parks this summer. Beginning anglers can learn fishing basics like knot-tying, casting, selecting and using bait, and removing the fish from the hook.
Best of all, the program is free. There is no charge for the instruction and equipment is provided for those who don't have their own. All that's needed is a Recreation Passport for each vehicle entering the park.
For a listing of participating parks statewide, visit www.michigan.gov/hooklineandsinker.
The 2013 Michigan Fishing Guide has useful information and can be obtained anywhere fishing licenses are sold. The guide is also available online at www.eregulations.com/michigan/fishing, which is a comprehensive website loaded with helpful links to valuable information, such as materials on knowing your fish and fishing seasons and regulations.
Moolenaar supports reforms to fireworks lawLast year - for the first time - Michigan consumers could celebrate Independence Day and buy fireworks like bottle rockets, Roman candles, and firecrackers in our state. Unfortunately, some "over-exuberant" celebrants prompted numerous complaints by setting off fireworks well into the early morning hours.
I supported legislation to expand the ability of local units of government to further regulate the use of these fireworks. Public act 65 of 2013 allows cities, townships and villages to prohibit their overnight use on the day before, of, or after a national holiday. The use of these "consumer grade" fireworks is already subject to local ordinances on all the other days of the year.
While sales of fireworks have brought in welcome revenue to the state, we've found out that you can't put a price on a good night's sleep!
Be cautious with fireworks and campfiresSummertime and the Fourth of July holiday offer great opportunities a fun time with family and friends in Michigan's great outdoors. When it comes to celebrating America with fireworks or setting a campfire, it is also offers a time to remember the importance of safety.
If you head out to a state park or campground or just into your own backyard, please remember that you can have fun and be safe at the same time.
Three key safety tips to keep in mind when using fireworks are to point fireworks away from homes; keep them away from brush and leaves; and always soak fireworks in a bucket of water before throwing them in the trash.
For fire prevention information and safety tips, visit www.michigan.gov/preventwildfires.
Moolenaar supports reform to Groundwater Withdrawal Dispute Resolution ProgramAccess to water is critical for agriculture, and this common sense reform improves a program that has already proven valuable for agricultural well users across Michigan in avoiding expensive court costs while allowing for a sharing of Michigan's waters.
Michigan protects the rights of all users to a reasonable use of water, and the Groundwater Withdrawal Dispute Resolution Program helps protect an equitable share of our water resources for everyone.
Under the Senate changes, the program would be mandatory for agricultural wells, but optional for non-agricultural well owners. It includes an informal meeting with the Department of Agriculture and Rural Development director that would be a last call for discussion and evidence before a dispute could be declared.
I have long supported a dispute resolution program that uses sound science for resolving disagreements while providing ample opportunity for all parties to participate and present information prior to an order being issued.
Other non-farm well users have the option of participating, but the real focus of the reform is on agricultural-related disputes, which have long been a source of contention in the state.
The Senate reforms have the support of more than 15 groups, including the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Farm Bureau, Michigan Agribusiness Association and Michigan Potato Growers Association.