Starting with President Nixon in 1973, every U.S. President has pledged to make America energy independent. That same year, 500 drilling permits were issued in Michigan, and the quest for domestic oil nearly destroyed one small village in Northern Michigan.
Williamsburg is about halfway between Traverse City and Kalkaska. It was settled in a place American Indians called the Weesh Ko Wong, or clear cold water, because of the many natural springs that bubble up there. Spring-fed trout ponds and a state fish hatchery were once the pride of Williamsburg.
It might get a little easier for the Traverse City community to be green this summer.
The city is getting three water bottle filling stations this summer. One new and two retrofitted stations will be installed in The Open Space. They will have a unified look and are forest green in color.
The concept will go to the city commission next week for approval.
Katie Lowran is deputy city clerk for Traverse City. She says the purpose is two-fold.
Statewide Bat Program Director Bill Scullon explains the bat's importance to Michigan agriculture and why the fungus makes it so hard for bats to survive the harsh Michigan winter.
Bats play a critical role for farms and forests by eating insects, lots of them.
“Bats in Michigan had an economic benefit of $528 million to $1.2 billion dollars for farmers,” says Bill Scullon, the statewide bat program coordinator for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
IPR's Peter Payette talks Glen Ruczynski of with the Northern Michigan Mountain Bike Association, who says he thinks the problems on the Vasa have been overblown. He also talks about bikers' hopes to build a separate trail.
Fat-tire bikes have become a popular winter sport, but they’re not too popular on the Vasa Pathway. The bicycles are a new trend. They’re designed for use on packed snow.
Some skiers would like to ban them from the trail near Traverse City. Pete LaPlaca is board president of the North American Vasa Ski Race. He says there are safety concerns.
"Our trails are only 11 to 12 feet wide, which makes it difficult for passing or sharing the trails," he says. "Most of the trail systems are 20 feet or more in width and there’s much more room for passing."
The trail is on state land. And the Department of Natural Resources is asking for public comments.