For more than two decades the Michigan Department of Natural Resources has been doing damage to over 3,000 acres of natural wetlands in Barraga and Houghton counties in the Upper Peninsula.
This land, near the Sturgeon River, was a flood plain during the spring high-water season. It was an area of startling natural beauty that provided a home for black bears, bobcats, deer, northern pike and many other animals.
Then in 1975, bureaucrats decided to improve upon Mother Nature by attracting more migratory waterfowl to the area. Bulldozers diverted the Sturgeon River in several places, created nearly 13 miles of dikes, 11 hundred acres of artificial ponds, and cleared more than 300 acres of natural vegetation where a field of potholes now lies.
Unfortunately, the soil where new ponds were created is sandy and unable to support standing water. A series of large, unsightly pumps maintains a sufficiently high water level in the area. Frightened by the noisy pumps, the waterfowl the area was supposed to attract have migrated elsewhere.
So, remembergovernment can be just as blind to the environmental harm it causes as any private-sector polluterand twice as dangerous, because it wields the force of law.
For the Mackinac Center, I'm Catherine Martin.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
Please consider contributing to our work to advance a freer and more prosperous state.