The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Front.cheers
    MACEE BEERS joins other Fayette Elementary School students for the annual Mini-Cheer performance during the half-time break at the basketball game.
  • Family.3.wide
    CHILDREN at Stair District Library’s Family Story Time toss scarves into the air during an activity. The evening program provided a mix of stories, songs, dancing, crafts and snacks Monday evening. The program is offered at 5:30 p.m. every Monday for five more weeks. The program is designed for three to five year olds and their family.
  • Front.newpaper.2
    THE INTERVIEW—Evelyn Joughin (right) records the interaction with an iPad while Jack Varga, next to her, asks questions of Morenci Elementary School principal Gail Frey. Morenci senior Sam Cool (standing) listens. Cool serves as the editor for the newspaper written by members of Mrs. Barrett’s second grade class.
  • Front.code.2
    WRITING CODE—Brock Christle (left), a Morenci fifth grade student, takes a look at the progress being made by fourth grader Anthony Lewis. Libby Rorick, a sixth grade student, is next in a line of girls trying out the coding tutorials. This year marked Morenci’s second year of participation in the Hour of Code project.
  • Front.gym.new
    REMIE RYAN (left) tries to dodge the foam wand held by Hayden Bays during physical education class at Morenci Elementary School. In the background, Lauryn Dominique and Brooklyn Williams stay clear of the tag. Second grade students were working on cardiovascular health on the first day back from vacation. For the record, Safety Tag is a very difficult sport to photograph.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.library.books
    MACK DICKSON takes a book off the “blind date” cart at the Fayette library. Patrons can choose a book without knowing what’s inside other than a general category. The books are among those designated for removal so patrons can consider them gifts. In Morenci, new books and staff favorites were chosen from the stacks and must be returned. Patrons get a piece of chocolate, too, to take on their date, but no clue about their “date.” One reader said she really enjoyed her book for a few pages, but then lost interest—so typical for a blind date.

Lake Hudson: Some land to be leased

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Decades ago, when Lake Hudson State Recreation Area was still private property, much of the land was used for agriculture.

A portion of what’s now state land will return to agriculture next year through a new lease program.

lake-hudson-storyPark supervisor Tim Bauer advertised last month to gauge interest in the program and he was encouraged by the response. He plans to move forward and seek bids for the next planting season.

Just under 500 of the park’s 2,900 acres will be leased. Acreage is located in three parcels—one located off Lawrence Road, one off Posey Lake Highway and the third off Tomer Road.

The successful bidder could lease all three properties or only one. Bids will be opened at

the Department of Natural Resources office in Roscommon.

Bauer cites two reasons for the program. The obvious one, he said, is to bring in needed revenue for the state park system. Each park unit in the state faces a challenge to bring in new revenue and this was Bauer’s answer. To his knowledge, this is the first agricultural lease program established.

For years a sharecropper program has operated at Lake Hudson in which, for example, a farmer plants 20 acres of corn and leaves two acres standing for wildlife.

The new program is completely different, Bauer said. Renters may plant whatever they want and harvest it all.

There is an important stipulation, however, and that leads to the second benefit for the park.

“Part of the bid package is that they will have to maintain food plots [for wildlife],” Bauer said.

Free seed from the National Wild Turkey Federation—including sunflowers and sorghum—must be planted along field edges at the width of one grain drill. The bid details will be specific about where the wildlife strips must be located.

“This will be an enhancement for hunting and wildlife activities,” he said.

Bauer said leases will be signed for a five-year period, with two one-year extensions possible. He was told the land would be very good for forage crops and could be of interest to area dairy farms.

Morenci city council recently leased undeveloped land in the industrial park for more than $100 an acre.

Bauer said he wouldn’t be surprised to hear of complaints about the program. Any time there’s a change it won’t sit right with everyone, he said. From his perspective, the move will be a plus for wildlife, both game and otherwise.

Unique place

Bauer has worked at several parks in his career, but he’s developed a special liking for Lake Hudson.

“It’s really a lot different than other parks,” he said. “It has a lot of unique features.”

The on-going muskie brood lake project, the lake level control structure, rustic campsites, the night sky preserve, the uncrowded conditions—those are a few of Lake Hudson’s aspects that quickly come to his mind.

“Sometimes you like to see a place that’s quieter and more serene,” he said. “Lake Hudson is a cool park.”

Bauer mentioned a study by the National Wildlife Federation that found Americans too disconnected with the outdoors. People just aren’t getting enough contact with the natural world, he said.

Lake Hudson, with its grasslands, woods, trails, lake and night sky, could be just the answer.

As undeveloped areas continue to shrink, preserved land can only become more important, Bauer said. The likelihood of new parks coming into existence also gets smaller.

“In time, these properties’ worth will become absolutely immeasurable,” he said.

  - Oct. 4, 2006

 

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