Amended and Restated
Resolution Establishing the Beaver Island
Whereas, Beaver Island has abundant beautiful and accessible natural resources, and
Whereas, a strong foundation for economic development exists in our existing businesses and new home construction, and
Whereas our natural resources attract new full-time and summer residents and the construction of new homes, all of which are critical to the Beaver Island economy, and
Whereas habitat and wildlife should be preserved, used, and managed as a public trust for such activities as hunting, fishing, flora and fauna viewing, bird watching, academic research, and the general social and economic health of the Island, and
Whereas, Beaver Island has a need for increased tourism to provide economic development for the Island including but not limited to business for restaurants, Island shops, and lodging establishments, and increased exposure to the Island by tourists who may ultimately decide to live on the Island, and
Whereas, the Island has an opportunity to provide for a unique wilderness experience, and
Whereas, Beaver Island needs to plan for tourism growth in a way that will provide economic development and preserve the natural beauty of the Island, and
Whereas, the fastest growing sector of the tourism industry is ecotourism, encompassing such experiences as bird watching, hiking, cross-country skiing, mountain biking, kayaking, and nature walks, and
Whereas Central Michigan University, our Lake Michigan shoreline, our dunes, our forests, and our inland lakes provide exciting opportunities for research, recreation, home ownership, preservation, and ecotourism, Now, therefore,
It is hereby resolved by the Townships of St. James and Peaine that the Resolution establishing the Beaver Island Natural Resources and Ecotourism Commission is hereby amended and restated to form a Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee as follows:
The Steering Committee is formed to engage in the following activities:
1. Obtain an inventory of needs and assets assessment of Island resources.
2. Develop a plan for promoting the Island as a good place for home ownership in a manner consistent with maintaining the character of the Island and promoting preservation of the Island's character.
3. Develop a balanced plan for promoting preservation and achieving sustainable economic growth and development for the Island, working with state, county, federal, and local governments and private agencies engaged in preservation.
4. Identify threats to the Island's ecosystem and plan ways to manage those threats.
5. Foster improved understanding of our sensitive natural resources and habitat by Islanders and visitors.
6. Develop a plan for promoting the Island as a unique opportunity for an ecotourism experience. Such plan might include opportunity for guided nature walks, self-guided trips, classroom study, and nature photography. Work with state, federal and other agencies engaged in the promotion of tourism.
7. Advocate for preservation of areas where our natural resources should be preserved to enhance our ecotourism opportunities and to maintain the unique beauty of Beaver Island.
8. Identify areas for expanded and/or improved trails for nature walks. Propose improvements which would enhance the experience in those areas, such as board walks, benches, viewing areas, picnic tables, maps, signage, trail markers, brochures, and other such improvements.
9. Identify bird-watching opportunities on the Island and locations where improvements such as viewing stations and viewing equipment could be located. Create and distribute informational brochures.
10. Identify potential forest trails where forest land could be preserved, and identify old growth access sites.
11. Provide opportunities to appreciate the ecology of wetlands.
12. Share ideas and plans with the public and offer the public an opportunity for input before recommending actions.
13. With approval of the Townships seek grant funding to promote preservation, ecotourism, recreation, and academic research.
14. Engage in other activities as determined from time to time by the Townships to further the purpose of preservation of the Island's natural resources and promotion of ecotourism.
In engaging in its activities, the Steering Committee shall:
1. Act as a committee of the Townships, reporting to each Township with recommendations for action. Any plan, regulations, laws, or ordinances proposed by the Steering Committee shall be presented to the public, the Planning Commissions of each Township, and the St. James and Peaine Township Boards, who shall be the decision-makers for their respective Townships.
2. Inform the public of its activities and solicit input from the public.
3. Inform the Township Boards of its activities and solicit input from the Township Boards.
4. Balance the need for preservation with the need for recreation and sustainable economic growth for the Island.
5. Form a five-member Executive Board, which shall attend an annual open meeting with the combined Boards of the Townships in January at which the Executive Committee shall present a written annual report, including a financial report, describe the activities, accomplishments, and plans of the Steering Committee, and answer any questions. The Steering Committee shall update this annual written report and deliver it to the Townships at each Township's annual meeting.
The Townships agree that the Steering Committee and its activities are important to the Island and agree that the Township Board members will read the materials presented to them by the Steering Committee, and will meet with the Steering Committee if they have any questions or concerns about the activities engaged in by the Steering Committee.
The Steering Committee shall be formed and have members appointed as follows:
1. Peaine Township and St. James Township shall each appoint a representative to the Steering Committee.
2. The following organizations may each designate a representative to the Steering Committee, which the Steering Committee shall nominate for the approval of both Township Boards; nominees will become Members upon written approval of both Townships:
Central Michigan University;
the Beaver Island Wildlife Club;
the Beaver Island Association;
the Peaine Township Trails Committee;
the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians;
the Peaine Township Plan Commission;
the St. James Township Plan Commission;
the Michigan Department of Natural Resources;
the Beaver Island Historical Society;
the Little Traverse Conservancy;
the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians;
the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce;
the Beaver Island Community School;
the real estate and construction businesses on the Island; and
the Beaver Island Conservation Club.
3. A Member may be appointed who represents more than one of the above interested organizations. A Member representing more than one organization will only have one vote.
4. These appointed Members can nominate additional Members with certain areas of expertise in natural resource preservation or eco-tourism; they will become a Member upon written approval of both Townships.
5. Upon the resignation or departure of a Member the Steering Committee shall ask the organization that person represented to suggest a replacement, whom the Steering Committee shall nominate to the Townships for their approval. If any organization declines to designate a representative, the Steering Committee can nominate someone to fill that slot who will become a Member upon written approval of both Townships.
6. The Steering Committee members shall serve three year terms. Upon initial organization, the first terms shall be staggered so that the initial Members serve 1, 2, or 3 year terms, so that a roughly-equal number of terms are expiring annually. Members added after the initial term selection shall initially be appointed for a term length which will balance the number of terms expiring in any given year.
The Steering Committee may receive donations, which shall be held for it in a separate fund by Peaine Township. The Steering Committee shall prepare an annual budget and annual financial statement for presentation to the Townships. Requests for funds for operations must be consistent with this budget. All grants and contracts creating liability for the Steering Committee shall be approved in advance by both Townships.
The Steering Committee's meetings shall comply with the Open Meetings Act and any additional regulations regarding meetings provided by the Townships. The Steering Committee shall also comply with the Freedom of Information Act. The Steering Committee shall make all efforts to keep the public informed and to make meetings convenient and open to the public. The By-laws attached as exhibit A hereto shall govern the Steering Committee.
(signed resolution on file with the Clerks of Peaine and St. James Townships))
Approved this ____day of ____, 2011
By the Peaine Township Board
By:_________________________ Attest: ___________________________
Jack Gallagher, Supervisor Colleen Martin, Clerk
Approved this ___day of ________, 2011
By the St. James Township Board
By:_________________________ Attest: _____________________________
Rick Speck, Supervisor Jean Wierenga, Clerk