Preserves open to public
A recent story in the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported a claim that The Nature Conservancy was denying use of land we own for the 2011 Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race.
I want to take this opportunity to clarify an important point: Race organizers were never denied permission to use Conservancy property.
The race took place, and we are happy to host the race on our property again.
Our staff worked with the race organizers to grant permission with the provision that they must have appropriate liability insurance in case of any incident on our property.
We agreed to accept the same level of coverage as the other private landowners, including the State of Michigan, to help them succeed in having the race, and it went forward as planned.
The Nature Conservancy's preserves are open to the public as long as that access is safe for both the public and the resources we are charged to protect.
We allow hunting and fishing on our preserves where safe and appropriate, and have several designated snowmobiles trails that cross our property.
I hope this clarifies our involvement with the Tahquamenon Country Sled Dog Race — we are happy with a successful outcome for all.
The writer is state director for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan