Peaine and St. James Townships voted unanimously to establish the NRESC. The text of the resolution is below. A copy of the document is available here: http://www.charlevoixcounty.org/downloads/nresc_resolution063011.pdf.
Amended and Restated
Resolution Establishing the Beaver Island
Natural Resources and Ecotourism Steering Committee
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 and needs and assets assessment for 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
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
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 decisionmakers
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
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
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
a) Central Michigan University;
b) the Beaver Island Wildlife Club;
c) the Beaver Island Association;
d) the Peaine Township Trails Committee;
e) the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians;
f) the Peaine Township Plan Commission;
g) the St. James Township Plan Commission;
h) the Michigan Department of Natural Resources;
i) the Beaver Island Historical Society;
j) the Little Traverse Conservancy;
k) the Little Traverse Bay Band of Odawa Indians;
l) the Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce;
m) the Beaver Island Community School;
n) the real estate and construction businesses on the Island; and
o) 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