house resolution no.232

Reps. Markkanen and Prestin offered the following resolution:

A resolution to urge the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission to declare the Houghton-Douglass Falls as the Houghton-Douglass Falls Veterans Scenic Site, a unit of McLain State Park.

Whereas, The Houghton-Douglass Falls, located in northern Houghton County, is Michiganís tallest waterfall, cascading an impressive 110 feet from top to bottom. The waterfall discharges into the scenic Hammell Creek gorge, which is flanked by high rock walls and mixed stands of cedars, spruce, and pines. In addition to being regarded as one of the stateís most picturesque sites, the falls are also a site of state historical and cultural significance; and

Whereas, The waterfall was named in honor of Douglass Houghton, who was Michiganís first state geologist, and his cousin Columbus Douglass. Houghton and Douglass worked together on geologic copper and iron ore surveys and exploration of the Upper Peninsula. The waterfall was historically a popular place for locals to visit, but concerns surrounding safety and overuse eventually led to the closure of public access; and

Whereas, In 2018, a 70-acre parcel comprised of the Houghton-Douglass Falls and the surrounding land was acquired by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) with a Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. The DNR purchased the property with the intention of preserving the siteís natural beauty and eventually reopening the site to the public as a recreational park. The previous owner, who is a Vietnam veteran, graciously agreed to sell the property to the DNR with the understanding that the site would be dedicated to all the brave and courageous individuals who have served in the military, especially those who continue to suffer from the lingering effects of their experiences. Later that year, the DNR dedicated the Houghton-Douglass Falls as a Veterans Memorial Park; and

Whereas, Michiganís State Parks and Scenic Areas include some of the stateís most iconic and beautiful areas, serving to preserve and protect the stateís most significant natural and historic resources and provide recreational opportunities for visitors. These areas help enhance the social, economic, and environmental well-being of the communities surrounding them. For these reasons and reasons stated above, the Houghton-Douglass Falls would be a valuable and worthwhile addition to Michiganís system of State Parks and Scenic Areas; now, therefore, be it

Resolved by the House of Representatives, That we urge the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission to declare the Houghton-Douglass Falls as the Houghton-Douglass Falls Veterans Scenic Site, a unit of McLain State Park; and be it further

Resolved, That copies of this resolution be transmitted to the Director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the members of the Natural Resources Commission.