171 acres of Saugatuck shoreline to be preserved, purchase set at $25M

After years of struggle and controversy, hundreds of acres of fragile Great Lakes ecosystem will be remanded to one lakeshore city for preservation.

According to excerpts from the story:

SAUGATUCK—The Land Conservancy of Michigan has signed a non-binding agreement with owners to buy the south Denison land for $25 million, with the 171-acre shoreline parcel to be assigned to the City of Saugatuck for preservation.

“It’s a big step,” said Conservancy director Helen Taylor, who has worked with the city for years in trying to acquire the private land for the public.

“But there are more steps, including securing the funds, to go.”

Locals have sought to acquire the undeveloped Lake Michigan beach and dunes, which stretch from city-owned Oval Beach to the Kalamazoo River mouth, since Denison family heirs listed it for sale.

When Aubrey McClendon, the billionaire co-founder/president of Oklahoma City-based natural gas giant Chesapeake Energy Co., bought the entire 403-acre Denison land north and south of the river in 2006 for $39.5 million, public purchase hopes seemed over.

Read the complete story here.

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