- Associated Press - Friday, July 21, 2017

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) - A conservation group in Michigan is raising money to purchase and maintain campground that belonged to the Boy Scouts.

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy started a $3.9 million fundraising campaign this week to buy the proposed Upper Manistee Headwaters Preserve, formerly known as Camp Tapico, the Record-Eagle (https://bit.ly/2uiwnyN ) reported.

Michigan Crossroads Council Board President Raymond Davis said the 1,280-acre property went on sale in 2016 after the state’s Boy Scout operation consolidated and cut its 17 camp holdings by half. The council is a local chapter of the Boy Scouts of America that serves the youth of the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.

The organization, which merged nine councils into one in 2012, wanted to divest itself of the land holding that cost $50,000 in insurance and maintenance. Davis said the camp “competed against themselves” in terms of too many camps in geographic areas.

“(Tapico) was a beautiful camp, but in terms of where it was located, it was non-essential property,” Davis said.

Conservancy Director Glen Chown said the Boy Scouts ran Camp Tapico from 1946 through 2012. The land includes the 130-acre Grass Lake, several kettle ponds and a stretch of the Manistee River’s North Branch.

“It’s hard to appreciate just how unique this property is,” said Chown, referencing the property’s “top 25” ranking out of 12,500 sites in the group’s system. Inventories have so far found more than 100 plant species, 60 bird species and no invasive species.

“The Boy Scouts were outstanding stewards,” Chown said.

He said the preserve will be closed for the next three years. It’ll only be shown by appointment and through conservancy-guided public hikes until funding is complete.


Information from: Traverse City Record-Eagle, https://www.record-eagle.com

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