The Rose Township Board of Trustees was recently favored with a presentation by Maura Jung of the township’s Heritage Committee and Planning Commission member on the idea of forming a conservation committee in the township.
According to Jung’s proposal, the Rose Township Conservation Committee would ideally be an active voluntary committee working with and appointed by the Board of Trustees with the express purpose for retaining the township’s rural character.
The committee also would be tasked with preserving the township’s heritage and conserving its valuable natural resources and “keeping it rural.” This would include work to permanently preserve farmland and other natural resources including wetlands, woodland habitats, scenic views, open space, lakes, streams, drinking water sources, as well as the township’s historical heritage.
The conservation committee could have limited duties or a wide range of duties as determined by the Board of Trustees, which include some or all of the following:
• Assist the township with implementing conservation-oriented goals and objectives as listed in the master plan
• Provide researched information and make recommendations to the Township Board on land conservation matters
• Create and distribute educational materials promoting the tools for farmland protection listed in the Farmland Best Practices for Agricultural Land Use section in the master plan
• Form partnerships with appropriate groups for creating programs for retaining rural character and agrarian heritage
• Explore funding opportunities to achieve conservation and preservation goals, including the DNR trust fund and the possibility of a township millage
• Enhance public awareness about identifying and controlling invasive species to retain the quality of natural resources in the township
Jung’s presentation included information from several other Michigan communities that have implemented their own conservation committees.
Supervisor Dianne Scheib-Snider said she would like to create such a committee and come up with a mission statement. Treasurer Paul Gambka and Trustee Glen Noble said they believe the board needs to sit down and discuss how it will be done and how it will be funded.
The concept of a conservation committee will be placed on the board’s November agenda for further discussion.