Michigan Trout Unlimited Joins Pigeon River Lawsuit

May 4, 2009

Bryan Burroughs
[email protected]


Michigan Trout Unlimited joins litigation against Golden Lotus for failure of dam at Song of the Morning Ranch on the Pigeon River.

On March 20 2009, Michigan Trout Unlimited and Pigeon River Country Association filed a motion to intervene in the State of Michigan’s lawsuit against Golden Lotus, Inc. – the owner of Song of the Morning Ranch, located along the Pigeon River in Otsego County.  By stipulation of counsel, an order granting Michigan TU’s intervention is expected to be entered by the Honorable Dennis Murphy in the Otsego County Circuit Court in Gaylord, MI in the next few weeks.  The action arises out of the June 2008 failure of the dam at the Song of the Morning Ranch, which is owned and operated by Golden Lotus. Michigan TU filed its motion to intervene bringing additional claims of public nuisance and violation of the Michigan Environmental Protection Act that were not asserted by the State of Michigan. By joining this lawsuit, Michigan TU hopes that Golden Lotus will be held accountable for removal of the dam and remediation of the environmental damage to the river including associated costs.

This dam also failed in 1984, and Michigan TU was a party to litigation at that time.  The Court’s opinion, dated June 8, 1987, specifically stated that:  “…should the dam become a nuisance again, because of Defendant’s … noncompliance with this Court’s order, the Court will require removal of the dam”.  Michigan TU and PRCA are being represented in the present case by Peter L. Gustafson of Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, Grand Rapids, Michigan ((616) 752-2121 or [email protected]).

Michigan Trout Unlimited represents approximately 7,000 members in the State of Michigan and its mission is to conserve, protect and restore cold water fisheries in Michigan.

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