Trout Unlimited Brokers Dam Removal Agreement on Pigeon River

April 6, 2010

Honorable Dennis F. Murphy of the Otsego County Circuit Court today
signed an interim order in which Golden Lotus, Inc. agreed to remove a
private dam on the Pigeon River that it owns and maintains on its Song
of the Morning Ranch property in Otsego County.  The agreement is in
response to a release of water and sediment from the dam in June 2008,
which resulted in environmental damage on the Pigeon River.  Golden
Lotus also agreed to pay $150,000 as mitigation for alleged damages and
DNRE investigation costs.  

Removal of the private dam is contingent on the absence of any
contaminated sediments.  Golden Lotus has 30 days to submit a conceptual
plan for removal of the dam to the State Technical Review Team,
established by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment.  The
plan will outline dam removal, sediment testing and management, and
restoration of the formerly impounded area to a stable stream channel. 
The plan will also describe a replacement for a bridge that Golden Lotus
will continue to use, per the agreement reached with the state today.

The order further stipulates that the Michigan Chapter of Trout
Unlimited and the State Technical Review Team will assist Golden Lotus
and its experts in connection with identifying data, testing and
documentation requirements, and with the development of a comprehensive
and reasonable dam removal plan.  The order also directs the DNRE and
Trout Unlimited to assist Golden Lotus in identifying grants and other
funding sources to help pay for the activities and construction outlined
in the order.  

“I want to thank the Michigan Chapter of Trout Unlimited for being a
strong partner in this situation and for stepping forward to help Golden
Lotus with a dam removal plan.” said DNRE Director Rebecca Humphries.

This settlement is an example of what can be accomplished when the
parties are willing to work together towards the common goal of the
protection and preservation of the natural resources of this state.  

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