Recreation area comments sought

If you enjoy one of the Upper Peninsula’s greatest natural wonders – Piers Gorge – mark June 11 on your calendar.

That’s when the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources will conduct a public meeting to review the draft plan concepts for Menominee River State Recreation Area. Piers Gorge is part of the recreation area.

Area residents are invited to review and comment on draft management plan concepts for the Menominee River State Recreation Area on Wednesday, June 11, at Faithorn Township Hall on County Road 577.

The open house is scheduled for 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. with a short presentation summarizing the draft concepts at 5:15 p.m.

This is not the first public meeting on this recreation area, nor will it be the last. Still, you don’t want to miss any opportunity to offer your input if this area is important to you.

This is your time to learn, listen and voice your opinion. If you wait until the plan and rules and regulations are finalized, it will be too late.

Management plans guide the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Parks and Recreation Division in carrying out its mission to protect and preserve the site’s natural and cultural resources and to provide access to land- and water-based public recreation and education opportunities.

Encompassing both sides of the Menominee River and starting just downriver from Niagara, Wis., the Menominee River State Recreation Area in Marinette County, Wis., and Dickinson County provides 7,283 acres of public lands and access to 17 miles of river offering premier outdoor recreation opportunities.

The Michigan DNR announced in November 2010 that the state was buying about 2,000 acres of land to create the Menominee River State Recreation Area in Dickinson and Menominee counties.

The acreage features whitewater rapids, waterfalls and scenic, rocky gorges.

The acreage includes two separate tracts – Piers Gorge and Quiver Falls.

Piers Gorge is located one mile south of Norway, and includes 145.35 acres of land and 1.5 miles of access along the Menominee River.

The acreage includes whitewater rapids and waterfalls, and contains some of the fastest-moving water in Michigan or Wisconsin. It is not navigable for general canoeing, but has become a popular destination for expert class kayakers seeking challenging Class IV whitewater.

The parcel also contains good wildlife viewing opportunities for eagles, osprey and waterfowl, as well as public fishing access.

Quiver Falls is eight miles south of Piers Gorge and contains 2,208.83 acres of land and provides eight miles of access along the Menominee River.

It is adjacent to the existing Menominee River Natural Resource Area, a 4,450-acre tract along five miles of the Menominee River managed by both the Michigan and Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources.

The recreation area offers camping, hiking, boating, fishing, hunting, and all-terrain vehicle and snowmobile trails.

The Michigan DNR and Wisconsin DNR are cooperatively planning for the future of the recreation area.

The draft plan concepts not only emphasize protection of the scenic river corridor for river-based recreation, but also envision a number of improvements to the recreation area facilities that will advance recreation experiences.

Those improvements shared between the states include improved river access, restroom facilities, additional camping opportunities, picnic areas, trail developments and educational and interpretive resources.

“The Menominee River State Recreation Area represents an incredible partnership between Michigan and Wisconsin and exciting outdoor recreation opportunities for our citizens and visitors,” said Ron Olson, chief of the Michigan DNR Parks and Recreation Division. “This river corridor and surrounding areas are rich with diverse wildlife, stunning natural places and historic and cultural significance. We want the public to be involved in helping us determine its future.”

If you’re not able to attend the June 11 meeting, a similar session will be held on Thursday, June 12, at Brown County Public Library Weyers-Hilliard Branch at 2680 Riverview Drive in Green Bay, Wis.

You also may provide comments on the draft plan concepts by email to or; or by U.S. mail to Debbie Jensen, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Division, P.O. Box 30257, Lansing, MI 48909-7757.

Comments must be submitted by June 30.