Tribal Council Members
ATTENTION: NESTLE/ICE MOUNTAIN WATER WITHDRAWL
Nestlé/Ice Mountain has applied for a state permit to almost double its allowed groundwater pumping from 250 to 400 gallons per minute (gpm) from White Pine Springs Well (PW-101) in Osceola County, Michigan (After already increasing from 150-250). A citizens' group proved a decade ago that a similar proposal would harm adjacent surface waters, wetlands, fish, and aquatic life. Moreover Nestlé's application for massive groundwater withdrawal does not take into consideration the existence of GTB's treaty rights confirmed in the November 2, 2007 consent decree. The well is located in the territory ceded to the United States in the March 28, 1836 Treaty of Washington. Inland usufructuary rights reserved by GTB and the other 1836 Treaty Tribes "are property rights protected by the United States Constitution." Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians v. Director, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 971 F. Supp. 282, 288 (W. D. Mich. 1995), aff'd. 141 F.3d 635 (6th Cir. 1998), cert. denied, 525 U.S. 1040 (1998). These property rights in the fauna and flora resources dependent upon the Muskegon River tributaries and related wetlands may be adversely impacted by the proposed increase in water withdrawal.
Therefore GTB's Natural Resources Department is coordinating efforts with other Tribes and the expert witnesses from the prior litigation to develop facts establishing adverse impact. In the meantime the deadline for submitting public comments is March 3rd. Tribal Council encourages GTB tribal citizens to submit written comments to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) either by letter or email HERE.
A suggested form letter can be dowloaded HERE
Grand Traverse Band
Main Line: (231) 534-7500
Fax: (231) 534-7576
Desmond L. Berry
Natural Resources Department Manager
Office: (231) 534-7363
Cell: (231) 866-1482
The Natural Resource Department provides this list of services to citizens. If you have any questions, please stop in or call us at 231-534-7500.