The Michigan Association of Timbermen
Posted on 11.17.2017 Under Legislative, Recent Post

Judy Augenstein, Legislative Consultant

The November 7 election results showed voters supported statewide local revenue proposals by 75% to 25 % being rejected.  Voters supported increasing property taxes to fund school infrastructure and local government by some 75 %, sinking fund proposals performed well with six passing and three failing.  Public safety millage proposals to raise funds for police, fire, emergency medical services or some combination of the three were not as overwhelmingly supported as in the past with only 17 passing and at least 10 failing.

Road millage proposals succeeded with 10 passing and four failing.  Parks and recreation millage proposals swept to passage with all three winning.  All operating millage renewals for school districts passed.  Rep. Andy Schor, D-Lansing won his bid to become Lansing’s first new mayor in more than a decade while Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan also easily won his re-election bid.  Flint Mayor Karen Weaver survived her recall attempt and got 53% of the vote in an 18 person race.  also in Detroit, former Senator Virgil Smith, D-Detroit, who resigned last year after pleading guilty to a felony charge for shooting up his ex-wife’s vehicle, lost his campaign for Detroit City Council.

The Mackinac Bridge Authority will meet on November 20 to discuss among other things if it will make changes to its annual bridge walk, including changing the date and direction of the walk.  This past Labor Day, the Authority decided to close the Mackinac Bridge to public vehicle traffic during the walk because of safety concerns.

With limited transportation and a small window to begin the walk, many participants hoping to walk were unable to join.  The MBA will discuss altering the date to the Saturday or Sunday before Labor day, Memorial Day weekend, the first weekend in June, the first weekend in May or a Saturday in late May—a huge change for this annual event which has occurred on Labor Day for many, many years.

A new on-line filing system for corporations in the state meant to improve efficiencies went on line on October 30.  The new Corporations On-line filing system will be overseen by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs Corporations, Securities and Commercial Licensing Bureau.

LARA says the on-line service will allow more than 800,000 businesses in Michigan to better meet their business needs and more easily submit annual filing, file documents electronically and pay filing fees, among other services.  Businesses can also subscribe to services including electronic notifications of annual reporting notices as well as to be set up secure electronic debit accounts, allowing frequent filers to file easily without repeatedly entering repetitive information.

The Legislature will return from their deer hunting/Thanksgiving recess on Tuesday, November 28.  No committee meetings have yet been set.  The Senate will hold a 10:00 AM session and the House will go into session at 1:30 PM.  I plan to meet with Senator Jim Stamas, R-Midland and Senator Darwin Booher, R-Evart about the status of the $100,000 to cover computer software for MDOT to administer the multiple use permit being legislated in HB 4644.

I intend to discuss with Senator Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba, changes to administrative rules legislation he introduced the last day of the fall session and the status of SB 396, legislation to require local road agencies to assist loggers with moving equipment down a county road.  In the afternoon, I will be meeting with HB 4644 bill sponsor, Rep. Triston Cole, R-Mancelona and other House members.

In the evening I will be attending the Lansing fundraiser event for Rep. Curt VanderWall, R-Ludington, member House Natural Resources Committee, a good friend to forestry—I am sure additional meetings will be added to my “to do” list before November 28.

Posted on 11.07.2017 Under Legislative

Representation by myself in behalf of MAT was quite beneficial to our industry.  Representatives from almost every aspect of the forest industry were present at the meeting.  Several issues were discussed affecting the timber product business.

Update on the Lake States Bat issue was discussed.  Looks like for now this issue is moving forward with more restrictions in reference to timber harvesting, protection areas and period of times for harvest.  Other discussions were on transportation challenges and opportunities with a panel representing both private sector and public road commission.  Seasonal timber harvest was also discussed especially with this year being extremely wet conditions, from both a timber management side and wood industrial users.

Other discussions included resource availability and a Wednesday afternoon field tour of a woodyard and international freight Lake Superior warehousing.  Pat Tucker discussed the proposed bio-ethanol plant for Ontonagon, Michigan.  Quite the interesting discussion, with Ontonagon being so depressed after the shutdown of Stone Container and White Pine Copper Mine within the region.  This plant could create 400 permanent jobs and another 400 related jobs within the community.  A decision of plant location is expected soon.

Finally, MAT was represented by myself on a panel of non-profit groups in support of our industry, consisting of eight members from Michigan, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  This was the longest discussion in the program with great collaboration among the groups, and the ability for everyone to work together into the future, with the agreement to meet on occasion, in order to combine our resources for the benefit of our members, and the future of the timber industry.



Glen & Gretchen Tolksdorf

Tolksdorf Realty, Forestry & Appraisals

52943 Hwy US-41

Calumet, MI 49913




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The Michigan Association are looking forward to another eventful and educational Annual Meeting. Please join us at Boyne Mountain Lodge on April 26th and 27th, 2018!

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Mi Annual Forest Growth

2.3x the amount harvestED



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