August 15, 2014 at 9:35 am

Michigan considers Hartwick Pines for drilling

Grayling — Michigan officials are considering allowing an oil or gas company to drill beneath land in the Hartwick Pines State Park.

The state Department of Natural Resources could put the mineral rights up for lease during its annual October auction. The park is listed as leasable non-development, meaning drillers couldn’t build on the park’s surface.

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says it doesn’t oppose all drilling but thinks the park should be off limits. It says drilling could affect park visitors’ experience with potentially harmful omissions and noise.

The DNR says portions of the park have been leased before. It says auctioning park land doesn’t guarantee it will be leased or drilled.

The DNR has until Sept. 11 to change the land’s classification before the October auction.