Most people know Little Presque and Wetmore Landing as a beautiful place to hike, swim and cross country ski, but the area was almost lost when the DNR comprised a $300,000 plan to construct a campground within the Little Presque and Wetmore Landing area in the 1980s. According to this plan, the site would contain twenty-seven campsites on a 2,810 acre state recreation area. Without a group called the Citizens to Save Little Presque Isle and Wetmore Landing, the area would today be highly trafficked by motor vehicles, causing vandalism, litter and damage to the natural environment.
In the 1990s, the public became aware of the ongoing plan. A group of environmentally conscious citizens voiced their concerns with the overall proposal. At first they were misled to believe that all of the sites were walk-in accessible. The original proposed plan stated that nineteen campsites were specifically delegated for motor vehicles (such as RVs and ATVs ) and that only eight sites were walk-in accessible. They believed that the area should be preserved and that the increased traffic created by the campground would take away from the natural beauty of the area. The DNR dismissed the idea of public hearings, causing citizens to voice their concerns through letters and protests. Protests were held outside of the DNR’s office to bring awareness towards the issue. Rallies were held throughout Earth Day to bring attention to the issue within the community.
Without the high amount of interest from citizens to preserve the area of Little Presque & Wetmore Landing, people today would not be able to enjoy a beautiful piece of Marquette.
Interested in learning more about the history of the Citizens to Save Little Presque Isle & Wetmore Landing? Check out the Finding Aid for the group’s records or contact the Archives at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Written by Peter Dewan