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DNR seeks information from public on damage to Mason Tract Pathway

Damage to the Mason Tract Pathway. Courtesy: Michigan DNR

CRAWFORD COUNTY, Mich. (WPBN/WGTU)-- The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is asking for the public's help in finding answers about recent damage to a pathway near the Au Sable River in Crawford County.

The DNR says there is damage to the Mason Tract Pathway, which is a special management area along the Au Sable River.

In late April, the DNR says the gates and barriers were removed or otherwise vandalized near the Chapel and Castle sites. The sites are popular stopping points for hikers, canoers and others using the river.

We're told a truck was also driven across a newly seeded and stabilized pathway, leaving deep ruts. At this time, the DNR says it's unclear if the two incidents are related.

DNR Grayling Forest Unit Manager Susan Thiel says these types of incidents have been on the rise.

“Michigan’s natural resources are here for everyone to enjoy,” Thiel said. “To see intentional damage in special places like the Mason Tract Pathway is disheartening.”

The DNR says repairs have started in the area. Friends of the Mason Tract and AmeriCorps members serving with the DNR have filled in the ruts and reseeded the area. There also are plans to install a new gate.

To report information on the damage, call Susan Thiel at 989-348-6371 ext. 7440, or call or text the DNR’s Report All Poaching (RAP) line at 1-800-292-7800.

The DNR says the RAP line is a convenient, effective way for residents to report the illegal taking of fish or game or damage to Michigan's natural resources. The line is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and callers can remain anonymous.

To join Friends of the Mason Tract, contact Chris Jones at 989-275-6247 or visit the group’s Facebook page for more information by CLICKING HERE.

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