UMRA – Upper Manistee River Asso.

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Front row: Mark Rais, Wes Dean, Bella (dog), Jim Montagne, Anna Sylvester, Joyce Haxton, Bob Michela.

Back Row: Contractor Brian Donnenwerth, Mike Doyle, Vince Caruso?, Mike Kay, Bill Dean. Not pictured: Theresa Ekdom, Case DeYoung, Doug Fairbanks, Scott Johnston

GRAYLING – The Upper Manistee River Association (UMRA) undertook a project intended to ensure the best use of public land and water on June 30, 2020, on the bank of the Upper Manistee River’s Deward access site in Crawford County.

Bill Dean, treasurer of UMRA, along with the cooperation of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MI-DNR) and 13 other volunteers, spearheaded the project. A 30+ year-old cedar fence designed to encourage anglers, paddlers, and sightseers to use the stairway access to the river, helping to prevent stream-bank erosion, was replaced.

Brian Donnenwerth, from Saginaw Valley Fence Co. was contracted for this project and did an outstanding job.

“Not one nail was used as the rails to this custom cedar fence were so tightly fitted together,” volunteer Bob Michela said. Volunteers helped to remove the old split rails and posts and install the new fence and stair rail. Funding for the project came from UMRA, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting the Manistee River system.

The completion of this project offers the public safe access to enjoy and experience the importance and beauty of Michigan’s public lands and waterways.

UMRA’s next scheduled project, held in conjunction with the Traverse Area Paddling Club, will be a river clean up project on the Upper Manistee. Volunteers are encouraged to participate in the clean up on Sept. 19.

Please contact UMRA at https://www.facebook.com/UMRASSOC/ for more information and to sign up to help.