Governor William G. Milliken

The Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance thanks Governor Milliken for the following letter of support and for his continued leadership in the great State of Michigan: I’m writing to endorse the efforts of the citizens of the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance to protect and preserve open space. The Saugatuck Dunes coastal region is a remarkable landscape distinguished by fresh water dunes, sustainable family farms, and charming small towns that serve as the foundation of our economy and excellent quality of life.

I encourage local, state, and federal governmental bodies to lend assistance to better protect and preserve this vital Michigan landscape, beginning with the former Denison property. The former Denison is a showcase of Great Lakes landscapes – 420 acres of critical dune, globally imperiled inter-dunal wetlands, coastal marsh, and a beautiful beach. It is also home to threatened plants and animals, as well as the
ghost town of Singapore.

It is my sincere hope that the current owners, Katie and Aubrey McClendon, and their Michigan families, have the vision to use their means to help the people of Michigan in protecting and preserving the former Denison. It is my hope to see the McClendon’s name added to the long list of individuals and organizations that have worked diligently for over thirty years to see the former Denison permanently preserved and
protected and held in the public trust.

State Senator Patty Birkholz began her distinguished career in public service working to protect what is now Saugatuck Dunes State Park. More than 25 years ago, she looked to the Denison tract as eventually joining
the Park system. Early maps of the Saugatuck Dunes State Park even included the Denison parcel. Preservation of both the North and the South Denison has been a long-term mission of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund that has received community, regional, and state wide support for many years. Many private citizens and conservancies have worked tirelessly behind the scenes to raise nearly $40 million in an effort to purchase the entire Denison and keep it permanently protected and open to the public.

It is against this backdrop that my wife, Helen, and I lend our voice to the growing chorus requesting the former Denison be completely preserved and protected. I wish you every success in this effort.


William G. Milliken