Michigan’s tallest waterfall poised to become a state park.

What's happening: A new resolution approved by the Michigan House of Representatives fully supports the inclusion of Houghton-Douglass Falls as an extension of McLain State Park in Houghton County. The move would make the state’s tallest waterfall accessible to everyone as part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ state park program. If fully adopted by the DNR as a park, adding the falls would include 70 acres of nearby land across Hammell Creek with direct access possible from M-26, sparking additional tourism and quality of life improvements to the Lake Linden and Calumet areas.

Honoring veterans' ties: The Houghton-Douglass Falls were previously owned by Vietnam veteran Jim Kuusisto, who sold the property to the DNR in September 2018 with the goal of honoring Michigan’s veterans. The resolution, proposed by local state Rep. Greg Markkanen, included language that would honor Kuusisto’s military service, naming the addition of the “Houghton-Douglass Falls Veterans Scenic Site” as a unit of McLain State Park. 

What they're saying: “It’s time we honor that agreement and include this iconic and beautiful area in Michigan’s system of State Parks and Scenic Areas,” Markkanen said. “In doing so, we can pair the celebration of our rich natural resources with honoring all the brave and courageous individuals who served and sacrificed in our military.”

What's next: The resolution furthers the DNR’s work on developing site plans, establishing safe parking and restroom facilities and clear pedestrian paths and bridges due to the deep gorges and loose rocks on the property. Additional inclusion from local veterans' group to establish a veterans’ memorial will also take place once a location is determined.
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