For 80 years, Brockway Mountain has been a popular peak for people to visit in the Keweenaw.
The 320-acre summit, once in private hands, is now public through the work of Eagle Harbor Township, the Nature Conservancy, the Keweenaw Land Trust, the Copper Country Audubon, the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District, and over 490 private donors.
In a ceremonious ribbon cutting, Governor Rick Snyder said the community contribution to the mountain is the epitome of Pure Michigan.
??It??s about quality of life in Michigan to have places like Brockway Mountain and the ability to come up and enjoy it, because I want to create an environment where we have more and better jobs, but also a great quality of life,?? said Governor Snyder.
Though the mountain has been owned by the Wescoat family for more than three generations, it has always been available to the community. Clyde and Lloyd Wescoat approached the Nature Conservancy in 2010, wishing to release the parcel to be officially for public use.
??What I like best about Brockway Mountain is sharing it with other people, and the fact that people from all over the country and of all ages and all abilities can come up and enjoy the beauty and the water and the land and the birds and the history and pay nothing to get here,?? said Lloyd Wescoat.
??If they sold it to a private developer, it would be forever lost to the public, and the natural habitat and the viewscape would be destroyed,?? said Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District chairman, Gina Nicholas.
The purchase by Eagle Harbor Township was finalized in February of this year. Governor Snyder said the Wescoats have set the bar high for maintaining the pristine pinnacle, and it??s up to the public now to keep it going.
??This shows what local partners can do when they work together in terms of townships, conservancies, of many individuals,?? Governor Snyder said.
??We can do great things as a community and in partnership, and Brockway Mountain is just a good example of that,?? Nicholas added.
??It??s a real tribute to the generosity of the community,?? Wescoat said.