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      Copper Country outrage over sale of public hotspot

      It's a well-known spot in Tamarack City. The Hungarian Falls is popular among the community for its beauty and recreation. Recently, however, it was made known that a piece of land near the falls was being put up for sale, throwing the entire Copper Country into an uproar.

      A Facebook page was created shortly after the listing was posted in the paper, with people leaving comments like, "This is a travesty," and "Can't lose another piece of paradise."

      Brian Cadwell, supervisor of Torch Lake Township, says what is being sold is the Hungarian dam, the pond, the small falls behind the dam, and ten acres surrounding.

      "When there were four agencies, each one contributed a certain amount of money each year,â?? said Cadwell. â??That helped to defray the costs of any repairs. There's no outside source of money; it's strictly from the members. Most recently itâ??s just been Osceola Township and Torch Lake Township supporting it, so it's getting expensive."

      After Osceola Township switched over to the new water system, they didn't need the water from Hungarian Dam anymore. The Fire Protection Authority contacted several government agencies hoping they would buy the land for public use. But when no one showed any interest, that was when they listed it for private buyers.

      Evan McDonald, Executive Director of the Keweenaw Land Trust, stepped in to see if any agreement could be made with prospective buyers to keep the area public. He said it's still a work in progress and an agreement is not guaranteed.

      "It's a fundraising issue,â?? said McDonald. â??So we would mount a fundraising campaign and find out how much interest there was from the community and local residents. There's several hundred people who have made comments online saying that this should be protected and what they can do to help."

      McDonald said so far negotiations with the prospective buyer have been positive.

      "We told them what our interest was in terms of the community's expressed interest in this, and we want to see if we can help that process,â?? McDonald said. â??Several of the people, including this prospective buyer, are concerned that it still be made available to the public, that the public not lose that opportunity.â??