ALABASTER Twp. – United States Gypsum Company has completed its agreement with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to purchase 580 acres of land adjacent to its current gypsum quarry for $3.45 million.
The DNR has announced it intends to use the proceeds of the sale to purchase the Storey Lake property in the Pigeon River State Forest.
United States Gypsum Company, which is a subsidiary of building supplies manufacturer USG Corporation, has operated in Alabaster Township since 1902.
According to those from the company, gypsum from USG’s Alabaster quarry supports large manufacturers and farms around the state, as well as its own manufacturing operations, including a plant in River Rouge.
“This agreement is a win for our community, our economy and the state of Michigan,” said Matt Craig, manager of the USG Alabaster plant.
“USG is one of the state’s longest-running businesses, and this agreement allows us to keep producing an important raw material for Michigan’s economy and supporting the DNR’s conservation priorities,” he continued.
The company’s bid for the additional land in Alabaster drew strong support from the local community and statewide business, agricultural and conservation groups, according to USG representatives.
As part of the process, USG has established partnerships with several local organizations to provide the following:
- Habitat Management: USG is working with the Iosco Conservation District, Huron Pines and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to address invasive species such as phragmites on its properties, with remediation work having already begun.
- Hunting Access: USG is working with Michigan United Conservation Clubs and has enrolled more than several hundred acres of its property, including a portion of the newly purchased land, in the DNR’s Hunter Access Program for 2019. This will allow hunters to use the land until USG is actively working on that property. Hunting access will continue as usual for the remainder of the 2018 season.
- Free Fishing Weekend: USG will host its second Free Fishing Weekend in summer 2019, welcoming the community to fish the ponds on the reclaimed land of its current quarry property.
- Kids Fishing Program: USG is working with Michigan Sea Grant, Michigan State University Extension, Project Fish and other organizations to explore development of an ongoing summer fishing program to encourage recreational fishing and educate children about the natural environment and ecosystems.
“We’ve been privileged to deepen our relationships in the community as we plan for the future,” said Craig.
“Expanding our quarry ensures we can continue supporting the people, resources and businesses in Michigan for years to come. We are proud to say that we started here, and we are staying here,” he added.
USG Corporation is an industry-leading manufacturer of building products and innovative solutions. Headquartered in Chicago, USG serves construction markets around the world through its Gypsum, Performance Materials, Ceilings and USG Boral divisions. For additional information, visit www.usg.com.