PROGRAM: Mark Sweatman, a former Brighton Rotarian, gave a presentation about his job as director of the Office of Mineral Management within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.
GUESTS: Anna Evers, daughter of Rachele; Heather Bottum, daughter of Ed.
  • Terry Gill said that a meeting with Mt. Brighton was very positive as they want to again be the site for Dash or Crash next year. Also, Mt. Brighton/Epic does a community clean-up called the Epic Clean-up at the Brighton Recreation Area on the morning of September 17. Rotarians are invited to volunteer.
  • Lori Lalama is looking for Rotarians who want to join her for a fun customer appreciation night at the dueling piano club in Novi where her son is chef. The party bus will leave from Brigton at 5:30 on Thursday, Sept. 1.
  • Donna Craig issued a reminder that some dues payments are still outstanding.
  • Beth Walker described the Enhanced SAT Practice Test on Oct. 1. The cost is 40 dollars and will include same day scores, test result feedback delivered to student’s electronic device, and a strategy book from Kaplan. This raises money for our scholarship program.
  • Beth also passed around a card for Jane McManus who is recovering nicely from hip surgery.
  • April Dertian said October 8 will be the date for the Fall cookout and bonfire.
  • George and Melanie Moses generously presented a 1,000-dollar check for Rotary Raiders. They said they appreciated living in Brighton and the ability to live and work amid great people and leaders.
Katherine Lawrence-Copp presented Mark Sweatman, a former Brighton Rotarian who since July 2015 has been director of the Office of Mineral Management within the state DNR. In his position, he oversees mining, oil and gas development on state-owned land. This is Mark’s first venture on the public side of business, as he was in the private sector prior to this, including a stint as the founder or Insight Environmental Services in Brighton.
The DNR’s role is to ensure sustaintainable recreation on public lands while enabling strong natural resources based economics. Mark’s department is the smallest group within the DNR but it has the largest economic impact in that it is in charge of lease offerings, lease documents and bonding, lease maintenance and compliance, revenue verification and auditing, and mineral valuations and assessments. His office directs leasing activities relating to mineral exploration, development and extraction on 6.4 million acres of mineral rights, including 4.6 million acres of fee land.
Areas of management include: fossil fuels (oil and gas); metallic minerals (copper, silver, gold, iron, nickel, palladium and cobalt); and non-metallic minerals (sand, gravel, clay, shale, limestone, dolomite, gypsum and salt.) Michigan has the greatest volume of natural gas storage in the U.S. While copper in the U.P. was once huge, today nickel is the big metallic mineral in Michigan.
Oil and gas leases alone have raised 30 to 50 million dollars annually for Michigan over the last five years. Money raised by Mark’s department is re-invested, per the state constitution, to the Michigan Natural Resources Fund, the Game and Fish Protection Fund, and the State Park Endowment Fund. Some 2 billion dollars has been raised for recreation projects such as the Michigan State Parks Endowment Fund; thousands of acres made available to the public for hunting, camping, hiking and general outdoor recreation; and hundreds of boat launches, to name a few benefits.
50-50. The pot has topped a thousand dollars and will grow larger next week since Dennis Whitney, George Moses and Brian Donovan all failed to find the Ace of Spaces.