The oldest, continuously operating, Boy Scout camp in the United States is located in Muskegon County and is owned by the Chicago Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America. The Owasippe Scout Reservation contains one of the largest and least disturbed tracts of oak-pine forest and savanna in Michigan and numerous rare species have been documented on the site. Due to declining revenues, the Council agreed to sell the property to a local developer, pending Township approval of a rezoning request. Faced with the request to rezone the entire property from Forest Recreation-Institutional to various densities of single-family residential use, the Township asked ASTI to evaluate the potential ecological impact.

ASTI ecologists reviewed existing information regarding the property; mapped forest, wetland, prairie, and savanna habitat types on the 4,765-acre property; and assessed each for its potential to support federally- and state-listed threatened and endangered plant and animal species. ASTI also modeled expected storm water pollutant loads under existing conditions and the requested rezoning. ASTI staff served as expert witnesses successfully defending the analyses and supporting the Township’s planning.