South Fox Island landowner David Johnson insists he has no plans to build a course there, despite a government document that appears to raise the possibility. Handwritten notes from a conversation between two federal officials include a reference to a proposed golf course on the Lake Michigan Island, the Traverse City Record-Eagle reported Nov. 27. Both officials told the newspaper they didn't recall discussing a golf course and knew of no plans for one on south Fox. The document was among records obtained by the tribe, which last month filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the National Park Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The tribe is fighting a proposed land exchange between Johnson, who owns about two-thirds of the island, and the state of Michigan, which owns the rest. Tribal attorney Brian Upton said the document contradicts Johnson's repeated statements he has no plans to develop the island. It is presently undeveloped except for Johnson's estate. Johnson labeled the golf course idea 'ridiculous.' And, his modified proposal apparently removes the federal agencies from the process. It calls for a swap of 218 acres between Johnson and the Department of Natural Resources.
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