Oxford Essential World Atlas, 8th Edition, Oxford University Press USA: New York, NY; showing aerial view of Old Mission Peninsula on cover | Old Mission Gazette Photo
Oxford Essential World Atlas, 8th Edition, Oxford University Press USA: New York, NY; showing aerial view of Old Mission Peninsula on cover | Old Mission Gazette Photo

(Old Mission Peninsula resident Joanne Westphal weighs in on the future of the Peninsula, an aerial view of which is featured on the cover of the new Oxford World Atlas… Read all opinions and news about the winery lawsuit here. – jb)

Pictured below is the cover of the latest edition of the Oxford World Atlas, published in London, and recently released in the U.S. It is slated for distribution around the world. I picked up my copy at Horizon Books in Traverse City.

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I was awestruck by the beauty of the cover image … and in the same breath, fearful of the ramifications that such a photo is likely to generate worldwide.

Oxford Essential World Atlas, 8th Edition, Oxford University Press USA: New York, NY; showing aerial view of Old Mission Peninsula on cover; winery lawsuit | Old Mission Gazette Photo
Oxford Essential World Atlas, 8th Edition, Oxford University Press USA: New York, NY; showing aerial view of Old Mission Peninsula on cover | Old Mission Gazette Photo

A special meeting of the Peninsula Township Board took place on October 6, 2021, to discuss the ongoing litigation between the wineries, their Special Use Permits, and the Township (read more and watch a video of the full meeting here). This photo should remind us, as residents, what is at stake in this discussion. It should stun us to action as a community.

Three major citizen groups were present at this meeting – the wineries, other farmers and large landowners, and the residential block of voters on this Peninsula. It is likely that they will determine the fate of the Peninsula in terms of land use for generations to come.

Our future depends on a united and cooperative front of citizens, focused on the practical issues of preserving quality of life on the Peninsula, while protecting the very resource base upon which we all depend.

This will take an agile and responsive local government that is composed of well-informed, talented and unbiased officials. It will take the best professional staff whose first interest is serving the residents of this community as a whole. And it will take you, fellow residents, and your involvement as an alert, informed and engaged member of the community. The Township must broaden its decision-making capabilities in terms of sustainable land use decisions, and you will need to be part of the discussion.

Shortly, the world will see the land and water resources of this place, which are breathtaking to behold in this simple aerial photograph of the Northwest Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Can we afford to not cooperate with one another to protect and enhance this beautiful piece of land known as the Old Mission Peninsula? Think about the resources that you have at your fingertips — your personal knowledge, professional expertise, time and energy. Please join forces to resolve the present differences among citizen groups, so we may advance future possibilities for those who will follow us.

(Editor’s Note: The Peninsula Township Board has selected the members who will comprise a new citizens committee – see the members hereformed to review the demands of the Wineries of Old Mission Peninsula as outlined in their Amended Complaint, which you can read here. Note that all residents of the Old Mission Peninsula are invited to attend the committee meetings and voice thoughts. -jb)

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