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CMS ENERGY : Consumers Energy Reminds Hunters that Utility Land Is Private Property

09/12/2011 | 02:20pm US/Eastern

JACKSON, Mich., Sept. 12, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ --

With hunting season gearing up in Michigan, Consumers Energy is reminding people that hunting is not allowed on the utility's property.

The ban protects the safety of neighbors, utility workers and others. It also addresses the concerns of neighboring landowners that irresponsible hunters will use Consumers Energy property to trespass.

"We are asking Michigan hunters, sportsmen and sportswomen to remember that Consumers Energy property is private land, not public property," said Mike Williams, Consumers Energy's director of corporate security. "Responsible hunters do not hunt on the private property of others. We ask that Consumers Energy land be treated the same as other private property, and we appreciate the vast majority of hunters who follow the law and do not trespass."

Anyone observing hunting on utility land is asked to contact their local law enforcement agency, or Consumers Energy's corporate security office at 1-800-760-3295.

In particular, Williams noted continuing problems with people building deer blinds and placing bait piles on Consumers Energy land. Blinds reported to or discovered by utility field representatives are "red tagged" and are subject to demolition and removal within seven days. Cost of removal is charged to the owner of the blind when ownership can be determined. Last year about 40 trespassing blinds were tagged across the state. Consumers Energy does not rent land for hunting purposes, or provide verbal or written permission to do so.

Consumers Energy offers cash rewards of varying amounts for information leading to the arrest and arraignment of those who damage or destroy company equipment or property with gunshots. Information about gunshot vandalism can also be given to local law enforcement agencies or the utility's corporate security department at 1-800-760-3295.

Special hunting provisions apply to Consumers Energy-owned lands bordering its AuSable, Manistee and Muskegon river hydroelectric plant reservoirs, where hunting is permitted. However, construction of hunting blinds and target shooting, baiting, burning and fire pits are strictly prohibited on all Consumers Energy lands. In addition, the use of dirt bikes, ATVs or other off-road vehicles is not allowed on utility property due to resource damage, the potential danger to drivers and passengers and possible damage to utility equipment.

Consumers Energy is one of the largest private landowners in Michigan's Lower Peninsula. The utility owns more than 12,000 miles of electric and natural gas rights-of-way, and maintains easement rights on another 86,000 miles of natural gas and electric rights-of-way.

A Consumers Energy brochure, "A Guide to Consumers Energy Land: To Our Michigan Neighbors," provides information for landowners, developers and others on use of utility property. The brochure covers how to secure and use easements, leases and licenses on Consumers Energy property, and information on who to contact before digging on utility land. A copy of the brochure is available on the utility's website at: www.consumersenergy.com, and then typing, "guide to Consumers Energy land" in the search function.

Consumers Energy, the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy, provides natural gas and electricity to 6.Michigan's 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.

SOURCE Consumers Energy

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