BALDWIN – It all began here in 1979 when a U.S. Congressman offered as bill to create a national scenic river designation for the historic Pere Marquette River. (The scenic portion of the river is a 66 mile stretch from the junction of the Middle and Little South Branches east of Baldwin to the Old Highway 31 Bridge. The Natural River designation includes the main stem and major tributaries.)
Not all that popular an idea locally at first, evoking a lot of local opposition to having a layer of federal oversight and zoning added to the river’s use at that time, it has since been proven to be popular with riparians (many whom originally opposed its zoning restrictions) for the layer of protection of property values that resulted over time.