By JAMES DAU
Capital News Service
LANSING — A nine-year battle over natural gas drilling near a state-designated wilderness along the Au Sable River has ended with Savoy Energy’s withdrawal of its permit request. In a letter to the federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM), the Traverse City-based oil and gas exploration company declared it is no longer interested in drilling near a section of the river famed for trout fishing and old-growth forest. The Sierra Club and Anglers of the Au Sable had sued to halt the proposal. “I was pretty happy to hear the news,” said Marvin Roberson, the Sierra Club’s Michigan forest policy specialist. “It’s been nine years and I’m glad to see it resolved.