Friday, February 24, 2017

Indigenous Environment Network responds to forced evacuation of DAPL resistance camps

    Standing Rock Camp opposing Dakota Access Pipeline is being evacuated by force. (Photo courtesy Indigenous Environmental Network)
    CANNON BALL, N.D. --At 2 p.m. CT on Feb. 22, 2017, water protectors at the Oceti Sakowin camp were evicted by the Army Corps of Engineers. Despite efforts from camp leaders requesting more time to clean up the camp, the Army Corps remained firm with its plans to vacate the camp. The Army Corps claims jurisdiction of the land that the camp is located on even though the land is within the unceded Fort Laramie Treaty land and territories.
    Individuals who voluntarily left camp prior to 2 o’clock had the choice to take a bus to be transported to an evacuation center, or relocate to other campsites outside of the eviction zone. Water protectors remaining in the camp now face risk of arrest.
    There are three other campsites in the area for water protectors to relocate to: Sacred Stone, Cheyenne River, and Four Bands camps.

    Various law enforcement jurisdictions were on site including Morton County Sheriff's, North Dakota State Highway Patrol and the North Dakota National Guard and National Park Service Rangers. The Bureau of Indian Affairs Law Enforcement established a traffic checkpoint and barricade on Standing Rock Sioux Tribe reservation land, on Highway 1806, to the south of the Cannonball River bridge.
    The following is a statement by Tom Goldtooth, the Executive Director of the Indigenous Environmental Network:

    "We are appalled by today’s forced evacuations of indigenous people at the Camp at Standing Rock; they are a violent and unnecessary infringement on the constitutional right of water protectors to peacefully protest and exercise their freedom of speech. It hinders the camp cleanup process and creates confusion and chaos that puts the Missouri River at risk of pollution from construction and camping debris.
    "Today’s expulsion is a continuation of a centuries-old practice, where the U.S. Government forcefully removes Indigenous people from our lands and territories. We urge supporters of the water protectors to continue to resist this travesty by organizing mass mobilizations, distributed actions, speaking out against the violations of the Treaty rights of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation, and continuing to source up the capacity for litigation and grassroots organizing against the Dakota Access pipeline.
    "Our hearts are not defeated. The closing of the camp is not the end of a movement or fight, it is a new beginning. They cannot extinguish the fire that Standing Rock started. It burns within each of us. We will rise, we will resist, and we will thrive. We are sending loving thoughts to the water protectors along the banks of the Cannonball River, today. May everyone be as safe as can be."*
    * See #noDAPL on Twitter.
    Editor's Note: See also: NMU prof arrested at Standing Rock.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Unity March participants show support for international members of Michigan Tech community affected by travel ban executive order

Videos and photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now

Carrying signs and flags participants in Michigan Tech's Feb. 9, 2017, Unity March demonstrate their solidarity with international faculty, students, staff and families affected by Donald Trump's Jan. 27 Executive Order 13769. Some marchers wear a white article of clothing as a sign of peace. (Photos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- Undaunted by frigid temperatures, wind and snow on Feb. 9, 2017, about 300 people joined together at Michigan Tech for a Unity March to show support for friends, professors, students, neighbors, and colleagues from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen. They marched in solidarity with Academics United rallies around the country in opposition to Donald Trump's Executive Order 13769, issued on Jan. 27, 2017 -- a travel ban against immigrants and visitors from these seven Muslim majority countries.

Participants first gathered at the Husky statue on campus, where Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz addressed them with words of welcome and encouragement.

Gathered in the center of campus, Unity March participants listen to a welcoming talk by Michigan Tech President Glenn Mroz.

"This is not a protest; this is a celebration," Mroz said. "It's a celebration and a support of the things that we value."

Michigan Tech University President Glenn Mroz greets faculty, students, staff and community members gathered for a Unity March to show support for international faculty, students, staff and families affected by Donald Trump's Executive Order 13769 against immigrants and visitors from 7 countries. Click on YouTube icon for larger video size. (Videos by Allan Baker for Keweenaw Now)

Stephanie Tubman, geoscientist and former Peace Corps volunteer, who introduced President Mroz, noted the importance of carrying the flag in the march.

"Today we carry these flags as a reminder that this country should be for all of us, that immigrants have long contributed to the Copper Country and to our country in general, and that we believe that opportunity for all is a fundamental value of the United States," Tubman said.

Following the welcome from President Mroz, Scott Marratto, Michigan Tech assistant professor of philosophy, spoke about the diversity in the campus community and the need for universities to stand up for democratic, secular values that make that diversity and openness possible.

Scott Marratto, Michigan Tech assistant professor of philosophy, speaks about the important role of universities in supporting diversity and values of truth, openness, tolerance and non-discrimination. Erika Vye, recent Ph.D. graduate in geology, leads the participants in singing "This Land is Your Land," as they begin the march.

Setting out two-by-two, the marchers walked across campus and down College Ave. on the sidewalk to the miner's statue near the Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce,

Marchers walk peacefully in a very long line from campus down College Avenue toward downtown Houghton.

After arriving at the miner's statue, marchers return to campus via College Avenue. Passing cars honk in support. Enjoying the snow, several children accompany their parents in the march.

Mojtaba, an international graduate student at Michigan Tech, participated in the march.

"It was not a protest -- just a peaceful march supporting international students and faculty and the value they bring to the community," Mojtaba said. "Enforcement of the order nationwide was temporarily halted by court order, but the news talks about a new ban that will be signed by President Trump on Thursday, instilling incredible fear in all of us."

Michigan Tech has signed a letter the American Council on Education (ACE) circulated to  US higher education institutions regarding the recent executive order on immigration.

The letter is addressed to US Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kelly. The body of the letter expresses US higher education’s principles concerning international students, researchers, faculty and staff.

Michigan Tech has launched a new web site regarding President Trump's Executive Order. Click here to visit the site.

Monday, February 20, 2017

DEQ Public Notice: Feb. 22 is deadline for public comments on draft renewal of WHITE PINE COPPER REFINERY Renewable Operating Permit

[Editor's Note: We regret the late posting of this public notice. We just found it today.]


The Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division (AQD) is holding a public comment period until February 22, 2017, on the draft renewal of a Renewable Operating Permit (ROP) under consideration to be issued to WHITE PINE COPPER REFINERY, INC. located at 29784 Willow Road in White Pine, Michigan. The facility’s Responsible Official is Zachary J. Halkola, Chief Operating Officer.

Major stationary sources of air pollutants are required to obtain and operate in compliance with an ROP pursuant to Title V of the federal Clean Air Act of 1990 and Section 5506(1) of Part 55, Air Pollution Control, of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act, 1994 PA 451, as amended. The ROP is intended to simplify and clarify a facility’s applicable requirements and compliance with them by consolidating all state and federal air quality requirements into one document. The proposed ROP will result in no emissions change at the facility.

Copies of the draft ROP and the Staff Report are available for inspection at the following locations or you may request a copy be mailed to you by calling or writing the District Office at the address and telephone number listed below:
The AQD Permits Internet Home Page -
Upper Peninsula District Office, Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, 1504 West Washington Street, Marquette, Michigan 49855 (Phone: 906-228-2905)
LANSING: Department of Environmental Quality, Air Quality Division, Constitution Hall, P. O. Box 30260, Lansing, Michigan 48909-7760 (Phone: 517-284-6776)

All persons are encouraged to present their views on the draft permit. Persons wishing to comment or request a public hearing should submit written statements by February 22, 2017 to the attention of Ed Lancaster at the District Office referenced above. The decision maker for the permit is Janis Ransom, Acting Upper Peninsula District Supervisor.

If requested in writing by February 22, 2017, a public hearing may be scheduled.

Comments will also be accepted at the public hearing, if held. Persons needing accommodations for effective participation at the public hearing, if held, should contact Ed Lancaster at the District Office referenced above a week in advance to request mobility, visual, hearing, or other assistance.

"My Copper Country," paintings by Georgi Tsenov, at Community Arts Center through Feb. 25

Paintings by Georgi Tsenov are now on display in the Copper Country Community Arts Center. The exhibit, "My Copper Country," continues through Saturday, Feb. 25. (Photo courtesy Copper Country Community Arts Center)

HANCOCK -- The Copper Country Community Arts Center in Hancock presents "My Copper Country" -- plein air paintings by Bulgarian artist Georgi Tsenov on display through Feb. 25 in the Kerredge Gallery. Tsenov lived in Houghton with his wife and children from 2009 to 2016. While here he was inspired to paint hundreds of paintings and had many exhibitions. He says, "…the Copper Country turned into a golden land for me. I discovered a constellation of wonderful friends and I was happy to live and paint among them."

Georgi Tsenov is the son of a famous Bulgarian sculptor and is from Sofia, Bulgaria. He received his education at the National School of Fine Arts in Sofia. Tsenov is a member of the Union of Bulgarian Artists and has received numerous awards and solo exhibitions in Bulgaria. In April 2011 he had his first exhibition in the United States at the Copper Country Community Arts Center. It was titled, "My New Streets." The current display is his twentieth solo exhibition in the U.S. He and his family currently live in Scotland.

The Copper Country Community Arts Center is located at 126 Quincy Street in Hancock. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. This exhibit is made possible with a grant from the Michigan Council for Arts and Cultural Affairs and the National Endowment for the Arts. For more information call (906) 482-2333 or visit

Friday, February 17, 2017

Follow the Rabbit! "Alice In Wonderland" comes to the Rozsa

Alice in Wonderland comes to the Rozsa this Saturday, Feb. 18, with two performances by  the acclaimed theater troupe Tout à Trac, from Québec. (Photo courtesy Tout à Trac.)

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Center is pleased to welcome the acclaimed theater troupe Tout à Trac from Québec, Canada, with their adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland for two shows -- at 2:30 p.m. and at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 18. Fun for all ages! In addition to the performance, guests at the 2:30 p.m. matinee will be treated to a "KC Bonker’s Tea Party" in the lobby, after the show, co-hosted by KC Bonker’s, the Portage Lake District Library, and the Rozsa Center.

Tickets are on sale now, $16 for adults, $6 for youth, and no charge for Michigan Tech students with the Experience Tech fee. Tickets are available by phone at (906) 487-2073, online at, in person at the Central Ticketing Office in the Student Development Complex, or at the Rozsa Box Office preceding the performance. Please note the Rozsa Box Office only opens two hours prior to performances.

Faithful to the madness and the lively humor of the original piece, this revisitation of the famous Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, written and directed by Hugo Bélanger and translated by Maureen Labonté, has a unique twist: The setting is no longer a garden but a library full of pop-up books! Each book is then a discovery and a door to the next adventure. Alice refuses to do her homework. Preferring to play and day-dream, she hides in her father’s study. Out of nowhere comes a curious looking rabbit, eater of novels. Wanting to keep the rodent from devouring all the books, Alice chases the rabbit through his borough and discovers a wonderland. Will you follow the white rabbit?

Recipient of the Acadie-Rideau Prize 2008. Nominated for the Prix de l’Association Québécoise des Critiques de Théâtre 2009-2010. More details from the Tout à Trac Alice In Wonderland website:

Monday, February 13, 2017

Environmental coalition objects to DNR permit for exploratory copper drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

By Michele Bourdieu

A drill rig arrives at a site of exploration by Highland Copper Co. in the Porcupine Mountains State Park. (Photo © and courtesy Highland Copper Co.)

MARQUETTE -- Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) members and supporters are expressing outrage and frustration following news that the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has issued a surface use permit authorizing Orvana Resources -- a subsidiary of Highland Copper -- to begin exploratory copper drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park, also know as the Porkies, in Gogebic County.

"The DNR’s actions -- allowing a mining company to conduct exploration drilling in the Porkies -- will outrage a lot of people. And the public should be outraged," said Alexandra Maxwell, UPEC board member. "Once again, we see there isn’t a single square inch of Michigan safe from the threat of sulfide mining and exploration -- they’re mining under our rivers, drilling in fragile wetlands, drilling on state and national forest lands, and now drilling in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park."

According to a DNR press release -- dated Feb. 6, 2017 -- this exploratory drilling, which is intended to add this area -- a 1-mile-square piece of property situated along the westernmost edge of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park -- to Highland Copper's Copperwood mining project, began on Sunday, Feb. 5, and is scheduled to continue into early March, 2017, depending on weather conditions.

This map shows the location (dark blue outline within Section 5 of Wakefield Township) of the exploratory drilling along the western edge of Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. The adjacent area with slanted turquoise lines is part of the Copperwood mining project, private land now owned by Highland Copper and permitted for copper mining by the Dept. of Environmental Quality under Part 632. Click on map for larger version. (Map courtesy Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources)

The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is well known for its hiking trails, rugged terrain, old growth forests, miles of wild and scenic Lake Superior shoreline, wilderness campsites, rivers, lakes and waterfalls. The Porkies are an all-season tourism draw for the entire region and have been featured as a premier hiking destination by Backpacker Magazine, USA Today, and other national media.

Steve Garske, botanist and UPEC board member, took this recent photo of one of the drill sites destined for exploratory drilling by Highland Copper/Orvana in the Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. (Photo © and courtesy Steve Garske)

"This drilling project will affect a very small portion of DNR-managed land," said John Pepin, DNR deputy public information officer. "The vast majority of the park, including the Presque Isle River, will remain unaffected by this exploration activity."

Nevertheless, UPEC and its Mining Action Group have asked why the exploration on public land did not require a public notice and comment period.*

Pepin told Keweenaw Now the law does not require alerting the public in the case of this DNR surface use permit for exploratory drilling, issued on Jan. 31, 2017.

"Michigan law allows the owner of land to separate mineral rights from surface rights," Pepin said. "When mineral rights are severed from surface rights, the mineral estate is the dominant estate and the owner of the mineral rights has a right to 'reasonable' use of the surface to access their minerals. This access is not gained at the discretion of the DNR; the law provides their right."

Jon Saari, historian and UPEC board member, questioned whether this drilling is "reasonable" use.

"The 'public' in public land seems to have no clout," Saari said. "In our name, public lands can be sold, traded, and drilled, often with little or no public input. Shouldn't there be tighter restrictions on what can be done in a wilderness state park like the Porkies? Why are we stuck in a legal mindset from the 1880s that allows 'reasonable' mining exploration in areas where such activity, from a 21st century perspective, is entirely unreasonable?"

Gipsy Creek downstream, east of one of the drill sites inside Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. (Photo © and courtesy Steve Garske) 

Kathleen Heideman, UPEC board member, noted the announcement of the drilling has angered many visitors who love the park.

"The sulfide mining industry is leading the State of Michigan around by a leash," Heideman said. "Environmental regulators are completely out of touch with public sentiment on this issue."

The Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is widely considered the crown jewel of Michigan’s state park system and one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Midwest. The park is prominently featured in the PURE MICHIGAN tourism campaign: "Undisturbed on the edge of Michigan is an untamed world of uncharted woods and unseen stars, a magical place overflowing with waterfalls, where the Porcupine Mountains still whisper ancient tales and legends, and the rivers seem to flow into forever -- a place known as the Wilds of Michigan, found in the Westernmost corner of the Upper Peninsula. Here we can get back in touch with nature, and back in touch with ourselves." Visitors are urged to "come to the Porcupine Mountains (...) and see nature in its purest form." (Source: "Pure Michigan’s Porcupine Mountains: Call of the Wild").

"Considering the exceptional natural and recreational features threatened by this decision, why wasn’t there an opportunity for public input?" asked Steve Garske, botanist and UPEC board member. "It’s up to those who care about Michigan’s future to remind state representatives and agencies (in this case the Michigan DNR) that they serve the public, not multinational mining companies intent on short-term profits at the state’s expense. This is no way to treat our unique Wilderness park," notes Garske.

This photo shows drilling equipment at one of the sites in the Porkies. Steve Garske, who took the photo while hiking in the park, said he spoke with a Highland Copper employee who told him the company was worried that people would be showing up that might "endanger the workers" and that they would be putting cameras up all around the area. He told Garske the company was doing a wonderful job to avoid the damaging the forest. (Photo © and courtesy Steve Garske)

Pepin noted, in addition to the Feb. 6 DNR press release for the general public, Highland Copper notified specific groups about their drilling.

"Highland Copper made contact with several entities, prior to the start of the drilling, including the Gogebic and Ontonagon counties boards of commissioners, Wakefield, Carp Lake and Ironwood townships, state Rep. Scott Dianda, state Sen. Tom Casperson and officials with the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community and Lac Vieux Desert," Pepin said.

Highland Copper plans to drill 21 temporary exploratory holes (Section 5, T49N R45W, Wakefield Township, Gogebic County). Twelve holes will be drilled on park property west of Gogebic County Road 519 this winter. The remaining nine holes will be drilled on county land within the road right of way.

This map shows Gogebic County Road 519 at right and the 21 drill sites -- 12 on park property west of CR 519 and 9 on county property within the road right of way. Click on map for larger version. (Map courtesy Steve Garske)

Each drilling site will have a drill pad of roughly 25 feet by 60 feet. Drilling will be completed using a tracked drilling rig along existing roads, where feasible, to limit disturbance to natural resources. The drill holes will be about 5 inches in diameter. Depths will range from roughly 150 feet to 1,000 feet below the surface.

Actions to be taken by Highland Copper to reduce the impact of its exploratory operations include the following:
  •  Operating only on frozen ground to prevent or reduce surface disturbance.
  •  Using existing roads, including two-tracks, for access and test-hole location when feasible. Any new routes will avoid steep slopes or tree removal and minimize erosion.
  •  Using specialized tracked equipment to reduce surface disturbance and minimize the number of trips within the park.
  • Avoiding cutting trees where possible; where trees are damaged, the state will be reimbursed for those trees at current market value.
  • Instituting additional planning and control measures at any drainage or stream crossings. No wetland filling or stream crossing installations are planned.
  • Working with an on-site DNR Parks and Recreation Division employee to inform any decisions made regarding alternate access routes, surface disturbance or tree removal.
"Highland Copper has worked closely and cooperatively with the DNR, making every change to the company’s drilling plan the DNR has requested," Pepin said. "Several provisions have been put in place to minimize the impact to the land surface during the drilling project and to provide proper protections to natural resources to the greatest extent possible."

If the exploration results indicate the potential for copper in suitable quality and mineable quantities, Highland Copper would conduct a feasibility study, designed to mine the deposit entirely by underground methods, allowing the company to gain access to the copper ore body from land it owns outside the park.

DEQ: Mining in Porkies would require amendment to Copperwood's Part 632 permit

Any potential mining of the minerals would require a separate regulatory process through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Highland Copper would have to amend its existing Part 632 mining permit for the Copperwood project and prove to the DEQ that, if the area were mined, no material damage would occur to state-managed park surface features.

DEQ Oil, Gas and Minerals Division U.P. District Geologist Joe Maki said the area of this exploratory drilling was drilled back in the 1950s and requires confirmation drilling to confirm any deposit. The purpose of the present exploration is a dual assessment: to better assess the size and shape of the deposit and to confirm the assessments from drilling done in the 1950s, Maki explained. The confirmation is required by Canadian National Instrument 43-101 for the company to sell stocks on the Toronto Exchange.

"This deposit is an extension of the geologic formation that included the original White Pine Mine," Maki added. "To add this area to the original Copperwood resource they have to do the confirmation drilling."

Highland Copper's Copperwood project received its Part 632 Mining Permit from DEQ in 2012.** In order to mine in this exploration area, Highland would have to obtain an amendment to the Copperwood Part 632 permit, Maki said.

While the company does not need a DEQ Part 625 exploration permit, they still must follow rules for mineral exploration. DEQ staff do inspections to confirm that the company is meeting those rules.

Melanie Humphrey, geological technician for the DEQ Oil, Gas and Mineral Division Marquette office, told Keweenaw Now she visited the drilling site on Feb. 6, 2017, the same day as the DNR's press release. Drilling had not yet begun, but they were preparing the site.

Humphrey said the exploration rules include the following:
  • management of their cuttings and fluids
  • cementing the holes after the work is complete
  • submitting drilling records to the DEQ Oil, Gas and Mineral Division.
Both Maki and Humphrey noted drilling in this cold, snowy season means less impact to the surface areas since the company can use existing roads or drive on snow rather than bulldozing a new road.

Humphrey also confirmed that this exploratory drilling will not include any stream crossings or wetland impacts.

Should Highland Copper decide to apply for an amendment to their Copperwood Part 632 Mining Permit in order to mine in this area the DEQ would have to inform the public in advance.

"An amendment to Part 632 would require a public notice," Humphrey said.***


* Founded in 1976, the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s purpose remains unchanged: to protect and maintain the unique environmental qualities of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan by educating the public and acting as a watchdog to industry and government. UPEC is a nonprofit, registered 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, call 906-201-1949, see, visit their Facebook page or contact

The UPEC Mining Action Group (MAG), previously known as Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP), is a grassroots effort to defend the clean water and wild places of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from the dangers of sulfide mining. Contact the UPEC Mining Action Group at or call (906) 662-9987. Learn more about the Mining Action Group at or follow MAG’s work on Facebook or Twitter.

** According to the Highland Copper Co. Web site, "Copperwood is a project at the final feasibility stage. All major permits required for mining the Copperwood Project were obtained or approved in 2012 and 2013, subject to certain conditions, including providing financial assurance." See:

*** Click here for the DEQ Part 632 Mining Permit for the Copperwood project, issued to Orvana Resources in 2012. Highland Copper purchased Copperwood from Orvana in 2014.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Phi Kappa Tau in Hancock wins first place in Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Snow Statue Competition

Phi Kappa Tau's 2017 winning creation, "In the Snow it Shall Appear, A Town of the New Frontier" is the ninth Winter Carnival victory in 10 years for this Michigan Tech fraternity, located in Hancock. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)*

By Mark Wilcox, Michigan Tech News Writer
Posted Feb. 9, 2017, on Tech Today
Reprinted with permission

The winners have been announced in the Michigan Tech Winter Carnival Snow Statue Competition. This year's theme is "Snow Cascades Across the Decades."

For the ninth time in the last 10 years, Phi Kappa Tau captured the top prize in the month-long statue division. Their winning entry, constructed outside their house in Hancock, is "In the Snow it Shall Appear, A Town of the New Frontier."

Visitors admire the detailed construction in snow and ice that characterizes Phi Kappa Tau's winning entry. Their frontier town includes, from left, a saloon, a church with clock tower, a jail and a train. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)*

This year there were three divisions in the month-long competition -- men, women and co-ed. Prizes were awarded to the top three in each division. The top three scores among all the statues were placed in the "Overall Month Long " section.

Second place in the overall section went to Tau Kappa Epsilon, 2015's winner and the only team other than Phi Kappa Tau to capture the top prize over the past decade. Their entry was "In This Icy Condition, We Mourn Prohibition." Both Phi Kappa Tau and Tau Kappa Epsilon competed in the men's division.**

Third place overall went to the top statue in the co-ed division, Sigma Tau Gamma and Theta Chi Epsilon for "Leaving the 80s High and Dry as We Hit '88 with Marty McFly."

Taking a look at the divisional results, following Phi Kappa Tau and Tau Kappa Epsilon in the men's division was Sigma Phi Epsilon with "The Keweenaw's Silver Lining is the Decade of Copper Mining."

In the women's division, Alpha Sigma Tau took the top spot with "In Tonight's Feature Presentation, A Phenomenon Sweeps the Nation. The 50's Tradition Captured in Snow, Where American Teenagers Love to Go."

Second place went to Delta Zeta for "A 60s Meal of Ice and Snow, Fills Your Belly When It's 10 Below." Delta Phi Epsilon took third place in the women's division for "Let's Have a Blast Through Michigan Tech's Past."

In the co-ed division, following Sigma Tau Gamma and Theta Chi Epsilon, in second place were the Four Wheelers of MTU with "Off-Road Upgrades Across the Decades." Third place went to Raptor and Armada.

In the overnight competition, statues that began Wednesday afternoon and were completed Thursday morning, the top prize went to St. Albert the Great University Parish, followed by Concordia Student Mininstries. Strange Crew took third.

The Michigan Tech's Huskies Pep Band won the Interactive Statue division.

* To see Keweenaw Now's slide show of Phi Kappa Tau's winning statue and our interpretation of the frontier town CLICK HERE and use the options menu to read the captions next to each photo.

** To see photos of other winning statues, visit Michigan Tech's Winter Carnival Gallery.

Friday, February 10, 2017

Public invited to Open Houses on Draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves on Isle Royale; comments accepted through March 15, 2017

Wolves, pup and adult, 2015. (File Photo © Rolf Peterson and courtesy Michigan Tech University.) 

HOUGHTON -- The National Park Service (NPS) invites the public to participate in upcoming informational open houses and webinars regarding the proposed draft plan determining whether and how to bring wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The plan and alternatives are described in the draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves on Isle Royale (draft EIS), released on Dec. 16, 2016, and can be found here: rowolves.

The draft plan/EIS evaluates three action alternatives to bring wolves to the island, as well as the no-action alternative of not bringing wolves to the island. The National Park Service draft preferred alternative is Alternative B, which calls for the immediate introduction of 20 - 30 wolves over a three year period. The goal of this alternative is to provide an immediate introduction of wolves that has the potential to be self-sustaining.

Under Alternative C, the National Park Service would immediately introduce 6-15 wolves with the potential for subsequent introductions over a 20-year period in order to maintain a wolf population in the park.

Alternative D provides the National Park Service time to continue to monitor conditions. No immediate action would be taken but the alternative allows for future introductions of wolves. The decision to introduce in the future would be based on moose population metrics and other observed changes in the ecosystem.

The public open houses will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Duluth, Minn., and on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Houghton. A short presentation will start at 4:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period and open house.

The open house meetings will be held at the following locations:
•    Duluth, Minnesota -- Feb. 14 at Pier B Resort, 800 West Railroad Street
•    Houghton, Michigan -- Feb. 15 at Magnuson Franklin Square Inn, 820 Shelden Avenue

In order to maximize opportunities to learn more about the draft plan/EIS, webinars are scheduled for 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Thursday, Feb. 16, and from 7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Tuesday, Feb. 21. To obtain more information about the open houses and to register for the webinars, click here.

In addition to the open houses, the public is invited to submit written comments. Click here to commentComments may also be submitted through March 15, 2017, via regular mail or hand delivery at: Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, ISRO Wolves, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896.

Monday, February 06, 2017

CommUNITY march to support those affected by Executive Order on travel, visas to be Feb. 9 in Houghton

HOUGHTON -- In solidarity with Academics United rallies around the country, a march in support of friends, professors, students, neighbors, and colleagues from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen affected by the Jan 27 executive order will be held from 5:05 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, in Houghton.

The march will start at the Husky Statue, Michigan Tech Campus Quad, at 5:05 p.m. After welcome remarks participants will walk down College Ave. to the miner's statue/Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, where they will loop around and walk two-by-two back to the MUB (Memorial Union Building on campus). When necessary marchers will walk single file to accommodate pedestrians on College Ave. The march will end with a call to action outside the MUB.

The Jan 27 Executive Order (EO) impacts dozens of Michigan Tech graduate students, faculty, and community members in Houghton/Hancock area. Most of those affected are from Iran and some from Syria and Iraq. Those affected face great uncertainty. Some faculty have lived in Houghton for more than a decade and their children are US citizens. All who wish to support them and to make visible the impacts of the EO on our community members are welcome to join the march. The march is the kick-off for a series of actions to respond to the EO.

Participants who wish to bring a sign are asked to make their messages positive. Due to the Michigan Tech international community's desire to reach out to the entire Houghton community, this is a march in support of people rather than a march against the ban. Some sign ideas:

I'm here for my [...neighbors/professor/students/friends]
I'm an immigrant, too [with flag from your country or your ancestor's countries]
Academics and Community United
I support our faculty and students
I support academics

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Hamar House on campus will be open all day on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with poster supplies. Poster-making could be a great activity for families after touring the Winter Carnival statues. Hamar House is right there on campus in between Fisher and the broomball rinks.

White is the color for the march. If possible, please wear a white hat, scarf, or coat or carry a white article of clothing to wave during the march. We all look to a peaceful future.

The organizers of the march are a group of students, staff, and community members, including those who are directly affected by the EO and those who want to show their solidarity. Contact Sara Alian and Aref Majdara for more information.