Tuesday, May 03, 2016

Hike wilderness trail with Save the Wild U.P., The Nature Conservancy May 7; EPA meeting on L'Anse Warden Plant; forums on Back 40 project

From Save the Wild U.P.

MARQUETTE -- A special collaborative event between The Nature Conservancy and Save the Wild U.P. will be held on Saturday, May 7. Enjoy a guided hike of the Elliott Donnelly Wilderness Trail, one of the wild gems of Marquette County.

The Donnelley Tract was purchased by Elliott Donnelley and gifted to the State on behalf of Trout Unlimited. The purpose of this gift was to protect the Little Garlic River and its watershed for the trout fishery it provides. The special guide for this hike is Mac Strand, Northern Michigan professor of biology, who will help participants appreciate the "river flowing under the river," groundwater interactions, and the key importance of unnamed tributaries to health of the Little Garlic River. Jeff Knoop of The Nature Conservancy will also be along to discuss TNC’s work to protect this area. Meet-up is at 12:30 p.m. at the Little Garlic Trailhead off CR-550. There is a $10 fee to participate, with all proceeds benefiting the work of Save the Wild U.P.

Thanks to those who participated in the recent Earth Day "Cleaning Up after Sulfide Mining" event -- a great success!

"We removed four bags of trash and seven bags of recyclables from the AAA road," said SWUP Executive Director Alexandra Maxwell. "Even small events like this make a big difference, and seeing individuals do their part is incredibly inspiring -- stay tuned as we plan to offer more clean-ups down the road!"

More upcoming events

What’s happening with the L'Anse Warden Plant?

As you may know, the L’Anse Warden Electric Plant has been spewing toxic chemicals into the air and water in L’Anse. Concerned citizens and grassroots efforts from the Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) have resulted in renewed scrutiny over the plant's Clean Air Act violations.*

The USEPA (United States Environmental Protection Agency) will be holding a meeting from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (EDT) on Monday, May 9, in the L’Anse Area Schools Cafetorium, 201 N. 4th St. in L'Anse.

1. USEPA will give a summary update on Warden’s violations and non-compliance points.
2. USEPA will listen to public comments and concerns. Written comments will also be accepted.


Forums on Back Forty Sulfide Mining Project

Friends and collaborators from the Menominee Tribe, Front 40 and Wisconsin Resources Protection Council will be holding a series of informational forums on the Aquila Resources Back Forty Project. The Save the Menominee River speaking tour kicks off at 6:30 p.m. (Central Daylight Time) on May 9 at University of Wisconsin Marinette. The May 17 forum will be held at the Menominee VFW Hall at 6:30 p.m. CDT, and the final forum will be held at 10 a.m. on May 25 CDT at the Stephenson Annex. See more details on menomineeriver.com. **

Editor's Notes:

* Click here for the EPA Web site with recent info on the L'Anse Warden Plant. Both Save the Wild U.P. and FOLK members held a press conference on Apr. 25 concerning the L'Anse Warden Plant. Click here for the TV-6 report.

** See Save the Wild U.P.'s March 9, 2016, article, "'Red-Flag Review' Reveals Flaws in Sulfide Mine Application."

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Candidate Lon Johnson to Houghton County Dems: Shut down Line 5, protect fresh water, more ...

By Michele Bourdieu

Lon Johnson, right, Democratic Candidate for Michigan's First Congressional District, speaks to Houghton County Democrats about key issues in his campaign during the April 20 Open House at the Houghton County Democratic Party's Headquarters, 323 Quincy St. in Hancock. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HANCOCK -- Lon Johnson, Democratic Candidate for Michigan's First Congressional District, told Houghton County Democrats his campaign is centered on three important issues for Northern Michigan and the U.P. -- passenger rail service, high-speed Internet and mobile phone access for all communities, and protection of our fresh water -- beginning with the fight to shut down the 63-year-old Line 5 pipeline under the Straits of Mackinac.

Speaking at the April 20 Open House at the Houghton County Democratic Party (HCDP) Headquarters in Hancock, Johnson reminded party supporters that "21 percent of the world's fresh water is right here." He said in 20 years nations will be going to war for fresh water since it will become more valuable than any other natural resource and we will have to fight to protect it.

"We've got to keep Northern Michigan and the U.P. both beautiful and profitable," Johnson said. "We can continue mining and our logging operation in a sustainable way, but at the same time we also have to protect our assets here so our children and grandchildren can use them. That's why I'm proud to be one of the leading drivers in trying to shut down this Line 5 oil pipeline."

During the April 20 Open House at the Houghton County Democratic Party Headquarters, Lon Johnson speaks about the importance of protecting fresh water, beginning with a shutdown of the aging Line 5 oil pipeline under the Mackinac Straits. Pictured with Johnson here is Brian Hoduski, Houghton County Democratic Party co-chair, who compared Johnson to former First District Congressman Bart Stupak, who has endorsed Johnson.

Johnson pointed out that this pipeline starts in Canada, goes through parts of Wisconsin and the U.P., and under the Straits of Mackinac -- then back to Canada with only about 10 percent of the oil remaining in Michigan.

"The same people that are telling us that this thing is safe are the same people who said that Flint water was safe to drink," Johnson noted.

The people running this pipeline are the same people (Enbridge) who ran the Kalamazoo pipeline that became, in 2010, the largest inland oil disaster in the history of the United States, he added. Johnson also made reference to proponents of the pipeline, including State Sen. Casperson, who claim that shutting down Line 5 will raise the cost of propane in the Upper Peninsula.

"That's just wrong," Johnson said. "If you shut this pipeline down in the Straits of Mackinac, you can still allow the pipeline to haul propane to the Rapid River site, just about 125 miles west of the Straits, just north of Escanaba. That's where the propane is taken out and distributed to the U.P."*

Johnson welcomes bi-partisan support on Line 5 issue

During the Open House, Johnson told Keweenaw Now he was glad to see bipartisan support of the effort to shut down Line 5, including that of Republicans like U.S. Rep. Candice Miller (MI-10).

On Wednesday, Apr. 27, Miller introduced the Great Lakes Pipeline Safety Act of 2016, which would require the Administrator of the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to terminate the operation of Enbridge’s Line 5 if, based on an 18-month comprehensive study mandated by the bill, the Administrator finds that the pipeline poses a significant risk.

Just after introducing the bill, Miller stated, "Any rupture of Enbridge’s 63-year-old Line 5, which transports 23 million gallons of contaminants a day, would have a catastrophic impact on the Great Lakes, especially if it occurred along the portion that runs beneath the Straits of Mackinac where Lake Michigan and Lake Huron converge. Just last month, the University of Michigan Water Center released a study where researchers estimated the impact of a leak in Line 5 under 840 different weather scenarios. According to the study, over 700 miles of Great Lakes shoreline could be impacted; and Mackinac Island, Bois Blanc Island, and the coastline around Mackinac City would certainly be impacted in almost every scenario. That, however, is just a snapshot of the damage a rupture would cause."**

Today, Apr. 28, Johnson reacted to Miller's introduction of this bill with this statement: "I am glad to see that our efforts on the ground across the U.P. and Northern Michigan have resulted in bipartisan action on both the state and now the federal level. I have said for months that this 63-year-old Enbridge oil pipeline should be shut down at the Straits of Mackinac so it can be independently inspected to be safe. The impact on the health of our Great Lakes and on our economy in the event of an oil spill would be devastating.

"While I’ve been calling for lawmakers to address the issue of Line 5 for months, it’s disappointing that Lansing politicians like Tom Casperson would rather defend a Canadian oil company than protect the health and jobs of the people of the U.P. and Northern Michigan. Maybe it’s the $28,000 in campaign donations Casperson has taken from oil and gas industry PACs that’s influencing his decision?"***

Addressing the issue of jobs in the U.P., Johnson said he hopes to create a Fresh Water Institute that would not only protect the water but also change the economy by creating a new industry for our children and grandchildren. It would show the world how to better use and protect the water. He cited as a model the growth of the computer industry in Silicon Valley.

Candidate Lon Johnson is pictured here, during the Open House, with three generations of the Wisti family: from left, next to Johnson, Nick Wisti, who is working for Johnson's campaign; Nick's parents, Judge Mark Wisti and Amy Wisti, former aide for Bart Stupak; and, foreground, Ruth Wisti, Mark's mother.

"We need a member of Congress who's thinking five, ten, fifteen years ahead," Johnson said.

He said he would also work for national issues such as campaign finance reform, overturning Citizens United and changing unfair tax policies benefiting wealthy corporations that move their money offshore to avoid paying their fair share.

On the issue of passenger rail service in the U.P., Johnson said it would attract tourists to the U.P. and could change the economy. Johnson told Keweenaw Now it would need a feasibility study and might happen in 10 or 15 years.

"We need to investigate how we can use existing rights of way and existing lines for passenger rail service," he said.

Spring Fling is Saturday, May 7

The Houghton County Democratic Party will host their annual Spring Fling on Saturday, May 7, 7th Floor of Magnuson Inn, 820 Shelden Ave. in Houghton. First District Congressional Candidate Lon Johnson, 110th District State Rep. Scott Dianda and local candidates will participate as well as the keynote speaker, 1st Congressional District Organizer G.T. Long.

Local candidates for Houghton County offices also spoke at the Open House about the importance of electing Democrats to the county offices. Here Commissioner Scott Ala, center, speaks about how every vote counts in these local elections. Other candidates pictured here are Houghton County Clerk Jennifer Lorenz, standing far right, and George Rajala, second from right, candidate for County Commissioner from Chassell. Not pictured here, but also present, was Rick Kasprzak, candidate for County Commissioner from Calumet.

The program for the Spring Fling is as follows:

5:30 p.m. -- Cocktail hour and Silent Auction Viewing
6:30 p.m. -- Dinner
7 p.m. -- Awards Program, Candidate Remarks, Keynote Address, Auction Winners

The Silent Auction includes many lovely creations by local artists as well as gift certificates and offers from local businesses.

Last Chance to Buy Spring Fling 2016 Tickets:

Tickets are $35 per person. Please buy tickets by April 30 so organizers can tell the venue the number of attendees for planning purposes. To purchase tickets online, click here.

Tickets may also be paid for by personal check in person at the Wednesday, May 4, 2016, HCDP monthly meeting at the Super 8 in Houghton. Cash payments are forbidden by law. If you plan to pay at the meeting please email HoughtonDems@gmail.com by April 30 to reserve your seat.

Funds raised at the Spring Fling will be used to support Democratic candidates.

Editor's Notes:

* Click here, on Lon Johnson's Facebook page, for a video of the April 16, 2016, town hall on Line 5 in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. See also Lon's new short video ad here.

** Read the rest of Rep. Miller's statement here.

*** Lon Johnson has been taking on Enbridge officials at numerous town halls in the U.P. and Northern Michigan, as well as helping local communities pass resolutions urging their elected leaders address the pipeline. More than 30 townships, local boards, and communities have passed resolutions. Lon is collecting signatures on his Web site.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Sanders: I’m In It to Win It

Bernie Sanders continues his campaign. (Photo courtesy berniesanders.com)

[Editor's Note: The following is a press release from berniesanders.com, posted April 27, 2016.]

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. -- Declaring that he is "in this campaign to win and become the Democratic nominee," U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders today, Wednesday, told a rally at Purdue University that he is the Democrats’ best hope to defeat Donald Trump in November.

"If you want the candidate who will be the strongest nominee, you’re looking at that candidate right now," Sanders told 2,267 cheering supporters at the rally in a student center. "The reason I am the strongest candidate is that our campaign is appealing not just to Democrats but to independents all over this country and even some Republicans."

In poll after poll, Sanders fares much better than Hillary Clinton in matchups with Trump and other Republican White House hopefuls.

Sanders’ appeal to independents was evident on Tuesday when he won by 12 points in Rhode Island, a state with an open primary where independents could vote. That outcome should send a message to delegates going to the Democratic National Convention this summer, he said.

"What I hope delegates understand is that the national election is an open process. Guess what? Independents vote in that process," Sanders said. "And it turns out that we are overwhelmingly winning the independent vote."

Sanders acknowledged that Clinton currently leads in the number of delegates headed to Philadelphia, but he said sees a narrow path to victory as voters in Indiana go to the polls next Tuesday and nine more states have elections on the calendar before the primary process comes to a close in June.

"We are behind today. But you know what? Unusual things happen in politics," he said. "With your help, superdelegates may reach the conclusion that Bernie Sanders will be the strongest candidate against Donald Trump or any other candidate."*

Sanders was headed later Wednesday to another rally in Bloomington, Indiana, before flying to Oregon, another state where voters have yet to weigh in on who should be the Democratic Party nominee for president.

* See also Sanders Statement on Primary Elections.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Lake Superior Celebration to offer family activities, displays, more Apr. 26 at GLRC

Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) will be the scene of a FREE family-friendly Lake Superior Celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 26. (Keweenaw Now file photo)*

HOUGHTON -- The community is invited to the Lake Superior Celebration from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 26, at Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC). The event is FREE, family-friendly, and open to all.

The Lake Superior Celebration will include informative displays by local agencies and organizations. The event will feature hands-on activities for youth as well as displays/presentations by Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative (LSSI) school teams from Dollar Bay HS and Elementary Schools, Jeffers HS, CLK Elementary School, Baraga HS, Chassell HS, Houghton Middle School, EB Holman School, and Washington Middle School.

LSSI student showcase and presentations will be from 6:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. in 202 GLRC. The Copper Country Recycling Initiative will provide an update on recycling in the Keweenaw at 7:15 p.m. in 202 GLRC.

Light refreshments -- including snacks, cake, lemonade and coffee -- will be served. Live music will be provided by Lena Maude.

The hands-on activities will include Ride the HEET bike and lift the bridge, Paper-Making, Garbage Pizza, No-Waste Lunch, SMOG City (designing water pumps, operate a 3-D printer) and Create Your Own North Woods Kids' Art.

More than a dozen community organizations and entities will have displays. They include World Water Day art display; Copper Country Recycling Initiative display and  presentation (7:15 p.m. - 7:45 p.m. in 202 GLRC); Invasive Plants of the Keweenaw; Houghton County Energy Efficiency Team (HEET); Keweenaw Green Burial Association; Keweenaw Land Trust; Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) native plants/ethnobotany; Isle Royale National Park; Copper Country Trout Unlimited fly-tying display; North Woods Kids' (K-12) art exhibit from the Western U.P.; Plastic Recycling Enterprise; Alternative Energy Enterprise; Engineers Without Borders; UP Food Exchange.

The event is sponsored by the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Michigan STEM Partnership, Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education, Michigan Tech Center for Science and Environmental Outreach, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, and the Copper Country Recycling Initiative.

For more information contact Shawn Oppliger at 482-0331 or shawn@copperisd.org at the Copper Country ISD or Joan Chadde at 906-487-3341 or jchadde@mtu.edu.

Visit the Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative on the web or on Facebook.

* Directions to GLRC: From Hancock or Houghton: as you approach Michigan Tech on US 41 from downtown Houghton, turn left onto Cliff Drive (just before the Administration Building and just after apartment building). Quickly turn left again on to Phoenix Drive to go down the hill to the water level. Drive straight ahead to the Great Lakes Research Center, last building on your left, on the water.

From Chassell: As you approach Michigan Tech on US 41, turn right onto Cliff Drive (just past the Administration Building). Take an immediate left on to Phoenix Drive to go down the hill to the water level. Drive straight ahead to the Great Lakes Research Center, last building on your left, on the water.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Michigan Tech News: Two Wolves Remain on Isle Royale

Wolf prints. (Photo © Rolf Peterson and courtesy Michigan Tech University. Reprinted with permission.)

By Allison Mills, Michigan Tech science and technology writer
Posted on Michigan Tech News Apr. 19, 2016
Reprinted here with permission

HOUGHTON -- Having survived another year, it is likely that only two wolves remain on Isle Royale. A researcher from Michigan Technological University surveyed the island this winter, part of the longest running predator-prey study in the world. The sudden population drop has led the Isle Royale National Park to look into intervention strategies for one of its most iconic species.

The study’s report marks the project’s 58th year of monitoring wolves and moose in Isle Royale. In recent years, wolves had been on the decline and moose on the rise. Those patterns persisted through this past winter’s observations. In particular, the island probably has two wolves left and the moose herd is estimated to be 1,300 and likely increasing.

With these ecosystem dynamics at play, the island's wilderness could be significantly impacted, says Rolf Peterson, a research professor at Michigan Tech and report co-author. More moose means more vegetation is eaten, as documented in population increases like those seen in the early 1990s. Predation is the natural check on moose, keeping them from damaging forest vegetation, explains John Vucetich, a professor of ecology at Michigan Tech and report co-author. But with the packs greatly diminished that balance no longer holds sway.

Wolf Genetics

The population crash on Isle Royale is the result of inbreeding. At one point, genetic rescue might have made a difference -- as it did when the wolf known as "Old Gray Guy" crossed an ice bridge to the island. That opportunity has now passed. It is a common thought that genetic rescue might not be a good idea because the wolves possess too many deleterious genes.

"But that represents a misunderstanding of the underlying genetic processes," Peterson says. "The surviving wolves may or may not have any more deleterious genes than you or I, but when combined with a family member's genes, recessive genes can be expressed."

The two remaining wolves are definitely family. They are half-siblings -- and also a father-daughter pair.

Geneticists measure the severity of incestuous relationships with inbreeding coefficients, falling on a scale between 0 and 1. Cousins mating results in offspring with a 0.125 inbreeding coefficient; mating with a parent, brother or sister results in offspring with a 0.25 figure. Any offspring produced by the last two Isle Royale wolves would have an expected inbreeding coefficient between 0.311 and 0.565.

Phil Hedrick from Arizona State University is the geneticist who calculated those figures. He says it is rare for a population to reach such high inbreeding coefficients, though high inbreeding has been measured in other groups, like cheetahs and Mexican wolves. Those populations are also widely recognized to be in dire straits.

"In those instances, inbreeding has accumulated over a longer period of time, not very quickly as in the Isle Royale wolves, just over three generations," Hedrick explains, adding that mating between close relatives accelerates the rate of inbreeding. The effects are visible with the pup observed on the island in 2015, which had an inbreeding coefficient of 0.438.

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

In 2015, there were three wolves -- one of them likely died in the past year. The other two wolves are unlikely to have successfully reproduced in the past year. Moreover, Peterson observed the tracks of what appear to have been two wolves in February. It is plausible that the population is now comprised of just those two wolves who will be six and eight years old this spring. For context, the life expectancy of wolves on Isle Royale has been about four years of age.

Due to the state of the wolves on Isle Royale, the National Park Service wrote in a release in March, "At this time, natural recovery of the [wolf] population is unlikely."

More Moose

This year, Peterson was only able to count moose on three-quarters of the plots that are usually counted. The limited effort was attributable to administrative constraints. That effort also resulted in an estimated 1,300 moose, up four percent from last year, and two observations suggest that 1,300 is likely an underestimate. First, of the moose observed 22 percent were calves. That's the second highest ever recorded. Second, predation rate was extremely low. The abundance of calves and predation rate have each been useful predictors of increase in moose abundance.

"Last year, there was every reason to believe wolves were destined for extinction and moose are destined to grow rapidly in the near future, likely to the point of damaging the forest," Vucetich says. "This year, we did not observe anything to make us think that circumstance has changed."

While it is too late to genetically rescue the current wolf population, some argue that wolf reintroduction could limit possible ecological damage. But Peterson warns that waiting too long could lead to damage than cannot be undone -- a kind of Humpty-Dumpty problem. However, an alternative perspective is that it would be best to simply not intervene.

Public Comments: Sociological Data

Research by Michael Nelson of Oregon State University shows overwhelming support for having wolves on Isle Royale, even if that involves intervention.

According to Nelson’s analysis, the public comments solicited by the National Park Service reveal that 86 percent agree that wolves should be present on Isle Royale -- even if that means intervening on their behalf. Half of those commenters cited maintaining ecosystem health as a key reason.

"We were interested in what policy was preferred by the interested public, but we were even more interested in how they reasoned their way to their preferred policy," Nelson says, "We're trying to understand the moral reasoning behind those preferences."

During his Nov. 12, 2015, presentation at Michigan Tech, "Should We Save the Wolves of Isle Royale? What the interested public thinks and why they think it," Oregon State University Professor Michael Nelson speaks about ethical questions. Nelson is also resident philosopher of the Isle Royale Wolf/Moose project and spends part of each summer working with the animal ecologists on the island. He is the co-creator and co-director, with Michigan Tech Professor and Wildlife Biologist John Vucetich, of the Conservation Ethics Group, an environmental ethics and problem solving consultancy group. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

Of the 12 percent who opposed intervention, many appealed to the ideology of wilderness. The underpinning views are that a healthy ecosystem should not need human intervention and maintaining naturalness -- with no human meddling -- means standing aside, even if that means another National Park without top carnivores.

Read more about Vucetich and Peterson's perspective on wolf reintroduction at www.mtu.edu/unscripted.

(Inset photos of Rolf Peterson and John Vucetich courtesy Michigan Tech University)

Monday, April 18, 2016

Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District to hold 64th Annual Meeting Apr. 21; HKCD Tree Sale to be May 7

The Keweenaw Fault will be the subject of the feature presentation by Bill Rose and Erika Vye at the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District Meeting Thursday, Apr. 21, at the Ramada Inn in Hancock. In this photo, Rose presents the importance of the Keweenaw Fault during the May 26, 2015, Torchlake Watershed meeting. (Keweenaw Now file photo)

HOUGHTON -- The Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) will hold its 64th Annual Meeting and Election at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, April 21, at the Ramada Inn, First Floor Conference Room, in Hancock.

Everyone is invited to share a light buffet supper; participate in the Election of two HKCD Board Members; learn about HKCD's Year in Review and the coming May 7, 2016, Tree Sale (see below); and enjoy the featured presentation: VISITING the KEWEENAW FAULT: GeoEducation and GeoTourism, by Bill Rose and Erika Vye.

Rose, Michigan Tech emeritus professor in geology, has recently led several geotours in the Keweenaw as part of an ongoing GeoEducation project. Erika Vye, who organizes the tours, recently completed her Ph.D. in geology at Michigan Tech. Last summer, one of the tours was devoted to the Keweenaw Fault, a massive thrust fault which split the Keweenaw peninsula lengthwise and uplifted rocks, including native copper, to a place where people could find it. Rose, who is also a researcher in Geological Engineering and Sciences and a volcanologist, has set up an educational Web site about Keweenaw Geoheritage.*

In Lake Linden, Bill Rose (center) talks about Torch Lake geology during the July 30, 2015, geotour of Copper Mining Waste of Lake Superior. Seated at right is Michigan Tech Professor Carol MacLennan, who participated in the tour and offered her expertise on the mining history of the area. Not pictured is Michigan Tech Professor of Biology Charles Kerfoot, who also participated in the tour. (Photo by Keweenaw Now)

An RSVP for the HKCD meeting is appreciated, but not required. If you would like to RSVP or vote via Absentee Ballot or receive more information please call Sue at (906) 369-5023.

HKCD announces 2016 Tree Sale

The Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) will be holding its 2016 TREE SALE from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, May 7, 2016. The 2016 TREE SALE will again be at 711 W. Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, on a first come, first served basis. Advance orders will not be accepted. The doors will open at 8 a.m. sharp. Everyone is welcome!

  • Wild flower plugs and more milkweed!
  •  All Prices will include 6 percent Michigan Sales Tax to expedite check out.
  • Plant Merchandise Catalogs full of fruit trees, berries, native trees and shrubs and more are available here.
  • Printed catalogs will  be available at HKCD's 64th Annual Meeting Thursday, April 21, at the Ramada Inn in Hancock (see above).
  • Printed catalogs will be mailed on a request only basis. Please call Sue at (906) 369-5023 to request a catalog.

* Click here to visit the Keweenaw Geoheritage Web site.

** Click here to read about last year's Geotours.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Residents wishing curbside recycling asked to attend Joint Hancock-Houghton City Council Meeting Apr. 19

Poster announcing Joint Houghton-Hancock City Council Meeting at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 19, at Lakeview Manor, Hancock. Houghton County residents who are interested in having curbside recycling are asked to attend the meeting. (Poster courtesy David Hall and Dana Van Kooy)

HANCOCK -- A Joint City Council Meeting for the cities of Hancock and Houghton will be held at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Apr. 19, in the Lakeview Manor Community Room, 1401 W. Quincy St., Hancock.

Local recycling concerns are expected to be part of the discussion under solid waste topics. While Hancock presently enjoys curbside recycling, other Houghton County residents would like to see Hancock and Houghton work together to consider curbside recycling for both cities. A five-year contract is being considered so a decision now is crucial. All interested residents are asked to attend, even those who live outside the cities. If curbside recycling becomes established, it can spread to the surrounding areas.

The following is the Agenda for the meeting as posted April 8, 2016:

A. Call to order by Lisa McKenzie and Mayor Robert Backon, Roll Call and Verification of a Quorum.
B. Hancock Council -- Mary Tuisku, Joe Bauman, Gregory Markkanen, Lisa McKenzie, Ted Belej, John Slivon and Ron Blau.
C. Houghton Council -- Robert Backon, Robert Megowen, Craig Kurtz, Mike Needham, Rachel Lankton, Dan Salo and John Sullivan.
D. Address The Flag

1. Review Solid Waste RFP’s.
2. January 1, 2017, Gas Tax increase.
3. State Revenue Sharing trends.
4. Review MDOT Downtown Hancock Streetscape Project.
5. Update on Houghton Skate Park Project.

Motion to adjourn.

Note: Posted this 8th day of April, 2016
All Councilors were properly notified on 4-8-16 at 3:00 p.m. and by e-mail. 18 hour minimum notice.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Carnegie Museum to host reception for Science Fair winners, Natural History Seminar, new exhibit on local recycling efforts

Poster for Carnegie Museum Apr. 16 reception for Western UP Science Fair winners courtesy Carnegie Museum.

HOUGHTON -- The Carnegie Museum in Houghton has announced two coming events and a new exhibit.

Award-Winning Science Fair Projects Apr. 16

The Carnegie Museum will host a reception for student-scientists -- winners of the 2016 Western UP Science Fair -- from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Saturday, Apr. 16. The reception will include refreshments and family science activities.

Natural History Seminar Apr. 19: Lake Superior's Legacy Brook Trout

Poster for Carnegie Museum Natural History Seminar on Lake Superior's Legacy Brook Trout Apr. 19 featuring Michigan Tech Professor of Biological Sciences Casey Huckins. (Poster courtesy Carnegie Museum)

At 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 19, Michigan Tech Professor of Biological Sciences Casey Huckins will present "Natural History and Conservation of Coasters -- Lake Superior's Legacy Brook Trout at the Carnegie Museum, part of the Carnegie's 2015-2016 Natural History Seminar Series. Refreshments and introductions at 6:30 p.m. will precede the talk.

Lake Superior was once known for the remarkable trout that swam the coastal waters and attracted anglers and recreationists. These trout were a migratory form of brook trout (called coasters) that depended on tributaries around the basin for spawning. By the early 1900s overharvest and the likely effects of watershed degradation and introduced species reduced these once common fish to scattered populations that now face new threats. This talk will cover the history and status of coasters and introduce the science, restoration, and management now being done to help them.

April's Natural History seminar is sponsored by Peterlin Distributing and Pisani Company, Inc.

New Exhibit Apr. 19 - May 5: Copper Country Recycling Initiative

Visit the Carnegie Museum's new exhibit and learn about local efforts to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.

Carnegie Museum events and exhibits are free and open to the public.