Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Updates from Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve

From: Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve
Text and photos reprinted with permission.

BIG BAY, Mich. -- The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve has posted several articles of interest on their Web site recently. Here are some of their updates:

Chauncey Moran, Jon Saari accept Lake Superior Steward of the Year awards

Chauncey Moran, left, and Jon Saari accept their stewardship awards from the Lake Superior Binational Forum. (Photo © and courtesy Jeremiah Eagle Eye)

On Sept. 28, 2012, The Lake Superior Binational Forum came to the Peter White Public Library in Marquette to offer a public forum and presentations related to nonferrous mining in the region. During the forum, Chauncey Moran of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and Jon Saari of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) and were presented Lake Superior Steward individual awards for their tireless efforts. Congratulations, Chauncey and Jon!

The Lake Superior Binational Forum is composed of twelve Canadian and twelve American stake holders which share the mission to protect the entire ecosystem of Lake Superior including air, land, water, human life and wildlife. Only six Americans were given awards this year under the categories of Youth, Individual Adult, Business, Tribe, or Organization. The awards were chosen by a panel of judges from both the United States and Canada and are intended to honor individuals who "have accomplished significant and successful actions that minimize the negative impacts or restore the natural environment in the Lake Superior basin."*

From the Lake Superior Binational Forum Web site:

On Chauncey Moran:
"Friends call the 62-year-old retiree 'River Walker,' since he has actively served as part of a nationwide corps of volunteers who monitor rivers, lakes, and wetlands for pollution and its effects. For the last four years, Moran has regularly visited about 20 spots along the 51-mile-long Yellow Dog River in northern Marquette County, doggedly compiling statistical and photographic records of human and natural conditions using numerous scientific tests and observations. His primary goal is to develop benchmarks that could signal dangerous trends in the future."

On Jon Saari:
"Jon is a founding member of the nonprofit groups called the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) and the Central Lake Superior Land Conservancy. He has been active in promoting education and fact-based information about potential impacts from nonferrous mines in the Michigan Upper Peninsula, and as a professor at Northern Michigan University he has raised awareness of environmental impacts for many NMU students. A prolific writer, he published numerous essays in the Marquette Mining Journal about the need to protect the natural resources in the Lake Superior basin."

More Yellow Dog Watershed news

Representative Benishek to visit Marquette

At 7 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, Congressman Dan Benishek will visit the Peter White Library for the candidate forum put on by the UP Children's Coalition. In the past, Benishek has voted in support of H.R. 2018, a bill that would restrict the EPA's ability to set a minimum for a state's water quality standards, and to restrict the E.P.A.'s ability to limit pollution flowing downstream to other waters and also into other states. Please attend this forum to ask questions about future bills and voice your concern!

Potential Bills of Environmental Concern

Please contact your representatives to express concern about potential bills that are under consideration in the Michigan Legislature. SB1276: Remove Protections for Biodiversity Areas (Removes the DNR's ability to designate biodiversity areas and removes "restoration" from the definition of biological diversity conservation); SB 1238: Term Limit and Micromanage the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board (and prioritize projects for motorized uses); and SB 1273: Allocate Excess Michigan Natural Resources Trust Funding to the Michigan Transportation Fund.**

Also a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives, H.R. 4402, was recently passed which eliminates meaningful environmental review for mining projects on federal lands in the interest of speeding up mining exploration and mine permitting. There is a companion bill in the Senate with similar legislation, S. 1113/H.R. 4402 and there is still time to contact your Senators!***

Salmon-Trout Volunteer Stream Monitoring finished successfully for the season

Kris, Ally and Sandy capturing macroinvertebrates to assess water quality for the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve's Volunteer Stream Monitoring program on the Salmon-Trout River. (Photo courtesy Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve)

We have now finished all of our eight site surveys and are wrapping up the program for this season. A total of 181 volunteer hours were generously given to the program by 32 volunteers throughout the training and the two weeks of monitoring. Six out of the eight sites received an "Excellent" water quality score, the East Branch received a "Good" rating, and the Clear Creek was the only part of the river that received "Fair" as a rating. We will be checking up on the Clear as it is possible that sedimentation may be a contributing factor to the lower rating.

Everyone appears to have really enjoyed the program, and we have quite a few pictures for you all to check out on Flickr and Facebook! The next round of monitoring will take place in the spring in late April or early May. Let us know if you are interested in helping out with the program.

Click here to see more photos of the stream monitoring.

Coaster Brook Trout prints by Wayne Snyder to be sold as fundraiser

Wayne Snyder is an American author, photographer, illustrator, painter, poet, and conservationist and has written a number of books about the world of fly fishing. He has written three books: The Golden Age (Rochester Media, 2010), Why I Fish (self-published) and Rivers Of No Return (Rochester Media, 2012). Last year he created a painting titled "Isle Royale Coasters Qwest" of a Michigan Coaster Brook Trout, and will be offering prints of this painting for $75. We are excited to say that for each print sale he will donate $20 to support the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve and its stream monitoring activity on the Salmon-Trout River. Purchase yours now! Click here to read more ...

Econo Foods Receipts

Help the Yellow Dog by saving your Econo Foods receipts! Econo Foods donates one percent of total receipts to nonprofits. Drop off your Econo Foods receipts or mail them to us at: Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, P.O. Box 5, Big Bay, MI 49808

Editor's Notes:
* Watch for more news (videos and photos by Keweenaw Now's Allan Baker) on the recent Lake Superior Binational Forum, coming soon.

**Click here to read about SB 1276, primarily sponsored by Michigan Sen. Tom Casperson (R-Escanaba); click here to read about SB 1238, for which Casperson was also one of the sponsors; click here for SB 1273.

*** Click here for S. 1113: Critical Minerals Policy Act of 2011.

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