Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Friends of the Land of Keweenaw to hold annual meeting Nov. 19

Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) recently held a joint fundraising event with Marquette's Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP) -- a concert by singer-songwriter Claudia Schmidt, second from left, at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock. Pictured here with Claudia are, from left, Linda Rulison, FOLK president; Alexandra Maxwell, SWUP outreach coordinator; and Kathleen Heideman, SWUP president. (Photos by Keweenaw Now)

HOUGHTON -- Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) will hold their annual membership meeting at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 19, at Portage Lake District Library in Houghton. The event is free and open to the public.

The Keynote speaker will be Nancy Langston, environmental historian and Lake Superior Binational Forum member, who will present the Forum's work on responsible mining in the Lake Superior Watershed. She will discuss her December 2013 Binational Forum report, Responsible Mining in the Lake Superior Basin.

Langston recently joined the faculty at Michigan Tech University, where she is professor of environmental history in the Social Sciences Department and a member of the Great Lakes Research Center.

Recently FOLK held a joint fundraising event with Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP) of Marquette -- a concert by folk/jazz singer-songwriter Claudia Schmidt at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock.

Preceding the Oct. 25, 2014, fundraising concert by Claudia Schmidt at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock, FOLK President Linda Rulison, left, speaks about "Places Too Special to Mine" -- some of which are pictured on the display on stage. Also pictured are, from left, Alexandra Maxwell and Kathleen Heideman of Save the Wild U.P. 

For the past three years FOLK, through its Mining Education and Empowerment Campaign, has sought to involve citizens in shaping mining policy for the local region. This policy would ensure new mining projects preserve, not degrade, the region's natural and social environment and would strengthen, not harm, the local economy.

Among the Campaign's accomplishments is an economic report prepared by Thomas Power, a noted resource economist and former Chair of the University of Montana Department of Economics, that addresses issues raised by the resumption of mining in the western U.P. and proposes an alternative and more sustainable model of economic development.*

Power was the keynote speaker at FOLK's November 2013 annual meeting in Baraga. Here is a video clip from a discussion during last year's meeting:

During a discussion following his presentation at the Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) meeting on Nov. 6, 2013, in answer to a question on economic effects of a large mining company moving into an area, Thomas Power discusses the "company town" syndrome. (Video by Keweenaw Now)**

Thomas Power gave two other presentations on his report, "The Economic Impacts of Renewed Copper Mining in the Western Upper Peninsula of Michigan," in Houghton during his visit to the Keweenaw in November 2013. Click here for Keweenaw Now's report on those presentations.

More Photos from the Claudia Schmidt concert:

Margaret Comfort, left, former SWUP president and member of the SWUP advisory board, organized the visit of her friend, Claudia Schmidt, for the joint fundraiser sponsored by FOLK and SWUP.

Singer-songwriter Claudia Schmidt performs one of her original songs during the FOLK-SWUP fundraiser at the Orpheum Theater in Hancock on Oct. 25, 2014.

Chris Alquist, left, and Horst Schmidt, the two newest FOLK board members, volunteered to collect tickets at the Claudia Schmidt fundraising concert.

For more information about FOLK's Mining Education Project, click here.

* Click here for the Executive Summary of Thomas Power's Report on the FOLK Web site.

** See more video clips from last year's FOLK meeting with Thomas Power on Keweenaw Now's YouTube Channel, Keweenaw News.

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