Thursday, March 22, 2018

Celebrate the UP! March 23-24 with films, speakers at GLRC and outdoor sports on Tech Trails

Celebrate the UP! offers environmental speakers and more this Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, in Houghton. Click on poster for larger version. (Poster courtesy Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition -- UPEC)

HOUGHTON -- The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) along with Michigan Tech's Great Lakes Research Center (GLRC) and Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (FOLK) are co-sponsoring the 2018 Celebrate the UP! on Friday and Saturday, March 23-24, at the Great Lakes Research Center and Michigan Tech trails. Guest speakers will offer presentations and films related to the environment and Lake Superior. This event is free and open to the public and includes a Saturday afternoon outdoor outing to enjoy the Michigan Tech world class trails with skis, snowshoes or fat bikes!

Events begin at 6 p.m. Friday, March 23, with a reception for keynote speaker James Mills, followed by a screening of his film, An American Ascent (Denali,  70 min.) and discussion in GLRC Room 202. An American Ascent documents the first African American expedition to tackle Denali, North America’s highest peak, and explores the complex relationship many African Americans have with the outdoors. As the United States transitions to a "minority majority" nation, a staggering number of people of color do not identify with America’s wild places. By embarking on the grueling multi-week climb of the 20,327ft. Denali, nine African American climbers set out to bridge this "adventure gap" -- challenging outdated notions of what adventure looks like by changing the face of America’s biggest and baddest mountain on the 100th anniversary of its first summit.

On Saturday, March 24, the GLRC will be the scene of three concurrent session talks per hour, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Click here for the schedule and bios of the speakers.  
From 11:15- noon lunch will be available for purchase.

At noon Saturday Keynote Speaker Dudley Edmondson will present "My Connection to Nature." Edmondson is the author of the landmark book, Black and Brown Faces in America’s Wild Places, profiling African Americans in nontraditional vocations and avocations in the outdoors. Edmondson also contributes to newspapers and magazines and lectures regularly about diversity in the outdoors.
 
From 3:15 p.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday the UPEC Annual General Membership Meeting and Panel Discussion will be held in GLRC 202. It will include a Round Table: UPEC Board Members Jon Saari, Maggie Scheffer and Kathleen Heideman will talk about UPEC’s achievements in 2017, focusing on conservation, environmental education, and mining.

From 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m. Saturday bring your snowshoes, cross country skis, or snowbike to Michigan Tech Trails. Trailhead is on Sharon Avenue, across from football field.

At 7 p.m. Saturday the film Saving Snow will be shown at MTU Forestry Bldg Room G002. This film is a new documentary on climate change and the north. Admission is free. $3 recommended donation.

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

NPS Notice of Availability of Final Isle Royale Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves

Isle Royale wolf. (File photo © and courtesy Rolf Peterson)

Houghton -- The National Park Service (NPS) has proposed a project to introduce 20 to 30 wolves at Isle Royale National Park. The proposal is the preferred alternative in a Final Environmental Impact Statement that is available at : http://parkplanning.nps.gov/isrowolves for the next 30 days.

The Final Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves (plan/FEIS) evaluates whether and how to bring wolves to Isle Royale to function as the apex predator within a changing and dynamic island ecosystem. The NPS preferred alternative is Alternative B, which calls for the introduction of 20 to 30 wolves over a three-year period. The goal of this alternative is to provide an introduction of wolves that has the potential to become a self-sustaining population.

In addition to the online availability of the plan/FEIS at  http://parkplanning.nps.gov/isrowolves, a limited number of hard copies are available at park headquarters as well as public libraries in Houghton and Marquette, Michigan; Superior, Wisconsin; and Duluth, Minnesota.

After a waiting period of at least 30 days, the NPS will issue a Record of Decision that documents the final decision and sets out a course of action for the project.
 
Editor's Note: For background on Alternative B, click here to read our March 13, 2017, article on the public meeting held on Feb. 15, 2017, to discuss the four alternative actions (A, B, C, and D) proposed by the National Park Service (NPS) in their draft Environmental Impact Statement (draft EIS) to Address the Presence of Wolves on Isle Royale.

CITY OF HANCOCK: NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED EXCHANGE OF REAL PROPERTY

The City of Hancock will hold a Public Hearing at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, March 21, 2018, at City Hall in the Council Chambers, 399 Quincy St., Hancock, to consider public comments on the proposed exchange of the following real property:

CITY TO ACQUIRE: 1.29-acre parcel located in the NE ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 23, T55N, R34W, located contiguous and North of the City’s Department of Public Works facility, 1601 Tomasi Dr., currently owned by Paul Tomasi.

CITY TO EXCHANGE: 1.29-acre parcel located in the SE ¼ of the SW ¼ of Section 23, T55N, R34W located on the West side of Portage Drive just North of 1626 Portage Drive (Edgewood Senior Independent Living Apartments) currently owned by the City of Hancock.

A copy of the map and exact legal description of the two exchange parcels is available during regular business hours at City Hall.

Mary Babcock
City Clerk

Monday, March 19, 2018

UPDATED: Nick Estes, Native American historian and activist, to speak at Michigan Tech March 20

Nick Estes, historian and indigenous rights activist from the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation), will speak at Michigan Tech on Tuesday, March 20. Click on poster for larger version. (Poster courtesy Indigenous Peoples' Day Campaign)

HOUGHTON -- Nick Estes, a historian and indigenous rights activist from the Oceti Sakowin (The Great Sioux Nation), will present "Resistance beyond Party Politics: From Standing Rock, to Black Lives Matter, to Palestine" at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 20, in Michigan Tech's Alumni Lounge, Memorial Union Building. He is presently an American Democracy Fellow at Harvard University.

Estes is also a co-founder of The Red Nation, a coalition of Native and non-Native activists, educators, students, and community organizers advocating Native liberation. According to their mission statement, they seek "to address the marginalization and invisibility of Native struggles within mainstream social justice organizing, and to foreground the targeted destruction and violence towards Native life and land."*

* Click here to read the full mission statement of The Red Nation.

UPDATE: Nick Estes' talk will be livestreamed. You can access the livestream here (Follow steps to launch it).