See our right-hand column for announcements and news briefs. Scroll down the right-hand column to access the Archives -- links to articles posted in the main column since 2007.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Public comments on exploratory permit to drill in Ottawa National Forest due Oct. 23, 2012

ONTONAGON COUNTY -- A Canadian mining company, Trans Superior Resources Inc. (TSR), is seeking a permit from the US Forest Service and the Bureau of Land Management to do exploratory drilling in the Ottawa National Forest (ONF). The deposits they wish to explore are under federal (public) land and owned by the federal government. According to the announcement, they are looking for gold, nickel, cobalt, and platinum group metals (PGE).

A view of the Ottawa National Forest. (Photos © and courtesy Margaret Comfort)

The 720 acre (1.125 square miles) area where TSR wishes to explore is within the Trap Hills region of the western UP, about six miles NE of Bergland in Ontonagon County, Michigan. The Trap Hills region consists of high rock outcrops, spectacular views, mature and old-growth forests, and pristine rivers and streams. It supports populations of a number of rare plants whose main range is in western North America. This is a truly unique and beautiful part of the UP.

Area recreational trails include the North Country Trail (which borders the NW corner of the western parcel), the Cascade Falls hiking trail, and the Pioneer Multi-Use Trail. Cascade Creek flows through the southwestern corner of the proposed exploration area. It tumbles over scenic Cascade Falls before joining the West Branch of the Ontonagon River, about half a mile south of the exploration area. The West Branch is a federally-designated Recreational River under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. Breathtaking Norwich Bluff towers above the floodplain of the West Branch, about three miles east of the site. This high bluff was the site of an underground mine in the mid- to late 1800s. The trail running along the base of the bluff was being used by travelers at least 1000 years ago.

View of Norwich Bluff in the Ottawa National Forest.

In 2008 TSR applied for and got a permit to prospect in a 3/4 square mile parcel of ONF land adjacent to one of the parcels on which they are applying for a permit this time. The company renewed their 2008 permit in 2010, and is apparently still prospecting there. The fact that they want to expand their exploration in this area may indicate that they have found evidence of economically valuable mineral deposits.

Public comments on this exploratory drilling permit may be sent to the US Forest Service on or before 11:59 p.m. Eastern Standard Time on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2012. Comments do not need to be anything elaborate. Even very brief comments give you standing to appeal the decision. Comments should mention Trans Superior Resources' exploration for gold, nickel, cobalt, and platinum in the Ottawa National Forest, Federal Hardrock Minerals Prospecting Project #38891.

All are welcome to comment. You do not have to be a Michigander. Comments can be sent by email, fax, phone or US mail to this address:
Susan M. Adams, District Ranger
Bergland and Ontonagon Ranger District
1209 Rockland Road
Ontonagon, MI 49953

Phone comments should be submitted between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time to 906-884-2411. Faxes should be sent to 906-884-4830.

Emails should be sent to Put "Comments on the Federal Hardrock Minerals Prospecting Project" in the subject line. In order to receive standing to appeal, comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. (EST) on the closing date of the comment period (Oct. 23, 2012).

For more information contact LeAnn Colburn by phone at 906-852-3500, or by email at She is the ONF Environmental Coordinator and ID Team Leader at the Kenton Ranger Station.

Click here to see the Environmental Assessment and a general locational map for this project.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Public Forums on November Ballot Proposals to be held Oct. 24, 25

HOUGHTON -- Two forums on November Ballot Proposals will be held Wednesday, Oct. 24, and Thursday, Oct. 25, in Houghton.

Michigan State University (MSU) Extension, in partnership with the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country, is hosting a Ballot Proposal Forum to provide factual, unbiased information on each proposal from MSU policy experts who will be present via webcam. This forum will be held at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 24, at the BHK Learning Center, Houghton.

Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the proposals with other citizens and the experts. To read 100-word summaries and analysis of each of the proposals, visit the Citizen’s Research Council website:

A Public Forum on on Proposal 3: Michigan's Renewable Energy Ballot Initiative will be held from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, in Michigan Tech's Forestry Building Room G002.

Proposal 3, if approved, would require electric utilities to provide at least 25 percent of their annual retail electricity sales to be from renewable energy sources by 2025 (25x25).

The forum will feature a panel from Michigan Tech's College of Engineering: Associate Dean Leonard Bohmann, Associate Professor Joshua Pearce and Professor Ezra Bar-Ziv, who will discuss wind power, solar power and biomass electricity, followed by a Question and Answer session.

This event is sponsored by the Graduate Program in Environmental and Energy Policy, the Sustainable Futures Institute, the Power and Energy Research Center and the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country.

See also the pro/con statements in the League's Voter Guide on

League of Women Voters to host forum on Portage Township Board election Oct. 22

HOUGHTON -- A candidates’ forum for the Portage Township Board Election will be held by the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country at 6 p.m. Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at Houghton High School.

Candidates for supervisor, treasurer, clerk and trustee positions have been invited to participate. Audience members will be able to submit written questions during the program. There will be an informal refreshment time following the panel Question and Answer session.

League of Women Voters rules for forums ask that audience members remove any buttons, t-shirts or other campaign paraphernalia while in the auditorium. The audience will also refrain from applause or vocalization, etc., during the program. The public's cooperation is appreciated.

Khana Khazana to offer Indian cuisine Oct. 19

HOUGHTON -- Indian food is on Michigan Tech's Khana Khazana menu for lunch this Friday, Oct. 19. Graduate students Salil Sabade (ECE) and Chandrika Abhang (ME-EM) will cook kadhai chole masala, a popular Punjabi dish; lava chicken/chicken kholapuri, a spicy chicken curry with coconut and tomato puree (vegetarian option substitutes tofu); jeera rice with cumin and coriander; and sweet carrot halwa, a healthy dessert.

Khana Khazana is served in the Memorial Union Food Court from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Friday. A full meal costs $6.95 and includes a free fountain drink. Individual items are available for $2.50 each.

Khana Khazana is a collaborative effort of international students and Michigan Tech Dining Services.

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.

Huskies helping heroes in Detroit Marathon

By Jennifer Donovan, Michigan Tech Director of Public Relations
Posted on Tech Today Oct. 17, 2012

HOUGHTON -- A team of 20 Michigan Tech engineering students will be in Detroit this weekend helping the Achilles Freedom Team of wounded veterans who are participating in the Detroit Free Press/Talmer Bank marathon on Sunday, Oct. 21. The Tech students are a Senior Design team that is working on a capstone project, sponsored by General Motors, to create a better hand-cranked racing cycle.

On Saturday, the Tech team will work with the Achilles Freedom Team during a bike tune-up in preparation for the race. The disabled riders will share their needs and their struggles with their current equipment, helping the engineering students design an even better machine. Their goal is to create more reliable cycles that can enable the wounded veterans to be more competitive.

Click here to read the full story on Tech Today.

Rozsa Center to host art exhibit honoring veterans

HOUGHTON -- The Rozsa Center will be hosting an art exhibit titled "Always Lost: A Meditation on War."

The exhibit is a tribute to the men and women who serve in the Armed Forces and a sober remembrance of those who have been lost. It features writings and photographs of veterans as well as Pulitzer Prize-winning photographs taken by journalists from the Dallas Morning News who were embedded with the troops.

The Rozsa Center staff will be hosting an opening reception for the exhibit at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 19, in the Rozsa Center Gallery and would like to invite all veterans and active duty service men and women to attend.

The hope is simply to have an opportunity to say thank you to all those in our community who are serving or have served our country.

Reception for Candidate Scott Dianda to be Oct. 21 in Ironwood

CALUMET -- The campaign of Scott Dianda today announced that there will be a fundraiser reception for Scott Dianda, Democratic candidate for the 110th House seat, to be held from 4:30 p.m. until 7 p.m. (central time) on Sunday, Oct. 21, at Tacconelli’s Restaurant in Ironwood, Mich. The charge for the event is $20 per person, $15 for seniors and students.

This event is open to the public. There will be a variety of pizza with salad, coffee, soft drinks and a cash bar available.

Guests interested in attending are urged to make an RSVP by calling 906-228-8196 or by e-mail to

"I would like to invite my friends, supporters and interested voters to come and visit with me as we come into the closing stretch of this campaign to represent the people of the 110th House District," said Mr. Dianda.

Environmental sociologist to offer lectures, book signings at Michigan Tech Oct. 18, 19

HOUGHTON -- Tom Heberlein, an environmental sociologist, will be giving lectures and book signings at Michigan Tech University Thursday, Oct. 18, and Friday, Oct. 19.

Heberlein is professor emeritus in the Department of Community and Environmental Sociology and the Gaylord Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and is currently a visiting professor in the Department of Wildlife, Fish and Environmental Studies in the College of Forestry in Umeå, Sweden.

From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Thursday he will present "A River Runs through it: Lessons from Rivers and Lakes," at the Great Lakes Research Center 202. This will include a book signing and informal discussion, with refreshments to follow. Open to the public.

At 7 p.m. Thursday evening, the Green Lecture Series will feature Heberlein speaking on "Navigating Environmental Attitudes: Lessons from Wolves," in Hesterberg Hall, Forestry Building G002. Again the presentation will be followed by a book signing and refreshments.

At Noon on Friday, Oct. 19, Heberlein will present "The Role of the Social Scientist in Environmental Research and Management" in Michigan Tech's Academic Office Building 201. This is a Department of Social Sciences Brown Bag discussion, and all are welcome.

Heberlein's visit is cosponsored by the Department of Social Sciences' Environmental and Energy Policy Program, Great Lakes Research Center, Lake Superior Stewardship Initiative, Keweenaw Land Trust, Michigan Tech Center for Water and Society, and Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship.

The Green Lecture Series program is partially funded with a grant from the League of Women Voters of the Copper Country, Friends of the Land of Keweenaw, and UP Environmental Coalition. 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Jutila Center to host "Conversations about Design" multi-media event Oct. 17

HANCOCK -- For its second annual SeeDesign seminar, the Finlandia University Jutila Center for Global Design and Business will present a multi-media, interactive installation and presentation titled "Conversations about Design" at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 17, in the Jutila Center lobby.

The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Funded in part by a mini-grant from the Michigan Council for the Arts, "Conversations about Design" will showcase how design and creativity can influence business decisions and contribute to overall business success. The mini-grant is administered by the Copper Country Community Arts Center, Hancock.

"The purpose of the installation is manifold," says Bonnie Holland, director of the Jutila Center. "First, it will demonstrate some of the many ways small businesses can use creative resources to contribute to their bottom-line success. It will also introduce some of the creative designers in our region, showcase their services, and illustrate the ways in which these creative businesses collaborate."

Holland adds that "Conversations about Design" will also show Finlandia students and others some of the creative careers one might pursue.

In a display of lighting design and engineering, the Jutila Center building will be illuminated Wednesday evening.

The highlighted creative services include graphic design, photography, videography, voice-overs, editing, sign making, light engineering, architecture, and marketing.

The creative firms and professionals featured in the installation include The Upper Peninsula Marketing Department, Inc.; IG Graphics; Monte Consulting, Inc.;; Brassard Media;; OHM, Inc.; On Air Voices; Gary Brown; and Lester Brent.

Finlandia International School of Art and Design graphic design seniors Cait Spera and Audrey Small, both of Iron Mountain, have conducted interviews with area designers, photographers, marketing firms, videographers, and other creative specialists. The results of these investigations, also part of "Conversations about Design," will illustrate how the overall creative design process works and present the interviewees’ ideas about the part creativity can play in driving strategic decisions.

Finlandia University associate professor of graphic design Robert Grame is coordinating the overall presentation of the "Conversations about Design" installation. Todd Brassard of Brassard Media, Hancock, is technical coordinator for the installation. Finlandia University Art and Design seniors Eric Hinsch (Hancock) and Erika Gerstner (Sagola) are involved in the overall installation design and ambiance.

For additional information, please contact Bonnie Holland at 906-487-7344.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Key voices endorse Michigan's Ballot Proposal 3

From: Michigan League of Conservation Voters (MLCV)
Posted Oct. 15 on MLCV's Political Week in Review

A national coalition of businesses committed to renewable energy endorsed Proposal 3 today. Business for Innovative Climate and Energy Policy (BICEP) is composed of
nationally recognizable brands like Ben and Jerry's, The Gap Inc., and The North Face who want more of the electricity they use to come from renewable sources.

Michigan League of Conservation Voters Executive Director Lisa Wozniak made the case for Prop 3 in the Detroit Free Press this week, as well.

"The beauty of this ballot initiative is that it builds off of Michigan's manufacturing talent and know-how while also doing the right thing for the air we breathe and the Great Lakes. Proposal 3 will create jobs, spark investment, rein in high energy costs and reduce pollution," she wrote.

With only three weeks to go before the election, the Prop 3 campaign is in full swing. While the utilities have put millions of dollars into misleading ads to protect their reliance on coal, we have something they don't: you. Click here to sign up for a volunteer phone bank to make sure your fellow citizens know about the 94,000 Michigan jobs Prop 3 will create!

Click here to read more articles on MLCV's Oct. 15, 2012, Political Week in Review.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Portage Library to host Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange Oct. 15

HOUGHTON -- The Portage Lake District Library continues to host meetings of the Gluten-Free Recipe Exchange from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on the third Monday of each month, September through May.

On Monday, Oct. 15, Eco Holistic Health Coach Shelby Laubhan will lead a lively discussion on the hot topic of eating a gluten-free diet for better health. One out of ten Americans is either gluten-intolerant or has gluten-sensitivity, and the number continues to rise. Laubhan will explain how gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, barley and sometimes oats, can cause pain and suffering by way of joint inflammation, digestive dysfunction, neurological disorders, and autoimmunity issues. She will also show how a gluten-free diet can greatly improve one’s health in a number of ways that include an increase in energy, elimination of bloating, and the clearing of brain fog.

Laubhan has been gluten-free for 28 years and is a professional EcoHolistic Health Coach. She helps clients create a healthier and happier life, have more energy, and permanently reach health and life goals that include weight loss and stress management. Her practice, Jai Yen Wellness: EcoHolistic Health Coaching and Retreats, also provides gluten-free options and resources, cooking and baking guidance, party menu planning and shopping assistance.

Participants may also bring samples of their favorite gluten-free bread, rolls and biscuits for sharing and are encouraged to bring their recipes. Copies of the recipes will be made at the library. Please list all ingredients used in making foods that are shared at these meetings and identify the brand names of the gluten-free ingredients. Bringing food is not a requirement for attendance. Everyone who is interested in learning more about gluten-free eating is encouraged to attend.

Library programs are free and everyone is welcome. For more information, please call the library at 482-4570 or visit