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Friday, February 10, 2017

Public invited to Open Houses on Draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves on Isle Royale; comments accepted through March 15, 2017

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

HOUGHTON -- The National Park Service (NPS) invites the public to participate in upcoming informational open houses and webinars regarding the proposed draft plan determining whether and how to bring wolves to Isle Royale National Park. The plan and alternatives are described in the draft Environmental Impact Statement to Address the Presence of Wolves on Isle Royale (draft EIS), released on Dec. 16, 2016, and can be found here: rowolves.

The draft plan/EIS evaluates three action alternatives to bring wolves to the island, as well as the no-action alternative of not bringing wolves to the island. The National Park Service draft preferred alternative is Alternative B, which calls for the immediate introduction of 20 - 30 wolves over a three year period. The goal of this alternative is to provide an immediate introduction of wolves that has the potential to be self-sustaining.

Under Alternative C, the National Park Service would immediately introduce 6-15 wolves with the potential for subsequent introductions over a 20-year period in order to maintain a wolf population in the park.

Alternative D provides the National Park Service time to continue to monitor conditions. No immediate action would be taken but the alternative allows for future introductions of wolves. The decision to introduce in the future would be based on moose population metrics and other observed changes in the ecosystem.

The public open houses will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 14, in Duluth, Minn., and on Wednesday, Feb. 15, in Houghton. A short presentation will start at 4:30 p.m. followed by a question and answer period and open house.

The open house meetings will be held at the following locations:
•    Duluth, Minnesota -- Feb. 14 at Pier B Resort, 800 West Railroad Street
•    Houghton, Michigan -- Feb. 15 at Magnuson Franklin Square Inn, 820 Shelden Avenue

In order to maximize opportunities to learn more about the draft plan/EIS, webinars are scheduled for 4 p.m. - 5:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Thursday, Feb. 16, and from 7 p.m.- 8:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) Tuesday, Feb. 21. To obtain more information about the open houses and to register for the webinars, click here.

In addition to the open houses, the public is invited to submit written comments. Click here to commentComments may also be submitted through March 15, 2017, via regular mail or hand delivery at: Superintendent Phyllis Green, Isle Royale National Park, ISRO Wolves, 800 East Lakeshore Drive, Houghton, Michigan 49931-1896.

Monday, February 06, 2017

CommUNITY march to support those affected by Executive Order on travel, visas to be Feb. 9 in Houghton

HOUGHTON -- In solidarity with Academics United rallies around the country, a march in support of friends, professors, students, neighbors, and colleagues from Iraq, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen affected by the Jan 27 executive order will be held from 5:05 p.m. to 6:15 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, in Houghton.

The march will start at the Husky Statue, Michigan Tech Campus Quad, at 5:05 p.m. After welcome remarks participants will walk down College Ave. to the miner's statue/Keweenaw Chamber of Commerce, where they will loop around and walk two-by-two back to the MUB (Memorial Union Building on campus). When necessary marchers will walk single file to accommodate pedestrians on College Ave. The march will end with a call to action outside the MUB.

The Jan 27 Executive Order (EO) impacts dozens of Michigan Tech graduate students, faculty, and community members in Houghton/Hancock area. Most of those affected are from Iran and some from Syria and Iraq. Those affected face great uncertainty. Some faculty have lived in Houghton for more than a decade and their children are US citizens. All who wish to support them and to make visible the impacts of the EO on our community members are welcome to join the march. The march is the kick-off for a series of actions to respond to the EO.

Participants who wish to bring a sign are asked to make their messages positive. Due to the Michigan Tech international community's desire to reach out to the entire Houghton community, this is a march in support of people rather than a march against the ban. Some sign ideas:

I'm here for my [...neighbors/professor/students/friends]
I'm an immigrant, too [with flag from your country or your ancestor's countries]
Academics and Community United
I support our faculty and students
I support academics

The Center for Diversity and Inclusion at Hamar House on campus will be open all day on Thursday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with poster supplies. Poster-making could be a great activity for families after touring the Winter Carnival statues. Hamar House is right there on campus in between Fisher and the broomball rinks.

White is the color for the march. If possible, please wear a white hat, scarf, or coat or carry a white article of clothing to wave during the march. We all look to a peaceful future.

The organizers of the march are a group of students, staff, and community members, including those who are directly affected by the EO and those who want to show their solidarity. Contact Sara Alian and Aref Majdara for more information.