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Re: E-M:/ What were the most important environmental issues/stories/events of 2007?

Enviro-Mich message from Doug Welker <dwelker@up.net>

Here are a few more:

1. The purchase of 2000 acres of land by the Trust For Public Land in the western U.P., 1800 acres of which was was private land within Sturgeon River Gorge Wilderness. The land includes Sturgeon Falls and the 350-foot deep bedrock section of the gorge. The land will eventually be sold to the Ottawa National Forest.
2. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board's approval for state purchase of a number of key properties that will enhance protection of river corridors and other special areas. (I know this is an annual event, but it should still be recognized for its importance)
3. Proposed development by the Upper Peninsula Power Company/Wisconsin Public Service of shorelines on a number of lakes in the western half of the U.P. Shoreline development on most of these lakes is currently minimal.
4. The spread of viral hemorrhagic septiciemia in Michigan waters. This disease affects almost 50 species of fish, and can cause catastrophic dieoffs in some species, particularly salmonids (trout, etc.). Much of its spread to inland lakes has been the result of the transportation of contaminated minnows that are used for bait, and this year the DNR has imposed tough new regulations for minnow dealers. The potential effects on our aquatic ecosystems could be significant.


07:41 AM 12/27/2007, David Holtz wrote:
My nominations for top Michigan environmental stories for 2007:

1, Michigan Supreme Court overturns 30 years of law and in the Nestle v. MCWC case guts citizen standing to sue under the Michigan Environmental Protection Act. By 7-2 margin, public supports restoring MEPA in constitution setting the stage for potential constitutional amendment in 2008.
2. Michigan DEQ buries its own consultants' report critical of controversial Kennecott UP nickel mine proposal and then after an internal review goes ahead and approves the mine permit setting the stage for wholesale mining in the UP. The action undermines public confidence in the department at a critical time when DEQ is under assault from Republican budget cutters.
3. Highest dioxin contamination ever recorded is discovered in the Saginaw River On Dec. 7, the Detroit Free Press reported that EPA officials charged in a confidential August internal report that Dow concealed the dangers of dioxin contamination in local waterways and insisted on negotiating cleanup details with Granholm's office instead of the state Department of Environmental Quality's staff.
4. Despite wider recognition of climate change and declining interest nationally in carbon-polluting coal plants, up to seven new dirty coal plants are proposed for Michigan without objection from Michigan's legislature. The new plants, if built, would negate any actions taken by the Legislature and the governor to reduce global warming impacts in Michigan, which is the 10th largest producer of carbon emissions in the nation.

Eartha Melzer wrote:
Hi group,

I'm working on a story that will review the top Michigan environmental stories of the year, whether or not they received coverage.
Can anyone help out by sharing what you think the top items were?
Declining lake levels? Wider recognition of climate change? Plans for a UP nickel mine? Continuing surge in farmers markets?

I appreciate any ideas,

Eartha Melzer
(231) 933-3249
(231) 342-7796 cell

Doug Welker 26344 Tauriainen Road Pelkie MI 49958 dwelker@up.net (906) 338-2680

Never underestimate the power of human greed.

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