Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

Keweenaw Report

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has issued a violation notice to a mining company conducting exploratory drilling in the western U-P. The D-E-Q says the notice against the Highland Copper Company Incorporated was for soil erosion and wetlands impacts at sites on road commission property along County Road 519 in Gogebic County.

GOGEBIC COUNTY, MI--   Environmental groups say exploratory copper drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park has made a muddy mess.  

Orvana Resources, a division of Highland Copper, was given the go-ahead by the Department of Natural Resources to drill 12 test holes—as long as it took place on frozen ground. The Mining Action Group says although Orvana promised to protect the area from erosion heavy equipment has produced “a mile-long mudhole.”

GOGEBIC COUNTY, MI--   Highland Copper has resumed drilling at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.  

The Department of Natural Resources granted Orvana Resources—a subsidiary of Highland Copper—a permit to drill 12.5-inch-diameter core borings to evaluate copper minerals under the surface.

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI--   Applications are now being accepted for the Porcupine Mountains Artist-in-Residence Program for the coming year. 

The program offers writers, composers, and visual and performing artists the chance to stay at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park for a minimum of two weeks. During their residency artists will share their experiences with the public through demonstrations or talks. Afterwards they’ll contribute an art piece representative of their stay. 

GOGEBIC COUNTY, MI--   Highland Copper has temporarily halted drilling at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. 

Exploration of the one-mile-square section of the park stopped because of unseasonably warm weather.  A permit issued by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources stipulates that drilling take place only on frozen ground, preferably when there’s more than a foot of snow cover.  The provisions are meant to protect the surface of the drilling area.

MARQUETTE, MI--   Citizens deserve to have more input on what happens to public land. 

That’s what environmental groups are saying, after the Michigan Department of Natural Resources allowed Orvana Resources to do exploratory drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.  The DNR issued a press release a day after the drilling commenced.

Jon Saari is a board member of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition and a member of the Mining Action Group.  He says that’s not enough notice, and that the public has the right to comment on what happens to a state park.

MARQUETTE, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is letting a mining company do exploratory drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.   

The DNR issued a use permit to Orvana Resources—a subsidiary of Highland Copper—to conduct the drilling on a one-square-mile piece of land along the westernmost edge of the park in Gogebic County.  Work began Sunday and is expected to continue into early March, weather permitting. 

ONTONAGON, MI--   Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park is benefiting from a seed collection effort in Ontonagon County. 

The Department of Natural Resources, the Ontonagon Area School agriculture class, and White Pine Electric volunteers recently gathered acorns and maple tree seeds. They’ll be used to grow seedlings at a nursery in the Ottawa National Forest that will be replanted in the Porkies.

PORCUPINE MOUNTAINS STATE PARK, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says several cabins and campsites at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park have reopened. 

The Lake Superior and Big Carp cabins and ten backcountry campsite were closed following flash flooding from a thunderstorm that dumped as much as 11 inches of rain on the area. 

ONTONAGON, MI (AP)--   Michigan officials are warning boaters about a debris field floating in Lake Superior after 85 boats were destroyed by storms earlier in the week at a Wisconsin harbor.  

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources says debris is expected to come ashore through the weekend at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the western Upper Peninsula. A drifting boat, dock and woody debris were among the things reported in the water.

The park posted signs cautioning boaters.

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