Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI--   The Department of Natural Resources is limiting the number of backcountry campsites at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park. 

Officials say in past years, such sites were available on a first-come, first-served basis, and campers could camp off-trail away from designated campsites. Now that annual visitation to the park has grown to more than 300,000 people, the backcountry experience has been compromised by overcrowding.

GOGEBIC COUNTY, MI--   The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has issued a use permit to Copperwood Resources to resume test drilling in Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Officials want to see if a mineral deposit first explored in the 1950s might feasibly be mined. Work is expected to be completed over the next month and a half. Copperwood wants to drill three test holes on DNR-managed land west of County Road 519. It will first need to obtain a wetlands permit from the Department of Environmental Quality.

ONTONAGON, MI--   The Department of Environmental Quality has reached a settlement with a company that caused erosion at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park.

Copperwood Resources performed exploratory copper drilling along Gogebic County Road 519 last April during a spring thaw. That damaged wetlands and produced mud holes. The company was supposed to drill only when the ground was frozen.

The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s Mining Action Group alerted the DEQ to the situation.

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI--   Michigan Department of Natural Resources sawyers are headed to Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park to help clean up significant tree fall from a late-season ice and snow storm.

Last week higher elevations at the park received an inch of ice, followed by 2 to 4 inches of snow. Numerous trees were weakened and toppled by the weight.

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI--   Roads at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park have reopened, after an ice-and-snow storm toppled hundreds of trees last week.

Crews cleaned up and assessed the damage over the weekend. All roads are open and passable, but drivers should expect some wood and debris on park roadways.

Passage to Lake of the Clouds opened Sunday and the road to Summit Peak reopened Monday.

Park officials say most of the damage begins at 1,000 feet elevation and higher. Lower elevations did not receive as much ice. 

ONTONAGON COUNTY, MI--   Some roads at Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park remain closed, after wintry weather last week toppled trees an littered the area with branches.

Thursday and Friday higher elevations in the park received up to an inch of ice, covered by two to four inches of snow. The ice added a lot of weight and stress to the trees, causing many to fall over.

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.