2021 Photo Contest:
Here are the Winners!

The photos you see here were judged ‘best of the best’ in our 2021 contest. Thanks to everyone who entered!

Slide show at left:

  • Adam Manninen, Under Mushroom (Category: Hidden Beauty)

  • Jared Hunt, Canoe Lake (Category: Humans Engaged)

  • LeAnn Pulda, Water Scene (Category: Cabin fever)

  • David Hunter, Bond Falls Reflections (Category: Fluid Water


  • Elizabeth Bates, Iconic Pilings (Category: Nature Panorama)

A genuine UP livestream  | Courtesy Joan Haara

UPEC livestreams  • Keeping you up-to-the-latest on UP issues

• Livestreamed on Facebook and Zoom

• Archived for viewing anytime on YouTube


Our next livestream:

“A Win for Wetlands!”

Thursday, January 14  •   7pm EST

Regional environmental groups are celebrating the news that a disputed Wetlands Permit for a planned mine close to the Menominee River has been denied by a Michigan Administrative Law Judge, concluding a two-year contested case. On Thursday, January 14 at 7:00 pm EST, the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s “This Is It!” livestream series will explore the background and future implications of this important ruling in “A Win for Wetlands!”


In 2018, the state of Michigan sparked controversy when it approved the mining company’s Wetlands Permit over the objections of professional regulatory staff who were prepared to deny the permit. Environmental groups appealed, and in a January 4 ruling the Administrative Law Judge canceled the permit, essentially blocking, and perhaps killing, a project that would have posed grave pollution threats to wetlands and the waters of the Menominee River.


“This decision is a thoughtful, clear-eyed rebuke of this project,” said UPEC President Horst Schmidt.  “The company’s approach to permitting the proposed mine has been hasty and incompetent, and reveals a disregard for Michigan’s natural resources. The decision demonstrates that the Wetland Permit was subject to denial for dozens of reasons.”


“A Win for Wetlands!” is an interactive panel discussion featuring four people who have been fighting the project for years: Al Gedicks of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, Dale Burie of the Coalition to Save the Menominee, Guy Reiter of Menikanaehkem, and Kathleen Heideman of the Mining Action Group. You are invited to join the conversation via Facebook or Zoom.







Meeting ID: 831 1343 8020

Passcode: 2021

Go to all livestreams

Applications now being accepted for Environmental Education grants

  • Up to $500 for Environmental Education projects • Deadline March 1, 2021 • More info

Great blue heron • Courtesy Russell Johnson

Birding Helps To Keep Us Healthy (And It’s Fun)


by Jeff Towner, Chairman, Laughing Whitefish Audubon Society & UPEC Board Member


Probably everyone would agree that we modern humans are subjected to a lot of environmental stress. The stressors are too numerous to name, but depending on an individual’s circumstances they may include environmental contaminants, including polluted air, water, and soil, poor diet, economic instability, lack of exercise, noise, interpersonal relationships, political instability, a deluge of media, including social media, and disease, including the current COVID-19 pandemic. Some spend considerable time and money looking for ways to reduce their stress load and deal with the physical and mental effects of stress. So, what does birding have to do with this? The answer is “A lot.”

Read more

Whitmer revokes easement for Line 5, setting in motion May 2021 shutdown


(Nov. 13) Canadian oil transportation giant Enbridge may soon lose its permission to operate a controversial, aging, oil and gas pipeline on the Straits of Mackinac lake bottom.

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Michigan Department of Natural Resources Director Dan Eichinger on Friday notified Enbridge that a 1953 easement allowing it to operate dual pipelines in the Straits of Mackinac to transport petroleum and other products is being revoked and terminated. 

Whitmer and Eichinger also filed a lawsuit asking the Ingham County Circuit Court to recognize the validity of this action, citing violation of the public trust doctrine, given the unreasonable risk that continued operation of the dual pipelines poses to the Great Lakes.

Read full Detroit Free Press article

© 2020 UPEC

Jared Hunt_Canoe Lake