UPEC Livestreams: Keeping you connected with the UP environment

Our series of livestreams, co-hosted by Board President Horst Schmidt and Vice President Evan Zimmermann, keeps you up-to-date with environmental issues facing the Upper Peninsula.

Please note: as of November 2021, you can view all archived recordings of the livestreams anytime on UPEC’s Facebook page. Earlier posts below link to UPEC’s YouTube channel, which is no longer being used for this purpose.

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Roger Blanchard, LSSU

With the war in Ukraine leading to a Western boycott of Russian oil and reduced production outlook from OPEC+ nations, the world may face increased price and production volatility in the near term. But what about the future — how long will it be before the world is running on empty?


Oil supply expert Roger Blanchard provides us with an overview of our present global oil supply situation. Is America’s much vaunted talk about energy independence real? Professor Blanchard’s presentation will be an eye opener as we find out about our energy picture while making us ever more aware of the need for alternative energy sources. The publication this year of a five-part series in Resilience online magazine of “The Status of Global Oil Production” (https://www.resilience.org/resilience-author/roger-blanchard/) is the basis of our speaker’s presentation.

Roger Blanchard is the author of The Future of Global Oil Production: Facts, Figures, Trends and Projections, by Region. He has studied oil supply issues for over 30 years. He is a professor of chemistry at Lake Superior State University in Sault Ste. Marie, formerly teaching at Northern Kentucky University.


You can view Roger's PowerPoint presentation below.


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Nichole Biber, LTBB (Waganakising) Odawa Tribal Citizen; and Erin Johnston, Keweenaw Bay Indian Community


The Michigan Department of Natural Resources has put forth an updated plan for wolf management. Although the DNR currently is unable to implement the plan due to a federal court order, should the order be lifted the proposed wolf management plan would dictate how wolves would be treated in Michigan. The plan allows for a significant number of wolves to be killed in order to satisfy hunters’ desire for trophies.


How do tribes view the plan? On the next UPEC Livestream, we will have two tribal members, Nichole Biber and Erin Johnston, who can explain what the wolf means to them. Has the DNR consulted with tribes? Have their views been incorporated into the management plan? In ceding territory to the US government in the 1800s. tribes signed the documents with the provision that hunting and fishing rights in the ceded territories would be open to them. How does this play into wolf hunting?


Our guests

Dr. Nichole Biber, Elementary School Librarian, LTBB (Waganakising) Odawa Tribal Citizen. Nichole volunteers with the Anishinaabek Caucus, serving as the lead for the Wolf Preservation Team. Through a narrative of collective survival, she strives to communicate how Wolves are necessary to both the science of ecological balance, and to the continuation of Indigenous spiritual teachings that identify Ma’iingan, Wolf, as brother.


Erin Johnston, Wildlife Biologist/Wildlife & Habitat Section Lead, KBIC. Erin is responsible for management and oversight of projects and surveys related to wildlife, habitat, and wetlands within the L’Anse Indian Reservation. Current projects and long-term monitoring efforts focus on bats, waterfowl, herptafauna, and wolves. The Wildlife Program continues to grow and diversify as we build capacity and strengthen partnerships. Erin’s professional affiliations include the Michigan Wetland Association, Intertribal Chronic Wasting Disease Working Group, and Partners for Watershed Restoration.

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Dr. Al Gedicks, environmental sociologist and Indigenous rights activist

Anahkwet (Guy Reiter), executive Director of Menīkānaehkem, Inc.

Dale Burie, Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River


The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin have joined forces to protect the Menominee River from the Back Forty Project, a proposed metallic sulfide mine next to the river. So far, their combined public education efforts and legal challenges have forced the withdrawal of Aquila Resources, a Canadian exploration company, from the project. However, a new company, the Gold Resource Corporation (GORO) of Denver, Colorado, has acquired the assets of Aquila Resources and has asserted that they will have all the permits for the Back Forty Project in hand by the end of 2023 with construction to begin by early 2024. On the next Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream, representatives of this environmental and tribal alliance will discuss how they have brought the Back Forty permitting process to a standstill and how they plan to continue their efforts to protect the Menominee River from any proposed metallic sulfide mine.


Our Guests

Dr. Al Gedicks is an environmental sociologist and Indigenous rights activist and scholar. He has written extensively about Indigenous and popular resistance to ecologically destructive mining and oil projects. In 1977 he founded the Center for Alternative Mining Development Policy and assisted the Mole Lake Sokaogon Ojibwe Tribe in successfully resisting Exxon’s proposed metallic sulfide mine upstream from the tribe’s sacred wild rice beds. He is emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, a statewide environmental organization to educate the public about metallic sulfide mining projects in the upper Midwest. He is presently working with the Menominee Nation and the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River to oppose the Back Forty Project next to the Menominee River.

Anahkwet (Guy Reiter) is a traditional Menominee who resides on the Menominee Reservation and the executive Director of Menīkānaehkem, Inc., a Menominee Indian community organization. Anahkwet serves his community as an organizer, activist, author, amateur archaeologist and lecturer. He also is a member of the Menominee Constitutional Taskforce.


Dale Burie is a retired Safety Coordinator from Tyson Foods, Nashville, Tennessee. Upon retiring and building their retirement home only 1/4 mile from the Menominee River 20 miles North of Marinette, Wisconsin. Dale and his wife Lea Jane became aware of the threat to the river from Aquila Resources sulfide mine exploration company from Toronto, Canada. Dale and Lea Jane organized their first meeting pf the "Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.". The Coalition's work continues challenging the next owner of the Back Forty project on the Menominee River. Their website is www.jointherivercoalition.org

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