About Us

Mission Statement

The UPEC Mining Action Group is a volunteer, grassroots effort to defend the clean water and wild places of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from the dangers of sulfide mining – formerly known as Save the Wild U.P. (SWUP).


At the end of 2016, SWUP merged with the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC) to create the UPEC Mining Action Group (MAG). MAG is a 100% volunteer, grassroots effort defending the clean water and wild places of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula from the dangers of sulfide mining. MAG operates as new semi-autonomous arm of UPEC. The leadership team includes Alexandra Maxwell, Kathleen Heideman, Jon Saari, and Steve Garske, who each serve as board members of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition.

Save the Wild U.P. was founded in 2004 by a small group of grassroots leaders dedicated to defending U.P. communities and environment from the threats of sulfide mining, working collaboratively with concerned citizens, tribes and allied organizations across the region.

As activists, the Mining Action Group continues to build on Save the Wild U.P.’s legacy. We serve as environmental watchdogs, urging regulators to make wise decisions to protect the natural resources and public lands of Upper Michigan, educating citizens about the risky business of sulfide mining and the industrialization of our wild lands, reviewing and objecting to permits for new mineral leases in sensitive areas, speaking out at public hearings, and working collaboratively with regional tribal nations and watershed organizations.

Your vigilance, active involvement and generous support has always made our work possible, and we ask you to help us continue defending the U.P.’s clean water and wild places!

As a member-based organization, the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition has been helping to protect the U.P.’s great places since 1976.

Please help support the Mining Action Group by becoming a UPEC member. For a minimum donation of $25, you’ll receive an annual UPEC membership, a year’s subscription to UPEC’s quarterly newsletter, Mining Action Group updates, and a free invitation to attend UPEC’s annual “Celebrate the U.P.” event. Contributing more the $25 UPEC membership level? Remember to earmark your donation for Mining Action Group!