Margaret Comfort Completes Walk Across the UP

Margaret Comfort of Bourbonnais, Illinois completed her two-week walking journey on Labor Day that logged 175 miles, beginning at Kennecott’s proposed nickel mine site on Eagle Rock near Big Bay to St. Ignace and the Mackinac Bridge.  The trek was highlighted by rallies and visits to several UP communities along the way that brought awareness to the issue of metallic sulfide and uranium exploration and mining.

Comfort, along with a vehicle support team and several volunteer walkers was generously supported by concerned citizens, businesses and tourists along the way. Donations of food, firewood and funds overwhelmed the walkers. “The love and concern from people opening their hearts and helping out was amazing,” says Comfort. “Folks honking and waving energized us to keep moving towards our goal—the Mackinac Bridge Walk. If I had more time, I would walk all the way to the Capital in Lansing, camp out on the front lawn, and ask our legislators some tough questions. What is the ultimate goal of this destructive new mining process? Why is the state even considering allowing this to happen? Who is to benefit from this risky resource extraction?”

Banners reading “Protecting our Water, Step by Step, from Eagle Rock to the Mackinac Bridge” were prominent on support vehicles and T-shirts worn by the walkers. Says Comfort, “We were always within walking distance of a wetland, stream, inland lake or a Great Lake. That is why we were out there…to help protect our most precious gift of water and the Great Lakes.”

Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve, Save the Wild UP, Keepers of the Water and Northwood’s Wilderness Recovery sponsored the Walk and provided information and materials to communities along the way. For more information and photo’s of the Walk click here.

Our Heartful Gratitude to the following contributors to The Walk from Eagle Rock to the Mackinac Bridge:

The Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve
Save the Wild U.P.
SASM – Students Against Sulfide Mining
Northwoods Wilderness Recovery
Keepers of the Waters
The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community
Ojibwe Cultural Museum, St. Ignace, MI

Bay View Inn, Epoufette, MI (Sharon Stevenson)
Beaudoin’s Café, Naubinway, MI  (Robert and Gene Beaudoin)
Big Cedar Campground, Germfask, MI (Tonya, Barry, Kenny Peters)
Hog Island Country Store and Cottages, Naubinway, MI (Sandy & Tom Jacobs)
King’s Fish Market, Naubinway, MI  (Russ & Sally Schultz)
Lakenenland (Tom Lakenen and family)
Michigan Welcome Center (Harvey)
Naturopathic Associates, MQT  (Dr. Katy Nelson)

John Anderson
Teresa Bertossi
Scott Bouma
Barb Bradley
Solomon Brown
Tom, John, and Jan Bushey
Gabriel Caplett
Gene and Carla Champagne
Doug Cornett
Lon and Lynn Emerick
Nick and Sharon Cartier
Lon and Lynn Emerick
Marcia and Sven Gonstead
Gail Griffith
Rachelle Giulianni
Gale Hausfeld
Michelle Halley
Teri Irving
Sue Jacobson
Wendy, Milo, and Kiah Johnson
Bill and Thomas Kinjorski
Bethany Lyons
Kora Mills
Kristi Mills
Myra McDonald (Detroit)
Chauncey (“River Walker”), Nancy, and Jeremiah Moran
Sue Radloff
Lynn and Ben Rebertus
Lynn Roovers
Cynthia and Bob Pyror
Tom and Johnny Reed
John Saari
Teresa and John Scram
Mary Vaisanen
Beth Webb
Emily Whittaker
Jeff from MQT

Join Us for the Labor Day Bridge Walk

Cross the Mackinac Bridge on foot September 1, 2008! Show your support for the Great Lakes and help us spread the word about uranium and metallic sulfide mining.

This will be the last segment of the Eagle Rock to the Bridge Walk. It will be a culmination of a 200 mile journey that began on August 17 at Eagle Rock just north of Marquette. Margaret Comfort, along with a support team of drivers and walkers are making there way to St. Ignace step by step while meeting with communities along the way to raise public awareness of the threats of uranium and metallic sulfide mining to the Yellow Dog Plains and to our Great Lakes Waters. Click Here to read more about the Walk.

Meet at St. Ignace Big Boy Restaurant on US-2

6:30 am Meet at Big Boy
7:00 am Start walking the Bridge!
8:30 ish Shuttle back to St. Ignace $5 fee

Printable Bridge Walk information

Permits Issued for Uranium Exploration

 by: Eartha Jane Melzer

The National Forest Service has granted permits for Canada-based Trans Superior Resources Inc. to explore uranium deposits within the Ottawa National Forest in the western Upper Peninsula.

In a little-noticed Feb. 15 announcement approving the mining company exploration, the Forest Service stated that the uranium prospecting would have “no significant impact” on public health or safety and that an Environmental Impact Statement was unnecessary.

 Click to read more

Canadian city coucil takes a stand against Uranium mining

The following excerpt is from a Feb. 28 CBC news story, click here for the whole story

Ottawa city council is urging Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty to temporarily ban uranium prospecting, exploration and mining in eastern Ontario and the Ottawa River watershed.

The council voted 18-1 Wednesday in favour of a motion calling on the province to impose the moratorium immediately and to keep it in effect until:

  • All environmental and health issues related to uranium mining are “resolved.”
  • There are settlement plans for all related aboriginal land claims.

The same motion calls on the province to do a public review of its 1990 Mining Act.”

I hope this will remind us that there are options and opportunities to say “no”.

This is NOT a DONE DEAL!

Here is some additional information on the people uniting against Uranium mining in Canada:

The Seattle Times excellent article on Uranium mining

The following is an excerpt from the Seattle Times article, click here for the whole story.

Sherman Alexie was a teenager when he first felt threatened by the uranium mines near his home on the Spokane Indian Reservation.

His grandmother had died from esophageal cancer in 1980. A few years later, his mother and some other tribal members took out a road map and began marking red dots on every home where someone had cancer.

The roads where the ore trucks rumbled by were pocked with red.

“I remember at that point knowing at some point in my life I’m certainly going to get sick,” recalls Alexie, the acclaimed author who now lives in Seattle and recently won the National Book Award. “I have very little doubt that I’m going to get cancer.”

Such is the legacy of the Northwest’s only uranium mines. At least for those who even know they exist.

Washington’s Hanford nuclear reservation, toxic birthplace of the bomb that set off the atomic age, routinely makes headlines. The Midnite Mine, just 100 miles to the north, is all but forgotten, a combination of denial, neglect and willful amnesia.

One of the world’s largest mining companies is trying to wash its hands of responsibility for a costly cleanup. The federal government is supposed to help sick uranium miners, but people on the reservation don’t even know the program exists.