Filmmaker sets coming of age story in Upper Peninsula

By KAYLA SMITH
Capital News Service
LANSING — An epic bike trip around Lake Superior inspired a new film that stars the Upper Peninsula. “Superior” is a coming-of-age story:

At the height of the Vietnam War, two boys experience their last summer together before adulthood. One is headed to a university. The other fears the fate of the draft. They bike 1,300 miles around Lake Superior, meeting a slew of interesting characters.

Icy lakes made some towns, businesses winners or losers

By NICK STANEK
Capital News Service
LANSING — The record-breaking ice on Lake Superior is bad news for the steel industry but not for tourism in some parts of the Upper Peninsula. The Sault Ste. Marie locks opened Tuesday as they do every year on March 25. But this was the first time since 2009 a boat didn’t pass through the very same day. The lack of boat traffic in 2009 was due to economic reasons.

Crisp Point natural beauty now protected, open to public

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Two miles of pristine Lake Superior shoreline, sand dunes and an 83-acre inland lake are now open to the public as part of a 3,816-acre expansion of state-owned forestland in the central Upper Peninsula. The $6 million parcel is a “public asset,” said Tom Bailey, executive director of the Little Traverse Conservancy, which worked with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and U.S. Forest Service to bring the Crisp Point Project to fruition. Crisp Point includes steep bluffs, sand dunes and streams, as well as 2.5 miles of snowmobile trails, according to DNR. Public recreational uses include hunting, kayaking, fishing and wildlife viewing. Existing two-tracks will remain open, and DNR has no plans to build any structures or campgrounds there.

Projects protect U.P.'s coaster brook trout

By CELESTE BOTT
Capital News Service
LANSING – Removing sand from the Salmon Trout River in Marquette County has helped protect the spawning sites of coaster brook trout, according to researchers. A sand collector was installed upstream last spring to intercept sediment before it reached the endangered trout’s spawning habitat, according to a report from the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Marquette Fisheries Research Station. The machine pumps sand out of the river, preventing it from covering stream-bottom rocks where the majority of coasters spawn. The Salmon Trout River is the last Lake Superior tributary with a natural breeding population of the species, said Casey Huckins, the project leader and professor of biological sciences at Michigan Technological University. “They were once common throughout Lake Superior basin tributaries and nearshore waters, but the populations were wiped out due to over-fishing and habitat degradation,” Huckins said on the project’s fundraising website.

New books highlight Lake Superior’s allure

By ERIC FREEDMAN
Capital News Service
LANSING — Lake Superior has long entranced us – with its fickle, dramatic beauty and threats, with its historic legacies and legends, with its immensity and with the people who live along its shores. Now two new books highlight some of the reasons for our fascination and our awe. “Lake Superior is not as old as the hills,” author John Gagnon observes in “Lake Superior Profiles: People on the Big Lake” (Wayne State University Press, $24.95). At 9,500 years of age, the lake is a newborn in comparison to the billion-year-old surrounding hills. And the period of human habitation has been even shorter.