By NATASHA BLAKELY
Capital News Service
LANSING — Fierce public reaction greeted the news that a copper company had a use permit to drill at the west edge of one of Michigan’s most remote state parks. Orvana Resources U.S. Corp.—a subsidiary of Highland Copper—is doing exploratory drilling near Porcupine Mountains Wilderness State Park in the western Upper Peninsula. It’s not producing copper, but many members of the public aren’t happy with what it may mean. “It’s a wild state park to begin with, and having industrial activity there is a shame,” said Steve Garske, a board member of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Mining Action Group. “It seems like mining companies keep targeting areas that are important to the state.”
Although the state owns the land the park is on, it doesn’t own the rights to the minerals under the park.