Forums will address several issues on mining

HOUGHTON – Mining is experiencing a resurgence in parts of the Upper Peninsula, and because of that, a local organization is hosting a series of forums on the subject.

Carol Ekstrom, chair of the environmental committee for the Keweenaw Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, said the KUUF is hosting a series of forums on issues related to mining specifically in the western U.P. There is no charge to attend the forums.

Ekstrom said the purpose of the series is to gain a special recognition from the national Unitarian Universalist organization.

“We are trying to get a Green Sanctuary program,” she said. “We proposed 12 projects we’re working on.”

Since mining is an issue in the western U.P., Ekstrom said the members of the KUUF decided to present the forums, which will take place monthly from February to July.

The topics will include environmental, social, technical and economic impacts of mining, Ekstrom said.

“We want to broaden our views and perspectives on mining,” she said.

All the forums are scheduled to take place from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on the second Sunday of each month at the BHK Child Development Board conference center at 106 Water St. in Houghton.

The first forum in the series on Feb. 10 included a talk by author and retired chemist Mel Visser, whose book, “Cold, Clear and Deadly,” examined the effects of chemical pollution, particularly PCBs, in Lake Superior, was attended by 64 people, Ekstrom said.

The topic of the next forum Sunday will be about the impact mining may have on Native American land holdings and spiritual places.

There is a tentative plan to continue the forums to the end of the year, Ekstrom said, depending on how well the first six are attended.

“We would like to continue in the fall,” she said.