About the Friends of the Land of Keweenaw
Jutting 80 miles into Lake Superior’s cold deep waters, the Keweenaw Peninsula is the jewel of the Great Lakes. A land of small farms and historic towns, clean air and tall pines, clear water and rugged shoreline, the Keweenaw is an area of unparalleled natural beauty. However, it’s beauty and tranquility has been threatened; this is the story of a group of citizens that have united to meet that threat and to always protect the quality of the Keweenaw.
In 1989, the James River Corporation proposed the construction of a 1.2 billion dollar bleached kraft pulp/paper mill near Keweenaw Bay in Michigan’s Western Upper Peninsula. If allowed to be built the mill would consume the equivalent of 80 clear cut acres of forest and discharge 41 million gallons of dioxin-laced waste effluent into Lake Superior each day. This threat to the Lake Superior watershed jolted local residents into action and gave birth to Friends of the Land of Keweenaw, or FOLK. In less than a year, the tireless efforts of many caring citizens prevailed, culminating in the withdrawal of the mill proposal. These efforts included Investing in the Keweenaw’s Future – Moving Towards Sustainable Development, a progressive report that introduced the concepts of sustainability that are now widely accepted.
Today, FOLK continues to be a diligent force working together with other state and national organizations to protect and preserve the ecological integrity of the Lake Superior Watershed. FOLK has spent considerable effort dealing with local land issues.