It is time for action.


It is time for action. During the short existence of eightyfive MILES, our mission has been laser-focused: Conserve. Educate. Celebrate. We are dedicated to protecting and celebrating the Great Lakes and Michigan’s natural resources. We’ve written about it in our blogs and pledged to contribute 1% of our sales to organizations such as Alliance for the Great Lakes and Michigan League of Conservation Voters because they share our beliefs and work hard to fight bad policies in Lansing. 

We’ve tried to stay out of politics—because conservation and protecting our environment shouldn’t be political, right? However, given the current political environment in Michigan, it’s time to make a stand. I love Michigan. I grew up here and moved back home after 25 years. I want this state to be amazing for my adult children and at some point, their children. But the current state legislature in Lansing is making it very difficult not to comment during this lame-duck period. The Republican-led Senate and House are trying to pass laws that would put our beautiful state and Great Lakes at risk. 

Here’s a summary of what’s being proposed:

Line 5 Pipeline:  The proposal is to build a new tunnel across the Straits of Mackinac for Enbridge’s old and dangerous Line 5 pipeline. The 1953 line is well past its intended life-span and tunnel construction could take a decade while the line continues to run and the risk of failure and catastrophic leakage increases. The cost to Michigan taxpayers should the line rupture is astronomical.  This pipeline is mostly designed to move Enbridge’s crude oil and gas from Canada, across Michigan, and back into Canada — meaning there are no benefits, only risks, for Michigan. Notably, Enbridge was responsible for the largest inland oil spill in our nation’s history, just down the road on the Kalamazoo River. Voters have spoken loudly across party lines that Line 5 should be shut down, but this proposal would allow it to very much remain open. (SB 1197) Here’s a great link to see a geographic visual of Line 5. 

Wetlands and Trees….and Radioactive Waste. This proposal will limit local control over “extraction”, threatening our trees, water, and entire ecosystem. For years, local communities have had the ability to decide if they want a “canopy” and control over tree-cutting. This is now at risk. Under the new definition passed by the Senate, about half of the wetlands in each county would go away.  Gas and oil drilling?  Your local community would no longer have authority to say “we don’t want that.” (Reference SB1211 for wetlands and SB1188-1194 for trees). SB1195-96 would allow more radioactive waste in our landfills and SB1210 would severely limit local control over limiting mining or drilling. Collectively, this amounts to devastation for our state’s environment.

What can you do? 

(1)   Call or email your legislators TODAY to express your opinion (even a voicemail is fine). These bills are moving fast. Call both the Senate and House:

 (2)  Call Governor Snyder. Tell him to stop these terrible laws and to use his veto power.  


Phone:  517-373-3400

Thank you for being a friend of eightyfive MILES and our precious Michigan resources.

Happy Holidays

Brian Schwartz

darrel smithComment