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Citizens should be their concern

October 27, 2010
The Mining Journal

The persons representing our area to the Michigan State Legislature and the U.S. Congress should be for all area citizens, not just those that he or she thinks voted for them. Once in office, all citizens should be their concern.

A couple examples that could reflect otherwise:

In the mid 1990s, sport and commercial fishermen reported flocks of 300 and 400 cormorants on upper Lake Michigan waters during the spring spawning season, and at other times herding perch, smelt and other game fish into shallow water and gorging themselves, leaving killed fish on the water surface after their stomachs were full. At this early period, why wasn't our federal representative pressuring the Interior Department Fish and Wildlife Service to release the overpopulation of cormorants from the Endangered Species Act? Not until 2003, when the Drummond and Les Cheneaux islands' citizens raised heck, did the Fish and Wildlife Service release authority to the U.S. Agriculture Department Wildlife Service to investigate and take action.

Large freighters arrived empty, except for ballast water, from the Far East, likely with devastating contaminants in the ballast, aquatic or otherwise, beginning in the 1980s or possibly sooner. Our government exercised no control in reference to the contaminants, and those freighters entering the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence Seaway usually emptied their ballast at the port where they took on their next load. To date, Sen. Levin states in print that there are known to be some 160 invasive species, but he exercised no direct action to stop them that I'm aware of.

Also, where was our area representative in the years he's been in office? Lake Michigan waters now contain such invasive and destructive species as zebra and quagga mussels, round goby, ruffe and purple milfoil, to name a few, and they'll be with us forever.

Our present representatives seem to have their main support from the labor unions, and the unions tend to ignore other important concerns within our area. We need representatives that will represent labor unions and all other concerns, plus all citizens of the area, not just those that give them their vote. I'm confident that Tom Casperson and Dan Benishek possess the needed concerns. In addition to employment and a good business climate, other concerns are wolf management, Asian carp, ingredients in processed food, health services, health of the Great Lakes and how food is grown or raised.

Robert E. Schmeling

Escanaba

 
 

 

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