Nov 12-02

Past-E-Mail: Cam Notes - 2002: November: Nov 12-02
MeadWestvaco, Escanaba River    ...scroll down to share comments
Photo by Donn de Yampert

Charlie at Pasty Central on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 08:43 am:

An important industry in the U.P. is that of paper production. MeadWestvaco is one of the major players here in the U.P., managing more than 3 million acres of forests worldwide.

By the way, one of Donn de Yampert's photos, taken deep in the U.P. forest, received a high number of votes in the recent Pasty Cam 2003 calendar survey. It's just one of the rich scenes in our new and improved color calendar, which should be on the streets by Thanksgiving.

Silent swamp

By George, Orange Park, FL on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 09:26 am:

It looks like a 4-alarm fire...

By Candy, looking in from far away on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 09:33 am:

Boy, Donn is EVERYWHERE! Good thing for us he takes his camera with him! Most of us "forget" the Yoop extends down to Escanaba, and over to the bridge. We seem to be focused on the Keweenaw, but all Yoopers share the same frustrations and concerns -- economy, land use, progress, a reason to keep our kids here...

By Kate, CA on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:12 am:

I hope the E.P.A. keeps tabs on the effluent MeadWestVaco pours into the Escanaba River each and every day. If you can't answer yes to the question Got Fish?, then ya know if the E.P.A. is doing their job. Ya shure, MeadWestVaco provides employment for locals, but at what cost? Donn's great photo bent my brain!!!

By Wally, Green Bay on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:25 am:

Believe it or not, the sight of a pulp mill going full tilt is also an endangered species. Environmentally good or bad, these mills are in trouble as a result of the decreased use of paper in the US. So the next time you get asked by the grocer "paper or plastic", please get paper, and it is recyclable. Plus paper don't stink when ya burn it in DA GARBAGE PIT,eh.

By Guy Lac La Belle on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:55 am:

To little marv in Florida. Thanks for bringing back some great memories. But remember that you also have served and deserve thanks to. How about your Dad? When we stand next to each other for the Star Spangled Banner at the hocky game we stand much taller because our sons have also served. So don't sell your self short. I do remember being at your house and taking the back off the TV and cleaning out the feathers after your pillow fight. Hope to see you next week.

By Grampa Lac La Belle on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:58 am:

To Princess and Rachael in Wisconsin Love you and see you soon.

By froggy on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:58 am:

I also hope the paper mill is taking good care of that river. I know they provide precious jobs but they need to be careful. C&H provided jobs also, but the smelter was instrumental in turning Torch Lake into a superfund sight. Are all those homes along Bootjack safe? Hope we can find some balance so we can continue to enjoy the beauty of the UP.

By lei MI caly. on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 11:27 am:

wow! crazy!

By Pegg, Fla on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 11:28 am:

Folks down in Florida marvel at the fact that the grocery bags from the UP have handles on them. Also, at the grocery down here the baggers merely ask "Is plastic okay?" I always say no and they scowl at me because it's more work for them to bag using paper.'s hard to use plastic as a trash bag under the sink.

By Alice, Ventura, CA on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 11:28 am:

I also thought that it was a 4-alarm fire when I opened the site today. The picture not only is spectacular, but was a bit alarming until I realized it wasn't a fire. Not only the river, but is the air being protected? It looks like it is belching all kinds of polutants into the air, or is that just steam?

My cousin and his wife live in Escanaba so knew that Mead was a big employer there even though neither of them work there. Good to see different parts of the UP! Hi Dorothy and Kenny!

By joe, nyc on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 11:53 am:

stinky stinky

By de Yampert, Houghton, MI. on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 11:53 am:

I spend three days of each week of the year with MeadWestvaco-Escanaba. Not only are there fish but I have seen and photographed many species of wildlife about that river and dam. I have found that MeadWestvaco is not only a good employer but a good steward of the lands they manage. I am glad that you all enjoyed the photograph as much as I did walking across the railroad bridge at night to take that beautiful shot.

By Wally, Green Bay on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 12:11 pm:

Just for information, a good majority of that smoke is steam and harmless to the environment. The drying of paper makes a lot of water vapor. There are other things in there too, however, but the EPA has been on the paper industry quite hard lately and a lot has been cleaned up. MeadWestvaco has been a good company for the most part in all of their mills I have been in.
As long as they keep steamin', the loggers keep loggin, and the mill folks can buy their new pickup trucks. Their jobs involve a lot of bad hours (shift work) and I salute their efforts. I believe that the UP miners and loggers deserve a mention too for a hard job done well.

By Keweenaw-wannabee, IL on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 12:18 pm:

Donn-- Would you know if there are Walleye to be caught in the vicinity of those lights?

By am on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 02:48 pm:

there might be a few fish in the escanaba river but are they safe to eat.lets hope mead stays here and doesnt move elsewhere like alot of other companies.then all those nice pickup trucks will have to go back to the banks.

By Lowell MO on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 05:30 pm:

Talk about the Pollution from the Paper Mill well how about the stink from the Garbage Dump??? Isn't that also Pollution?? At least that is what they taught us when I was a Safety Man when I worked for Boeing. Am glad to hear that at least the Mills are trying to clean up their act.
Remember it is also for the future of your children that you have to think about not only the present. By the way another picture that is also outstanding and also the one of Deep Woods.
Congratulations Donn excellent work.

By Papermaker on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 06:13 pm:

You needn't worry about the "pollution" from the paper mill. As was noted earlier, what you see in the photo is primarily steam venting to the roof from the dryer sections of the paper machines.

Mills like this are what keeps the UP going and also what allows for the expanses of public lands that we can all use. Let's face it- without a market for lumber products, it would be a lot harder for most people to justify owning an undeveloped tract of land and resisting the option to "develop" it.

So keep supporting the paper industry, keep using paper, and let these mills continue to fuel the UP economy.

Perhaps a photo of the even newer IP Mill in Quinnesec should be the next photo?

By Pegg, FLA on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 06:28 pm:

Does anybody remember the stench that was produced by Cellotex in L'anse many years ago? I recall the wind coming from the southeast toward our house on the west side of Keweenaw Bay. It was pretty aweful and we had to bear with it. Someone told me that Cellotex is making only ceiling tiles now. Is that true? Cellotex doesn't stink like they used to, which is a good thing. However, I think that there have been many folks who have lost their jobs due to cutbacks. comments anyone?

By Fran,Ga on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 06:31 pm:

Great shot! I thought it was a fire also. Each photo is worth waiting for no matter how long it takes. Today I got my copy of "Copper Country 2000" so I will have a good night of reading tonight!

By Fred-lower Mi. on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 06:41 pm:

I also got a little excited when I got onto PastyNet this morning (the way I start every day). All I could think of at first, was that another piece of Keweenaw history was on fire. Then I looked further and realized that it was the steam rising from an industrial site. Love that paper!!!!!!!! What a great picture Donn.

By Jim, Lower Mi. on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 06:53 pm:

Hi. I sure enjoy this site. I change my wallpaper every couple days from the photos on this site. Love to read the verious comments also. Was born up there, but my folks moved to Flint for the work in the auto factories. All the best. Keep up the good work.

By Ken, WI former yooper, and missing it every day on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 08:10 pm:

Glad to see the responses to the environmental concerns that were (rightfully so) raised earlier. The fact is that paper and wood products are one of the very few renewable resources. Although the mills of past may have, like all industry, been shortsighted with environmental concerns they certainly are not now.

During the course of the day try to count how many paper and wood products you use, from the newspaper you read to the roof overhead. It would be impossible to replace these, and what you would replace it with (i.e. steel structures) would surely be made from a non-renewable resource (iron ore). The true "environmentalist" is the one who realizes this and looks to nature with respect and as a source of full-filling fundamental needs.

By Karen and Charles from Adrian on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 08:47 pm:

What a great picture of a good corporate citizen! My husband and I are both from Escanaba. Sadly, trolls now for 37 years, though we visit the UP several times a year. A few years ago when Audubon Magazine had an article on Mead's Esky plant, we said, "Oh, oh!" However, Audubon said that plant was VERY environmentally aware -- a model for the nation. Figures, doesn't it? It is in the UP after all!

By Toivo from Toivola on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 09:44 pm:

Don't mean to change the subject, but did you ...

This posting was moved to the recent discussion about pasties

By mark from kaleva and calumet on Tuesday, November 12, 2002 - 10:39 pm:

Remember, Wood will always grow back. Oil will never come back. Stop all plastic bags. OK , just slow down with them.

By Paul in Illinois on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 12:32 am:

In regards to Torch Lake, according to the EPA report on-line, the main polutant is (surprise) copper. We tend to look at this, from our 21st Century perspective, in horror. We forget that in the late 19th Century and early 20th Century, people didn't know about long term effects on the environment. Agassiz would have prefered and tried to do his milling at the mine, but there wasn't enough water. He went to Torch Lake and that choice was applauded later when the reclaimation plant opened and kept C&H in business longer. C&H wasn't the only player on the lake. Tamarack, Osceola, Ahmeek, and Quincy had mills. No chemicals were used in the early years. Flotation and leaching came in the 20th century and even then not much of the chemicals reached the lake since they recycled as much as possible due to cost. There was one case of blatant dumping of chemicals in the 1970's, but by then C&H was gone and UOP was there. We can say with 20-20 hindsight that mill tailings have hurt the lake and we are paying the price. But when one thinks about the overall contribution the Michigan mines made in building this nation (used any electricity today?) the endevour was worth it. All in all, compared to other mining districts, the Copper Country suffered very little damage. This is because it was native copper that was mined. By all objective accounts, the Companies that operated in the Copper Country were amoungst the most progressive for their times. From our 21st century view, our forefathers made obvious mistakes. Yes we have to fix some of them, and it is easy to blame C&H or suspect Mead. If we are true stewards of the environment, then we have to look at the possible long term effects of what we do. Will the "purest air on earth" withstand herds of SUV's, ATV's, Snowmobiles, and two cycle outboards?

By Martha K., Pinckney, MI on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 01:31 am:

I'm just hoping Donn remembers that I suggested (asked, begged?) him to get that same shot of the pond with its winter coat on. That could be soon, right? How 'bout it, Donn?

By jon saipan usa on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 08:06 am:

saipan is 4hours flight time from Japan,6 hours from the Philippine's,and 8 hours from Taiwan...and about 24 hours or more from the up. and good pasties. My brother and i used to hunt a loging road from Redridge to Tovola we used to stop and have lunch there.
my vacation evey year from atlanta was a trip to deer camp down around Bond Falls or close to there sure do miss it.
hey Phx how do you know about this place?
I have a friend here from the uk he is one of the only people that i did not have to explain what a pasty was too. Going to have to make some soon but i have not seen a rutabaga here for a least two years.good luck to all the hunters Saipan jon

By Kathi, Detroit factory rat on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 09:07 am:

message moved to pasty discussion, see Toivo's note above

By de Yampert, Houghton, MI. on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 10:55 am:

There was a question above regarding walleye fish in the Escanaba.I love the UP but do not fish. I spoke with some locals and they have indicated that walleye specifically are not fished in the river. The river is fished both above and below the mill though.

I will take that special winter-snow photograph requested in the future.

By Martha K., Pinckney, MI on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 12:23 pm:

Thank you, Donn!

By Doug in Ohio on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 01:53 pm:

Others here have already done a good job of defending Mead's environmental policies but I wanted to add my $0.02. I worked for Mead in Dayton and spent lots of time at the mills around the country. From forest management through manufacturing, Mead is one of the most environmentally-conscious companies I have ever been a part of. I would not have worked for them if it had been otherwise. In particular, if they had been exploiting our beloved UP in any way, I would have been GONE the minute I discovered it.

By Karen P. MN on Wednesday, November 13, 2002 - 02:58 pm:

To jon saipan usa: You could always leave the rutabaga out. When I was in Cornwall, both in 1999 and this year, I had pasties in Polperro, East & West Looe, St. Agnes and Penzance. None of those pasties had rutabaga. The fact that the Cousin Jacks call rutabagas "Swedes" may explain why they are in pasties from Copper Country and not from Cornwall (at least the ones I ate). This may be controversial but I see it along the same lines as Italians and their spaghetti sauce. Each family makes it their own way, and will defend that way as the "right" way. I like them either way but if you ask me what's traditional I have to say no rutabagas - that's the way my Grandmothers made them.

By filming your future in michigan on Friday, March 14, 2003 - 05:47 pm:

no one has been here a while but i have a question?

what would happen to escanaba if mead paper closed its doors. does anyone think it could happen? my email is please get in touch... pete

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