NORTHWOOD ALLIANCE PRESS RELEASE

June 19, 2009

 

UPPCO-Naterra Settlement

 

The Northwood Alliance (NWA), a conservation group representing citizens in northern Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, has reacted favorably to the news that the Upper Peninsula Power Company (UPPCO), a subsidiary of Illinois-based Integrys Energy, has purchased back the lands sold to Naterra Land.  Sold in 2005, these lands included the non-project areas at Boney Falls, Bond Falls, and the Cataract Basin.  The NWA has monitored the status of the project since the announcement of the land transaction between UPPCO and Naterra.

“Northwood Alliance believed from the beginning that this project would be prohibitively costly from an ecological standpoint, and it’s clear that the same is true of the economics of the sale,” said NWA spokesperson Joe Hovel of Conover, WI.  “We feel it is unfortunate that the overzealous approach of developers and the shortsightedness of proposed shoreland projects have cost UPPCO and their ratepayers in the settlement.”  Hovel continued by saying that it was the belief of NWA from the beginning that the shorelines regulated by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have a strong public recreation component, which would have been severely breached by proposals had they not failed.  NWA is satisfied with the announcement that UPPCO does not plan to pursue action on the non-project lands at the three sites, and will continue to monitor the lands of these critical habitats.  The organization wishes to see an improvement in funds for public lands acquisition so these areas can remain an accessible public treasure for the future.