This category encompasses land-based issues. It is further segregated with tags into such issues as farm, urban redevelopment or decay, forest, mining.

Recent Stories

Burgeoning beer brewers good for barley

Barley seed being cleaned and processed. Image: Michigan State University Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center

Michigan-grown barley is slowly making a comeback thanks to the state’s burgeoning craft beer industry. “The number of breweries is growing, the amount of beer they are producing is growing and the amount of barley they use is proportional to that,” said Scott Graham, executive director of the Michigan Brewers Guild. “There is interest for it in Michigan and I’ve been working to encourage the reemergence of that as a viable business. There has not been much barley production in Michigan since the mid-eighties.”

To be used in beer, barley, a grain, must first be malted, a process that sprouts and dries the grain seed. Limited malting houses in Michigan are the biggest hurdle for farmers and brewers who want to produce 100 percent locally grown beer. Continue Reading →

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Photo Friday: The Manistique River’s slab wood islands


Have an environmental image you’ve taken somewhere within the Great Lakes region and that you’d like to submit for Echo’s Photo Friday series? Send it to along with the photographer’s name and town of residence, approximate date it was taken, where it was taken and a little bit of description of what we’re looking at. Context – how you happened to take it or whether there were physical or technical challenges in capturing it – is also helpful. Continue Reading →

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Michigan farmers adjusting to climate change

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If you’ve found yourself putting on a sweater or light jacket on cool evenings this summer, you’ve probably wondered what’s going on with the weather. The polar vortex that visited us so harshly last winter made a return visit a few weeks ago, dropping temperatures below normal. It turns out that there’s at least one upside to climate change; one that could help our farm economy. At the end of June, the US Department of Agriculture published its crop acreage report. It showed a record number of acres of corn, soybeans and wheat were planted this spring in Michigan. Continue Reading →

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