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May 25, 1982 - Image 5

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1982-05-25

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The Michigan Daily-Tuesday, May 25, 1982-Page 5
Great Lakes federation forms

B y LISA CRUMRINE
Special to the Daily
MACKINAC ISLAND -: For the first time in the
history of the Great Lakes, a private federation con-
sisting of citizen's action groups and interested in-
dividuals has come together to strive for a unified en-
vironmental network to address issues affecting the
famed lakes.
Bound together by issues such as toxic con-
timination, acid rain, diversion of water from the
Great Lakes Basin, and proposed cuts in federal
Great Lakes research, 60 participants at "A Great
Lakes Federation - An International Conference,"
drew upa charter of objectives here last weekend.
THE GROUP expressed optimism about what the
new federation might do for their agencies.
"Having a federation would mean that activity from
different groups around the basin would be more ob-
servable," said Mimi Becker of Great Lakes
Tomorrow.
Adele Hurley, a member of the Canadian Coalition
of Acid Rain, said, "It gives a larger voice to Great
Lakes issues and helps us coordinate. There is
currently a lack of coordination to deal with political

reality. While there's general agreement on what the
problems are, the question is how to handle them."
WHILE CONFERENCE participants managed to
agree with little difficulty on which Great Lakes
issues are the most crucial, debate grew heated when
it came to discussion of how the federation might
operate.
Some participants strongly favored forming a
political group, while others contended that an in-
formational (non-advocacy) organization would be
more appropriate.
Barry Freed, formerly known as 1960's radical Ab-
bie Hoffman, stressed that to be effective, the group
should be politically oriented.
"CHANGE INVOLVES controversy," Freed said.
"We must go beyond information, into advocacy, into
politics. There is a battle going on. We've come to
Mackinaw Island by land, sea, and air. Let's fire a
shot!"'
Some participants, however, advocated
establishing a group that will restore communication
between the groups rather than embarking into the
political sphere.

"The primary function of the network should be to
disseminate information rather than to advocate
specific positions or actions," said Lee Botts, ex-
director of the now-defunct Great Lakes Basin Com-
mission, formerly headquartered in Ann Arbor. Bot-
ts currently works as Director of the Great Lakes
Project at Northwestern Univerdity. Botts said that
she felt the federation, if formed officially, could not
speak for all the groups involved, but it could be a
communicator responsive to the smaller citizen's
groups.
Members of the committee included represen-
tatives of the National Wildlife Association, Michigan
United Conservation Club, Upper Penninsula En-
vironmental Coalition, Great Lakes Tomorrow, and
the Societe pour Vaincre la Pollution.
During the next 90 days, the charter committee will
meet and develop a proposal for the organization,
which will then be presented to the organizational
reporesentatives. Wayne Schmidt, staff ecologist for
the Michigan United Conservation Club, said the
committee most likely will meet twice in Detroit to
draw upa charter.

Reagan
avoids
comment
on Falklands
(Continued from Page 4)
peared greater, Haig decided to keep
long-standing appointments in Turkey,
Greece and Luxembourg. Like Reagan,
he has managed to put some distance
between himself and the crisis in-
volving two U.S. allies.
The president spoke on the telephone
with Leopoldo Galtieri, the Argentine
president, and with Margaret That-
cher, the British prime minister. On oc-
casion, he was briefed by Haig or by the
White House national security adviser,
William Clark.
Reagan told the Soviets to "butt out"
of the conflict. In an off-the-cuff com-
ment to reporters at the end of a news
conference a week ago, he said he saw
some prospects for a breakthrough, but
he said little else.
WITH THOSE exceptions, his public
comments have been kept to a
minimum, and his spokesmen made
every attempt to also follow that cour-
se.
Day in and day out, Larry Speakes,
the deputy White House press
secretary, has been asked about the
crisis, the U.S. role in it, and the
prospects for war or peace.
Typically, when asked the standard
questions, he says, "I don't have
anything for you on the Falklands,
other than that we're proceeding at the
United Nations. . . . We would like to
remain helpful to both parties."
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