Norm was active in preserving the environment before the first Earth day. An outdoorsman, he saw damages done to the air, streams, lakes and land. He worked through the democratic processes to make good changes. In Grand Haven Michigan he went to every city council meeting for three years to ban the spraying of DDT in the city and finally won that battle. Then with others he formed the Michigan Pesticides Council and the ban went statewide, and then nationwide. Now we have seen the return of the American bald eagle to the shores of the Great Lakes. An enviromental victory for all living things.
Norm spearheaded and won many other environmental victories to better the environment for all.
Others who will be inducted into the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame are Don Inman, Joan Wolfe and Dave Dempsey.
Below see others who are now in the Michigan Environmental Hall of Fame:
Fred Wilder, a Muskegon native. Wilder has been active in conservation since he was in high school in the 1940s. He has long volunteered with Sportsman for Youth, the Muskegon Conservation Club, of which he’s a past president, and the Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society. In 2011, the Michigan United Conservation Clubs gave Wilder their Past Presidents’ Award for conservation.
• Former Gov. William Milliken. The organization is honoring Milliken, Michigan’s Republican governor from 1969 to 1983, for his role in enacting many of the state’s environmental protection laws.
• Howard Tanner, director of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources from 1975 to 1983. Tanner also was director of natural resources for Michigan State University and helped launch the planting of salmon in Lake Michigan, establishing the state’s salmon fishery.
Today, bald eagles are seen around the Great Lakes more and more often, but in 1978, these magnificent birds were threatened.
Threatened with extinction. Their eggs never hatched since pesticides that lingered in the environment long after they were sprayed to kill insects magnified in Great Lakes food pyramids. The eagle is at the peak of the food pyramid and its favorite food is fish.
This makes the eagle an environmental indicator; a measuring stick of how well the whole ecosystem is faring. Where the ecosystem is healthy, eagles can live and raise their young.
Since DDT was banned in 1972, the nesting eagle population has increased.
Excerpted from The Dynamic Great Lakes by Barbara Spring.