News & Classical Music from Northern Michigan
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Points North is a biweekly podcast about the land, water and inhabitants of the Upper Great Lakes. It’s about where we've been, where we are and how we move forward.

Recent Episodes
  • America’s bird, the bald eagle, is facing a tremendous challenge. As scavengers, they feed on what we and other animals leave behind. But lead continues to find its way into the environment, and causes problems in more ways than you’d think.
  • Because of its abundant open space, Detroit, Michigan has a thriving ring-necked pheasant population. The birds have endeared themselves to many by representing a connection to the city and the natural world. But some worry what coming development might mean for pheasants and their future in the Motor City.
  • In February, gray wolves went back on the endangered species list. But it wasn't because the population suddenly plummeted. It had more to do with an ongoing fight between stakeholders who have strong, opposing feelings about protecting wolves. This episode was originally produced in February 2022, as part of a seven part series, titled [Un]Natural Selection.
  • The North Country Trail runs through the heart of the Great Lakes region and covers 4,800 miles. Less than 20 people have ever hiked the entire NCT, but that’s not stopping a man from Minnesota from trying.
  • It takes a special breed to head to a Great Lakes beach during the windiest months of the year. But storm photographers are up for the challenge.
  • Wind turbines are being built in ocean waters off the east and west coasts. But why don’t we see any in the Great Lakes? The gales of November are an example of how much potential the region has for wind energy – but public opposition is the biggest barrier.
  • Lake Superior can change in a heartbeat; one minute it’s calm ― the next it's raging into a wild storm. When people in the water get caught off-guard, rescuers have to make critical decisions, and ultimately gamble with their own lives.
  • For the past three and a half decades, zebra and quagga mussels have fundamentally altered the ecology and hijacked the food web of the Great Lakes.Now scientists are trying new ways to put the mollusks in check, including infecting them with parasites and even crushing them with huge rollers. But will it be enough?
  • According to an Anishinaabe prophecy, manoomin – wild rice – is what brought the Ojibwe, Odawa and Potawatomi peoples to the Great Lakes.But starting in the late 1800s, manoomin’s decline was fast and widespread. And just like the plant itself, a lot of knowledge around harvesting practices has been lost. Some Anishinaabek are changing that.
  • Lake Superior’s northern shore has been home to woodland caribou for thousands of years. But now, the species is facing local extinction. Some blame climate change for the caribou's decline. But the species has persisted through an ice age, and through warming temperatures. It’s survived climate change before. So why is it in trouble now?