Public Trust Watch: Courts Weigh Public Access to the Shore

What rights does the public have to access the shore?  By deciding not to hear an appeal brought by a right-wing foundation on behalf of a coastal property owner, the U.S. Supreme Court has provided an answer, for now. The Court of Appeals decision whose challenge the Supreme Court refused to hear upheld a local… Read more »

Whose waterfront is it anyway?

Whose waterfront is it anyway? An important court case in Wisconsin will offer one answer to that question – – and it could have important implications for public access and open space in the redevelopment of Michigan’s and Great Lakes’ shorelines.  The case, which is on appeal from a trial court that sided with the… Read more »

FLOW Response to Hurricane Harvey NEWS

Stop All Disaster-Schemers from Ripping Off Our Public Water for Selfish Profits Jim Olson Here’s the ugly future of water if we don’t protect it as something public and held in public trust for the benefit of citizens. Water is a commons, meant to be used by landowners, homeowners, and citizens who have a right… Read more »

Line 5 Straits New Anchor Structures

 Public Statement Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Line 5 Straits New Anchor Structures Jim Olson President and Legal Advisor, FLOW (For Love of Water) July 25, 2017 Director Grether, Division and Unit Chief Fisher, and the Gaylord Office Unit Supervisor Haas, and Great Lakes Submerged Land Specialist Graft: This statement addresses a primary legal requirement… Read more »

Jim Olson’s statement to Pipeline Safety Advisory Board

Public Meeting of the Michigan Pipeline Advisory Board Petoskey, Michigan, June 12, 2017 Statement of James Olson President and Legal Advisor, FLOW for Love Water It’s time for our state government to stop treating our 1963 Constitution, statutes and common law as nice but meaningless environmental policy statements and start treating them as the duty… Read more »

Welcoming Dave Dempsey to FLOW

I share in the excitement with FLOW’s Executive Director Liz Kirkwood, the staff, Board of Directors, and supporters in welcoming Dave Dempsey’s arrival at FLOW. When we began FLOW in its initial stages nine years ago, Dave Dempsey expressed his enthusiasm and support for our launch and the course ahead.  He knows first-hand how important… Read more »

The Intrinsic Value of Water and the Public Trust Doctrine

March 22, 2017 World Water Day Let us ask ourselves today, on World Water Day – led by the United Nations, Watershed Movement, and the Vatican, with the assistance of organizations like Circle of Blue and the World Economic Forum, and many others – just what is the value of water and life? How will we… Read more »

Jim Olson & Dave Mahan on Natural Resources Stewardship

    A Conversation About Climate and Conservation In this video produced by Joe VanderMeulen for NatureChange, Phil Ellis, Executive Director of the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation, moderates as two of Northern Michigan’s most respected and experienced environmental leaders discuss the challenges and choices facing our region. FLOW’s own Jim Olson and Dr. Dave Mahan, former Associate Director of… Read more »