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Petition started in support of UP vertical launch site

Chris Wahmhoff, Jake Putala and Justin Carlson created the petition to show support for the proposed site.
Change.org petition in support of the proposed Upper Michigan vertical launch site.
Change.org petition in support of the proposed Upper Michigan vertical launch site.(Change.org)
Published: Jul. 30, 2020 at 3:32 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Update on Friday, July 31 at 6:00 p.m.

After receiving notice about a petition to stop the UP Vertical Launch Site in Marquette, three local men came together to change the narrative, and show there is support for this project.

“The three of us are all young professionals in the UP, and we want to be able to stay here and live here and raise a family here, and to do that we need some sustainable economic projects such as this potential launch site in Marquette County,” said Co-organizer, Jake Putala.

A born and raised Yooper, Putala makes it clear maintaining the UP’s beauty is very important to him.

But Putala says he's also open to welcoming economic growth into the area, which he says people in support of the petition are agreeing with too.

“We’re kind of seeing a trend that people are explaining why they had to leave the UP to search for better opportunities because of the lack of jobs and economic opportunities,” he explained. “We want to make sure that we welcome projects like the space launch, because it could lead to hundreds of good paying jobs for Yoopers, as well as a lot of residual economic impact with the smaller businesses across the UP.”

In the last 24 hours since the petition's creation, Putala says they've received more than 900 signatures, coming close to their goal of 1,000.

Meanwhile, the petition to say no to the UP Vertical Launch Site is steadily making progress, almost nearing their mark of 15,000 names.

Those in support of saying no continue sharing comments regarding their concern of the project’s environmental impact. One petitioner says, “It is a horrible and destructive project that is a direct attack on the natural world and citizens. Lake Superior is a valuable resource and needs to be protected.”

But Putala urges people to not make assumptions, especially since the project is still in its developing stages.

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Original Story:

Three Upper Michigan men have started a petition in support of the proposed vertical launch site in Upper Michigan.

According to a Change.org petition, Chris Wahmhoff, Jake Putala and Justin Carlson created the petition to show support and go against another petition created in opposition of the launch site.

“We are tired of having economic opportunities shut down as they have so many times in the U.P. without any solutions to create sustainable economic environments for families to stay in our beautiful home,” support petition organizers stated. “The story for many U.P. families is that the kids usually move away in search of better economic opportunities. Many times, the majority is silent in these matters but times are changing and we want to be vocal right alongside the opposition this time so we don’t continue to miss opportunities for trades, jobs, and careers.”

At the time of posting, the support petition has garnered 112 signatures.

According to the information originally released, operations for the vertical launch site are expected to begin by early 2025.

To read more comments, or to sign the support petition, click here.

TV6 has reached out to the petition organizers for more details on the petition.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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