A leading producer of natural gas in Michigan is pulling out. Encana is a Canadian company that spearheaded a recent boom in drilling for shale gas in the state.
Encana has drilled most of the wells in Michigan using the method known in the industry as horizontal hydraulic fracturing. It is sometimes referred to as fracking.
These wells are expensive--millions of dollars per well, rather than hundreds of thousands for conventional wells--use huge volumes of water and tap into natural gas deposits at depths that were not explored here until 2010.
Mason County dedicates northern Michigan's latest heritage tourism trail today. It's the latest in a series of so-called "barn quilt trails" that have popped up around the region. As you can see from the images in our slideshow (above), the quilts center on a variety of themes important to the family who builds them, anything from national pride and cultural heritage, to something reminiscent of the region.