ACTION ALERT: Send Letters of Support to Stop Mining in the Penokees


Photo: Rebecca Kemble

On August 21, 2014, the six tribes of Wisconsin’s Chippewa Federation will meet with the Environmental Protection Agency officials to urge them to stop mining activity in the Penokee Hills. Tribal leaders sent a letter last May requesting the meeting and asking the EPA to invoke a section of the Clean Water Act in order to prevent the devastation of a proposed 22-mile open pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine from destroying the Bad River watershed:

“CWA§404(c) authorizes the EPA to restrict, prohibit, deny, or withdraw the use of an area for the disposal of dredged or fill material, including mining wastes, when it is determined that discharge will have unacceptable adverse effects on fisheries, wildlife, shellfish beds, municipal water supplies, or recreational areas.”

We need your help in standing united in defense of the life-supporting waters of the Bad River Watershed. Let’s send a clear message to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in support of initiating the 404c Process.

Use this form to tell the EPA how mining discharge would affect you:

EPA Letter Campaign

Using a copy of the pre-addressed letter, please sign and add a brief statement based on your own experience that tells how you/your family/your business would be affected.

The entire stack of completed letters will be presented to the EPA on August 21, so please add your personal message, sign it, and either email your online version to:
(715) 682-7107 ext. 1531

Or mail hard copy to:
Mark Rolo
Bad River Legal 
PO Box 39
Odanah, WI 54861.

We are asking that you include additional contact information so we can contact you for follow-up activities.

Here are a few points to help get you started:

• I am a member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa…

• My family has lived/conducted spiritual practices/farmed/harvested wild rice/hunted/fished/hiked/in the Bad River Watershed area for — generations…

• I live (fish, hunt, gather, hike, bird watch, kayak, canoe…) in/my business is located in/ the area drained by the Bad River Watershed…

Mining waste discharge from GTAC’s proposed taconite mine in the Penokee Hills will disperse known harmful contaminants throughout the water-rich environment of the Bad River Watershed from the Bad River’s headwaters in the Penokee Range to its endpoints throughout the western Lake Superior Basin, thereby adversely affecting /the health and well-being of our human, plant and animal communities for years to come/ my community’s drinking water/the plants and animals I depend on for subsistence/the vitality of our fish and other aquatic species/our wild and unspoiled natural recreational areas/…

You can also find more info on the website


Top: The Penokee Hills now. Bottom: What the Penokee Hills would look like if a mine was allowed to be built.


4 thoughts on “ACTION ALERT: Send Letters of Support to Stop Mining in the Penokees

  1. Is it possible to send the “Form-Letter” that you want people to use to tell the EPA we support the Tribes’ efforts to fight GTac as an attachment?  I am unable to convert the PDF version available in the Action Alert.

    IF not, I will re-type it. 

    Thanks, Colleen Boatmankatchenago

      When a child is born, so is a grandmother There must be those among whom we can sit down and weep and still be counted as warriors.–Adrienne Rich

    • Colleen I don’t have it but here is the text:

      Dr. Susan Hedman
      U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 5
      Ralph Metcalfe Federal Building
      77 West Jackson Blvd.
      Chicago, IL 60604

      Dear Dr. Hedman,

      In support of the formal request to you on May 27, 2014 from the Six Bands of the
      Anishinaabeg Territory Watersheds and Waters of Lake Superior: Bad River Band of Lake
      Superior; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior; Lac du Flambeau Band; St. Croix Band; Sokoagon
      Band; Lac Courte Oreilles Band, I request that the Environmental Protection Agency initiate a
      public process under Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act to protect treaty rights, aquatic
      resources, fisheries, wildlife, subsistence and public uses in the Bad River Watershed and
      western Lake Superior Basin from metallic mining, including a potential Gogebic Taconite mine
      proposed to be located in the Penokee Range, headwaters of the Bad River Watershed.

      Sincerely yours,
      Signature ______________________________
      Name_____________________________ City_____________________ State______
      Phone:_____________________________ email________________________________

  2. Pingback: Wisconsin Tribes Set to Meet with EPA Regarding Proposed Penokee Mine | Wisconsin Citizens Media Cooperative

  3. Pingback: Bad River Watershed Association hosts “Wisconsin’s Mining Standoff” | United In Defense of The Water

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s