Sacred Water Sacred Land Pipeline Walk Cuts Through the Heart and Soul of Wisconsin

June 25, 2016 by Paul DeMain

Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation is marked in orange boundary. The pipeline easement is the straight black line righting diagonal and cuts through LCO. The new easement for #61 and #13 runs down the reservation border outside the borders. The Enbridge pumping facility is about 1/4 mile north of where the original easement in black crosses right of way road (yellow). The tribe receives no money for the easement or facility on their property.

Lac Courte Oreilles Reservation is marked in orange boundary. The pipeline easement is the straight black line running diagonally through LCO. The new easement for #61 and #13 runs outside and along the reservation border. The Enbridge pumping facility is about 1/4 mile north of where the original easement in black crosses right of way road (yellow). The tribe receives no money for the easement or facility on their property.

The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Tribe will be hosting lodging and meals for those walking on the 33 Days on Twin #66 Pipelines Awareness Walk on July 3-7th, 2016 at the Honor The Earth Pow Wow Grounds (HTE).

The public is welcome to join them as they walk a 15-mile section each day from Ladysmith to Iamalone (July 3), from Iamalone to Meteor (7/4), from Meteor to Stone Lake (7/5), from Stone Lake the Hayward (7/6), and from Hayward to Gordon (7/7).

Walkers will be transported to and from HTE grounds to the walk starting site each day and back at the end of the day.

July 3rd and 4th: Maryellen Baker is hosting the  evening meals at her Anishinaabe Culture Center home from 6-8 PM. If any friends and helpers want to contribute to her efforts, please feel free to call her, or go and help.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2 PM: Press Briefing and Tour of Lines #61, #13, and the Arrowhead Transmission line on the LCO Reservation. Meet at Summit Lake Road in the southwest corner of the reservation, and will include the old easement site at Highbridge on Right of Way Road and the Enbridge Pumping Station on the LCO Reservation. The LCO tribe does not get any payment for either the pipeline easement that runs through the reservation or the pumping station site. See maps below for location.

Flags at the entry of the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) Camp, 2014. Photo: Paul DeMain

Flags at the entry of the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) Camp, Penokee Hills, 2014. Photo: Paul DeMain

Tuesday, July 5th, 6-10pm: Potluck, concert and reunion for the Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) Camp. 6-8 PM: Melvin Gaspar is cooking the main course at the HTE powwow grounds. Contributions of veggies, desserts, fruits, liquids are welcome. Dinner will include Fry Bread, Deer Meat with Gravy/Boiled Potato and Steamed Veggies. 7-10 PM: Local speakers and music by Skip Jones, Frank Montana, Michael Buchor, Dennis & Cleo, and others.

Wednesday, July 6th, 2 PM: Press Conference,  Namekagon River Pipeline Crossing – Stinnet Landing Rd. Six miles South of Hayward on Hwy. 63 right before Highway E, just north of the Enbridge/ Namekagon River Crossing. Featuring LCO Vice Chair Rusty Barber, Walk organizer Julie de la Terre, Harvard Economist Winona LaDuke, activist Sandy Lyon, and several other speakers. It was here that Gaylord Nelson came in the 1960s to announce the Namekagon River being named as a wild and historic river and protected by federal laws. See maps below for location.

Wednesday, July 6th, 6-8 PM: Dinner. Mel is cooking up the main course which may include Fern Soup with Dumplings, (Waagogoyn) Sunfish Fillets, Corn on the Cob and Mac n Cheese at the Honor The Earth Pow Wow Grounds. Pipeline walkers will be first in line.

Thursday, July 7th, 6-8 PM: Evening dinner at the HTE grounds will be assisted by potluck from members of the Sawyer County and Lac Courte Oreilles Democratic Party.

Maps of Events

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Photo from the Pipeline Walk

Day 17: Pipeline walker John Endrizzi took these photo with this commentary:

“2.9 miles from my home, Enbridge has excavated a part of its pipeline 61 corridor. The site is located just north of Akron Drive about 1 mile west of Highway 13 in the Town of Rome. (See Map).

The line in question is the eastern most in the bundle. It is color coded with a yellow marker. At one time, Enbridge used the line numbers on its petroleum markers. I believe that this line may be either 14 or 6A. They are the oldest lines in the bundle. By the way, these lines all travel under Lake Arrowhead. ( less than two miles south of the “repair”) Please share this widely.”

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Day 9:

Below is Doug Cole (L) and Bill Greendeer, Ho-Chunk tribal member. Cole is the chairman of the Town of Wyocena and has been spending all his money fighting the pipeline.

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Myron Buchholz, running against Ron Kind.

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For the entire story, please visit the 33 Days on Twin #66 and see how you can get involved.

United in Defense of the Water Endorses Bernie Sanders

FLINT, MI - Supporters of Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wait for the candidate to arrive at a community forum on the water crises in Flint at Woodside Church February 25th, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. The next democratic primary is February 27th in South Carolina. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

FLINT, MI – Supporters of Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Bernie Sanders (I-VT) wait for the candidate to arrive at a community forum on the water crises in Flint at Woodside Church February 25th, 2016 in Flint, Michigan. The next democratic primary is February 27th in South Carolina. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

United in Defense of the Water
officially endorses Bernie Sanders for President.
Among the positions he takes are:

Believes in combating climate change to save the planet by facing down the abuse of corporate power that is destroying us:

Right now, we have an energy policy that is rigged to boost the profits of big oil companies like Exxon, BP, and Shell at the expense of average Americans. CEO’s are raking in record profits while climate change ravages our planet and our people — all because the wealthiest industry in the history of our planet has bribed politicians into complacency in the face of climate change. Enough is enough. It’s time for a political revolution that takes on the fossil fuel billionaires, accelerates our transition to clean energy, and finally puts people before the profits of polluters.

— Senator Bernie Sanders

Without water and natural resources,
all other issues are moot.
The next president simply must be
someone to fight against corporate abuse
and stand up for the water.

We believe Bernie Sanders is the best qualified to take on the abuse of corporate power. He has refused big PAC money except for the National Nurses United, who have endorsed Sen. Sanders because he “aligns perfectly with nurses on the most critical problems facing our nation, from income inequality to guaranteeing healthcare to all to holding Wall Street and corporations to account to opening the doors to college education for everyone to racial justice to the climate crisis.”

Nurses For Bernie Photo: National Nurses United Photostream

Nurses For Bernie Photo: National Nurses United Photostream

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, poses with a group of nurses after speaking at a rally on the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, Thursday, July 30, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., left, poses with a group of nurses after speaking at a rally on the 50th anniversary of Medicare and Medicaid, Thursday, July 30, 2015, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

ACTION ALERT: CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS NOW

badriverkids

Bad River girls. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

UPDATE: The Water Privatization Bills (AB 554 and SB 432) have moved out of committee and will be headed for a full vote in the Assembly and the Senate. Contact your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO! NO MORE FLINTS!

Find your elected officials Wi Legislature  http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/

……………………………………………………………………………………………………….

With our hearts in Flint, the world is watching the nightmare of privatized water and corrupt politicians in Michigan. Over 200 of children have been permanently damaged by lead poisoning due in large part to the privatization of the water systems. Now children in other major cities in Michigan are also testing high for blood-lead poisoning.

Now, today, a bill is rapidly moving through the Wisconsin legislature that would make it nearly impossible for We the People to stop the privatization of our water.

Assembly Bill 554 which will create the same privatization of Wisconsin water supplies that led to the Flint disaster, has passed the State Assembly and is in the Senate Workforce Development Committee. That committee is made up of 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats, and is poised to pass their version of this legislation, Senate Bill 432.

Some backstory: in 2009, the City of Milwaukee was exploring the possibility of privatizing its municipal water. Here is a contemporary Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal article about it, and a later story from Food and Water Watch after the idea was scuttled. Basically, local residents rose up against the proposal and fought it; the Milwaukee Common Council stopped its study of the proposal.

The current legislation would make it nearly impossible to do what the citizens of Milwaukee did in 2009. Rather than being able to stop privatization while it is still an “idea,” citizens would need to collect signatures and put a referendum on the ballot to stop the process in-progress: time-consuming, expensive, and subject to the special interest money bound up in today’s elections.

According to an aide at the office of Rep. Tyler August(R-Lake Geneva), the proposal’s lead author, another aspect of the bill will allow private entities to “buy into” county-owned water supplies, thereby gaining control over area water. For example, a corporate farm could purchase water rights from the county and gain control over how the local water is used.

Please pass this on to as many people as you can and tell them to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee and express their opposition to SB432.

Tell them NO MORE FLINTS!

Rep. Tyler August (608) 266-1190 Rep.August@legis.wisconsin.gov, sponsor
Senator Roger Roth (Chair) (608) 266-0718 Sen.Roth@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Richard Gudex (Vice Chair) (608) 266-5300 Sen.Gudex@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Duey Stroebel (608) 266-7513 Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Julie Lassa (608) 266-3123 Sen.Lassa@legis.wisconsin.gov

Our very lives depend on it.

nomoreflints

Overpass Light Brigade Photo: Lisa Moline

This weekend the Overpass Light Brigade did a photo shoot to raise awareness about the proposed legislation and asked the public to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee to inform them of citizen opposition to the bill.

Adapted from badscience original article here.

Deadline Sept 30 to weigh in on CAFO planned for Lake Superior

On February 13, 2015, the Department of Natural Resources received a final Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit application for Badgerwood, LLC, a proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Bayfield County. WPDES permits are water quality protection permits designed to ensure proper storage and handling of manure from larger-scale livestock operations. The WPDES permit program does not have authority to address odor, noise, traffic or other issues not related to water quality.

The operation would house approximately 7,500 sows, 18,750 pigs, and 100 boars. This is equal to 6,162 animal units. Structures at the site would include three barns with concrete manure storage structures located under each barn, to provide more than 180 days of liquid manure storage. Manure would be removed from storage and land applied according to an approved nutrient management plan.

Based on review of the WPDES permit application, the department has determined that theapplication was incomplete and requested additional information [DNR FTP] on March 17, 2015. Aspects of the proposal may change when the application is complete.

EIS process

The department decided, pursuant to s. NR 150.20(4)(b), Wis. Adm. Code, to use the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process as the best approach to achieve WEPA compliance for the proposed Badgerwood swine operation. This allows citizens to have input.

Go here for more information on how to give input into the EIS deadline September 30, 2015:
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/AgBusiness/CAFO/Badgerwood.html

Visit Farms not Factories for a comprehensive analysis of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

Thank you for standing united in defense of the water.

GTac sends message to investors: Penokee Hills unmineable.

March 28, 2015

GTacOn March 27, 2015, Gogebic Taconite (GTac) sent a letter to the Wisconsin DNR withdrawing their pre-application for a mining permit. Earlier, they had announced that the Penokee Hills of northern Wisconsin were “unmineable” due to wetlands, and said they would be closing their Hurley, WI offices and abandoning the idea of investing in an open-pit mountaintop removal mine here.

This victory for northern Wisconsin and concerned citizens everywhere was due to a combination of circumstances that ultimately proved once and for all that the boom and bust of the mining industry is too great a risk to the economy, environment and democracy of the region. Some of the factors for GTac’s failure to mine include:

The manner in which GTac conducted business

GTAC armed security forces in northern Wisconsin. Photo: Rob Ganson

GTAC armed security forces in northern Wisconsin. Photo: Rob Ganson

Besides the $700,000 pay off to Scott Walker, the use of an unlicensed private paramilitary company to guard the mine site, the smear campaigns against scientists conducted by extreme pro-mining propaganda organizations, the death threats against concerned citizens, and being allowed to author the new mining legislation created great risk for the region.

Many never believed GTac was a real mining company. Organized as an LLC in only 2010 and having no previous iron ore experience, GTac did not behave like a mining company. Authentic taconite mining companies don’t:

· Hire an official wanted for crimes against the environment in Spain;
· Claim to know the deposit with only a few hundred core holes, when thousands are necessary;
· Hire a public relations person who only makes people angry and appears totally ignorant of mining issues and technology;
· Bulk sample using loose rock in an old hole with no knowledge of its origin;
· Put forth a mine plan which shows a pit diagram which misses much of the deposit;
· Tell blatant lies in public legislative sessions—lies which contradict their own previous statements;
· Deny the existence of minerals in the deposit that have been documented to be there for over 100 years;
· Have only a handful of employees on a project which would require hundreds;
· Use an economic study based on laws and conditions in a different state and that shows only half the picture;
· Put forth a mine plan which does not show any water storage pond/facility, when tens of millions of gallons are needed every day;
· Say they plan to dry stack their tailings, when this method has never been used in a wet climate, and propose a pile hundreds of feet high when 35 feet is pretty much a limit;
· Say they will dry stack, which is the most expensive method of tailings disposal, and at the same time say that they will be cost efficient.
· Not publish their test results (Aguila, Copperwood, Highland Copper, Eagle Mines—all published their core test results either online or in the local papers);
· Not know the extent of wetlands before performing expensive core drilling and bulk sampling;
· Contradict their own consultants while in meetings with the ACOE, DNR and EPA, resulting in those regulators telling them to come back when they get serious;
· Drill only a handful of water monitoring holes, when hundreds would be required, and never bother to install instrumentation in those that they did drill;
· Propose to convey and handle wet materials (tailings) 24 hours a day, 365 days a year in a climate in which the temperature goes below -35F;
· Say they are pulling out of Ashland County, leaving almost 1/3 of the ore in the ground, because the local county board chair is “mean”;
· Get caught bribing the governor to the tune of $700,000;
· Suggest that they are going to file a permit soon, when years of investigation are still required;
· Promise 700 jobs but not be able to produce a single job description …*

This list could go on and on, but this is more than enough to know now that they were never serious about mining iron ore.

SOS

Residents of the Lake Superior basin gather in Winter 2014 to spell out “SOS Protect Our Water” with their bodies on the ice. Photo: David Doering

The power of the people
Lake Superior has always been special to those who live near her. The Lake Superior Chippewa Bands have for generations cared for the resources, particularly water and air. Natives and non-native alike living in the basin joined together to stand united in defense of the water. The new mining law, ignoring the voice of the people and putting all resources at risk, could not usurp the power of so many individuals working together on so many levels to protect the water.

All across the state, people became educated about the Penokee Hills and GTac. Frank Koehn from Save the Waters Edge and the Penokee Hills Education Project (PHEP) traveled the state with others giving presentations to local communities. Bad River potlucks became meeting grounds for action planning. The Harvest Education Learning Project (HELP) opened in the hills near the mine site and hosted thousands of visitors from all over the world.

Downstate, Madison Action for Mining Alternatives (MAMA) was formed to unite the north and the south in efforts to protect the water, not just from iron ore but sand frac mining overtaking central and southern Wisconsin. Educational events were held in Milwaukee, Madison, Wausau, Eau Claire and all across the state to raise awareness and unite concerned citizens.

As we reached out to our friends and neighbors about the vital issues of Lake Superior and Bad River water, we also increased awareness about the growing global water shortage.

Falling world iron ore prices and divestment of fossil fuel
International iron ore prices continue to fall. When the Wisconsin legislature first introduced GTac’s mining bill, prices were considerably higher. In 2014, they dropped by 49%.

According to scientists familiar with the iron ore in the Penokees, it is a low-quality formation and would have taken much more effort and expense to extract the ore from the ore body. Add to that the cost of mitigating the abundant wetlands, and it does not make a profitable investment.

The Work Continues
We must continue to stand strong together united in defense of the water. Mining won’t go away, and there are new threats to the water by way of tar sands pipelines, Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO), sand frac mining. According to NASA, California has about one year of fresh water left. This global crisis will reach everyone at some point. So be inspired to do something to help your local community to protect the water. Attend county board meetings, educate your neighbors, become involved with a local citizen group and continue to stay apprised of what is needed to stand united in defense of the water.

* written by Richard Theide, Iron County.