VIDEO: Former DNR Secretary Speaks at Iron County Citizen’s Forum on Mining Ordinance

On June 27, 2013, former DNR Secretary and current Executive Director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation George Meyer spoke to a group of concerned citizens to help prepare them for a public hearing concerning the first draft of a metallic mining amendment to the Iron County zoning ordinance. Hosted by the Iron County Citizen’s Forum, Meyer spent two hours speaking and answering questions on the ramifications of mining and the necessity of local ordinances to protect the county from escalating costs and risks involved in permitting a 22-mile open pit mountaintop removal mine.

Meyer’s extensive experience with permitting mines during his tenure at the DNR was invaluable in helping citizens realize the burden that local units of government will be forced to take on if a mine of this size is permitted.

The public hearing will be held Monday, July 1, 2013 at 6 PM at the Memorial Center in Hurley.

Read the report of the meeting at the Woods Person Blog here. Or watch Meyer’s presentation below.

For more information on the Iron County Citizen’s Forum please contact Terry Daulton at 715-476-3530.

Red Cliff: “We will not exchange our current economic drivers for mining revenue that cannot be sustained.”

Red Cliff Mining Task Force
Press Release
For further information contact:
Tribal Administration
(715)779-3700

Marvin Defoe, Chair of Red Cliff Mining Task Force
(715)779-5514
marvin.defoe@redcliff-nsn.gov

Chad Abel, Treaty Natural Resource Division Administrator
(715)779-3750
chad.abel@redcliff-nsn.gov

Marvin Defoe testifying in Hurley on January 11, 2013 before the Jobs Committee. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Marvin Defoe, Chair of the Red Cliff Mining Task Force, testifying about AB426 in Hurley on January 11, 2012 before the Jobs Committee. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

In response to numerous concerns being voiced in our community, the Red Cliff Tribal Council underscores its commitment to review and respond to all mining projects with a potential to impact Lake Superior, tribal lands and Ceded Territories. The Tribe is actively engaged as a consulting party on several proposed and ongoing mining projects through the activities of the Red Cliff Mining Task Force and governmental authority of the Tribal Council.

As announced by Tribal Chair Rose Gurnoe-Soulier, the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa is opposed to current mining legislation in Wisconsin. The intent of SB1/AB1 is to reduce environmental safeguards in order to recklessly advance mining of the Penokee Range despite overwhelming objections by tribal nations and the general public alike. The proposed legislation poses numerous risks to the tribal lifeway and to the resources that the Red Cliff Tribe relies upon to sustain traditional, cultural and subsistence practices. Substantial doubt exists about whether these risks can be avoided or adequately mitigated. This doubt makes it imprudent to engage in mining activities that can negatively impact treaty protected resources which, once damaged, cannot be replaced.

Degradation of environment for short-term economic gain without regard for long-term economic sustainability is unacceptable. The Red Cliff Tribe shares a co-management responsibility of the Lake Superior fishery with Bad River and the State of Wisconsin to ensure long-term benefits from the resource. This responsibility extends to protection of the established economies of tourism and the fishery that the lake provides. Lake Superior is the lifeblood that Red Cliff depends on for survival. We will not exchange our current economic drivers for mining revenue that cannot be sustained.

Red Cliff is a sovereign nation possessing an indisputable interest in the beneficial resource use of the lands and waters of the Ceded Territories. The Tribe has reserved certain rights guaranteed by perpetual agreement that protect essential resources necessary for the sustainability of the Tribe both now and in the future. No action should place undue risk on these treaty protected resources. The Tribe must be assured that the proposed actions, potential risks and cumulative effects to fisheries, wildlife, recreation and sustainability are identified to determine if any adverse effects will result and that mitigations are adequate.

The state of Wisconsin is undermining tribal sovereignty by not offering appropriate consultation to the native nations disproportionately impacted by the degradation of natural resources guaranteed by treaty rights. It is from this lack of proper consultation that the tribal nations stand in solidarity to protect the largest and most pristine of freshwater seas.

Top: The Penokee Hills, target of the 22-mile mountaintop removal open pit iron ore mine at the headwaters of the Bad River; Bottom: a mine in northern Minnesota showing the same area of devastation mining has caused there.

Top: The Penokee Hills, target of the 22-mile mountaintop removal open pit iron ore mine at the headwaters of the Bad River; Bottom: a mine in northern Minnesota showing the same area of devastation mining has caused there.

Join us! Celebrate the Penokees! May 24 – 26, 2013

Tyler Fork River  Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Tyler Fork River Photo: Rebecca Kemble

Join us in a celebration of the Penokees!

Copper Falls State Park is full. Consider booking a room at the casino or camping at LCO Harvest Camp. See below for directions.

Front windowFriday, May 24, 2013
Benefit for The Penokee Hills Education Project
Bad River Casino Convention Center
73370 U.S. Highway 2
Odanah, WI 54861
Located 10 miles east of Ashland, Wisconsin on U.S. Highway 2

6 PM Food
7 PM Music
Silent Auction 6 – 10 PM
Performances by
Red Cliff Hoop Dancers
Thistle & The Thorns (from Madison!)
Skip Jones
Barbara With
Wade Fernandez

Copper Falls State Park

Copper Falls State Park

Saturday, May 25, 2013
Annishinabeg Nation Treaty Rights Celebration
Copper Falls State Park
11AM  –  3 PM
Feasting, drumming, singing, hiking

Tours of Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp and Skulan University
3 – 6 PM
The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Tribe has opened a treaty harvest and educational camp on public lands in the Penokee Hills. Fully permitted by the Tribe, the Harvest Camp give visitors a chance to explore the area from the ground and get to know the amazing abundance that the Penokee Hills provide. The tour will offer insights into gathering and foraging, and the chance to see what will be gone forever if the mine is built. Bring your tent and camp supplies and stay over night, or join a Saturday tour.

Foundation of an old school located near Harvest Camp

Foundation of an old school located near Harvest Camp

Lucky Rocket In Concert
1 – 6 PM
Upson City Park Local band Lucky Rocket will be rolling out the punches against the proposed Penokee Mountain Iron Mine. A rock opera in real time! Also a jam session, bring your instruments!

Ojibwe walleye fishing
9 PM Galilee Lake

Sunday, May 26, 2013
Picnic in downtown Mellen
1 – 3 PM AM

Happy campers visiting LCO Harvest Camp

Happy campers visiting LCO Harvest Camp

Wild leeks or onions, sometimes called ramps, growing in the Penokee Hills. Photo: Nick Vander Puy

Wild leeks or onions, sometimes called ramps, growing in the Penokee Hills. Photo: Nick Vander Puy

To get to LCO Harvest Camp:
From Mellen, go south on 13. Turn east on 77 toward Hurley. Go east approx 7 miles. At about mile 5.5 you cross the Iron/Ashland county line, and about another mile greeted on the right side with a sign that says “Welcome to historic Iron mining district.” 77 bends around but right after that sign, on the right is Moore Park Road. Turn south on it, up hill. Camp Plummer as the Harvest Camp is called, is at the end of the long stretch on the right in a little cubby hole in the woods cut by the county, just before you take a full turn east and go down to Tylor Forks boat landing.

Penokees Hill Education Project Fundraiser May 24-26, 2013

Penokee Hills Education Center, 616 West Main Street, Ashland Wisconsin

Penokee Hills Education Center, 616 West Main Street, Ashland Wisconsin

Water Will Lead The Way

Join us for a celebration of water and a fundraiser for the Penokee Hills Education Project.

Bad River Casino Convention Center
73370 U.S. Highway 2
Odanah, WI 54861
Located 10 miles east of Ashland, Wisconsin on U.S. Highway 2

Friday, May 24, 2013
6 PM Food 7 PM Music
Silent Auction 6 – 10 PM
Performances by
Red Cliff Hoop Dancers
Thistle & The Thorns (from Madison!)
Skip Jones
Barbara With
Wade Fernandez

A campout at Copper Falls will follow the fundraiser
May 24-26, 2012
Reserve your campsite here

Top: The Penokee Hills, target of the 22-mile mountaintop removal open pit iron ore mine at the headwaters of the Bad River; Bottom: a mine in northern Minnesota showing the same area of devastation mining has caused there.

Top: The Penokee Hills, target of the 22-mile mountaintop removal open pit iron ore mine at the headwaters of the Bad River; Bottom: a mine in northern Minnesota showing the same area of devastation mining has caused there.

Robert Kennedy Jr.: Lake Superior Needs Your Help #RFKvisitPenokeeHills

topography

Read the letter to Robert Kennedy Jr.
Public Google Doc:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1PxZn2pYR5D9OOQQmqLfuSwgFXT5vJZBgy_GSHJ9_4D8/edit?usp=sharing

Supporting Tribal Councils and Organizations
Letter of Support Public Google Doc:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tgkOsSOlamLUU1lCOjXiNPnpUiYzesjqOqDoyAJdxP8/edit?usp=sharing

Join our efforts and send emails urging Robert Kennedy Jr. to help:
info1@waterkeeper.org

Tweet:
#RFKvisitPenokeeHills

button proof2May 5, 2013

Robert Kennedy Jr.
#RFKvisitPenokeeHills

Dear Mr. Kennedy:

We are writing to you today with the utmost urgency. Northern Wisconsin is being threatened with the installation of a 22-mile open pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine in the heart of the Bad River watershed. Despite overwhelming public outcry, the Tea Party Republican legislators in this state have sold Wisconsin out. The new mining law “legally” allows the mining companies to pollute the waters.

Evidence of the enormous potential for environmental and economic damages are plenty; but perhaps most disturbing of all is the hostile takeover of our state government by legislators who have abandon their oath to serve and protect the people and resources of this state. Despite overwhelming opposition to the new law and an iron mine in this area, legislators who are aligned the ALEC, Cline Mines and Koch Brothers have left us unprotected and vulnerable to a multinational corporation coming into our area, removing local controls and doing whatever they wish with our precious resources.

United in Defense of the Water was formed when elected officials from all levels of government from the Lake Superior basin traveled to Madison to give a press conference at the Capitol. They explained clearly why this mine would bring ruin to the land, water, environment and economy. They countered the propaganda being put out by Extreme Mining Advocates by explaining clearly why the mine will hurt us. All of this has been ignored.

waterislifehttp://www.unitedindefenseofthewater.com has all the documentation needed to understand the multi-level crisis we are engaged in right now in Wisconsin. Here you can see videos of the press conference, and many other links to proof that this mine will hurt us beyond recovery.

Your uncle President John Kennedy spoke at the Ashland Airport on September 24, 1963. On a tour to defend the natural resources of the country, he implored us to protect our natural resources:

The entire northern Great Lakes area, with its vast inland sea, its 27,000 lakes, and its thousands of streams is a central and significant part of the fresh water assets of this nation. We must act to preserve these assets. If we fail to act, then the pressures of a growing population and expanding economy may destroy our natural assets before our heirs can enjoy them.

Please come to northern Wisconsin, Mr. Kennedy. We need the Kennedy bump.

Urgently,
Citizens United in Defense of the Water
P.O. Box 153
La Pointe, WI 54850
715.209.5471
#RFKvisitPenokeeHills

Bulletproof Security guarding GTAC's test drill sites. Photo: Rob Ganson

Bulletproof Security guarding GTAC’s test drill sites. Photo: Rob Ganson

UPDATE: In the past few days, it has come to light that GTAC, the mining company, has hired a security firm known as BulletProof Security to patrol the site of the core sample drilling in the Penokee Hills. These camouflaged guards are carrying what appear to be semi-automatic machine guns. The entire community is shocked and afraid of this action on the part of the mining company.

Please Mr. Kennedy, we need help here!