See WPR's piece here for more information.
In a move that could delay GTAC project by years, the Army Corps of Engineers has declined the Wisconsin DNR's request to work together on a joint Environmental Impact Statement, because Wisconsin's new mining laws (set forth under AB1/SB1) differ too greatly from federal standards.
See WPR's piece here for more information.
The below letter is going out to newspapers all across Wisconsin. This letter was not a project of Penokee Hills Education project; it was organized by Ros Nelson of Washburn and endorsed by the signatories below—mayors, landowners, business owners, farmers, professors, educators, local politicians, and many more.
December 16, 2013
Monday morning, the Iron County Forest and Park Committee voted unanimously to recommend eviction of the LCO Harvest Education and Learning Project (also known as Harvest Camp). They will make their recommendation to the full county board on Tuesday the 17th, at which point the county board will hold a vote.
HELP was established at the proposed mine site in April 2013, and has since welcomed thousands of visitors while conducting research projects, community outreach and education. Paul Demain, HELP spokesperson, was quoted on public radio saying that there will be resistance if eviction is attempted.
HELP is hosting a feast on Tuesday at 4:00pm, and will then gather at the Iron County Board Meeting in Hurley at 6:00pm. Everyone is welcome.
For more information and directions to the Harvest Camp, visit the LCO Nation website. The County Board meeting will be held at the Iron County Courthouse at 300 Taconite Street, Hurley, WI.
Geologist Marsha Bjornerud of Lawrence University has confirmed the presence of grunerite, a mineral containing dangerous asbestos-like fibers, in multiple locations across the proposed Penokee mine site. If disturbed, the asbestiform fibers have the potential to become airborne and cause lung cancer, like asbestos.
The grunerite was initially discovered by Northland College Professor Tom Fitz two months ago. Only a month ago, Gogebic Taconite claimed that it was "unlikely" that these fibers exist at the proposed mine.
Read the WPR news report here, along with an audio report, maps, and photos of the grunerite: http://news.wpr.org/post/second-geologist-confirms-asbestos-form-fibers-proposed-mine-site
Despite the fact that GTAC's bulk sampling application is still incomplete, and that neither the DNR nor the public has yet seen GTAC's responses to the DNR's Aug 13, public comments are due by September 3rd. They should be emailed to DNRWAMINING-GOGEBICTACONITE@Wisconsin.gov.
For more information, see http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/mines/gogebic.html.
A list of suggested talking points is below.
You are invited to attend the First Annual Penokee Hills Education Summit and Potluck Harvest Feast and Pow Wow taking place September 20 – 21, 2013 at the Whitecap Resort in Upson, Wisconsin.
The purpose of the Summit is to offer an experiential, educational, and community-building opportunity to learn about the Penokee Hills, the Bad River Watershed and Lake Superior, and how we can stand united in defense of the water.
This two-day event will include a tour of the Penokees, a visit to LCO Harvest Camp, educational addresses and keynote speakers, music, dance, and local food!
For a complete schedule of events and presentations, and registration information, visit penokeehillseducationsummit.wordpress.com. Register early!
This Thursday, 8/15/13, the Wisconsin DNR will be holding a public hearing on GTAC's application for bulk sampling and preapplication intent to mine. The hearing will be held at Hurley High School, 5503 West Range View Drive, Hurley, WI, from 10am until 8pm. Informative presentations by DNR staff will be conducted at 10:00am and again at 5:00pm, with public testimony all day. You are encouraged to submit spoken or written comments at the hearing.
Under Wisconsin's new mining legislation, public hearings are few and far between. This is one of them. It is critical that as many people as possible attend in support of our water and land.
If you are unable to attend in person, written comments may also be submitted to Larry Lynch, DNR, 101 S. Webster Street, Madison, Wisconsin 53707, or by e-mail to DNRWAMINING-GOGEBICTACONITE@Wisconsin.gov. Deadline for written comments is September 3.
Prior to the hearing, a rally will is being held at at 9:00am outside the high school. Please bring signs and posters.
Finally, a group will be biking to the hearing from Ashland. If you want to join the bikers, meet at the parking lot behind the Ashland Baking Company at 5:00am, and bring small signs you can affix to your body and/or bike.
Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin
Penokee Hills Education Project
CONTACT: Frank Koehn for Immediate Release
MINING IMPACT COALITION OF WI ANNOUNCES
THE OPENING OF THEIR DOWNTOWN ASHLAND OFFICE
March 29, 2013: Ashland, Wi: The Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin —Penokee Hills Education Project announces the Grand Opening of their new offices in downtown Ashland, Wisconsin Friday, April 5, from 5 pm - 9pm. at 616 West. Main Street.
Formerly the home of Heart Graphics, the new building will allow the organization to have a base of operations from which to continue providing accurate and educational information to area residents on mining issues that impact the state, but particularly the Lake Superior region.
On March 11, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed into law contentious mining legislation that was overwhelmingly vetoed by the citizens of the state. This law was meant to pave the way for an out-of-state, multinational corporation to begin mining in the Penokee Hills. The first stage of the plan calls for a 4-mile open pit mountaintop removal iron ore mine that would go 1000 feet deep, built at the headwaters of the Bad River watershed. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Tiffany (R-Hazelhurst) admitted after the bill passed the senate that it allows the mining company to contaminate the water.
The Mining Impact Coalition of Wisconsin, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) non-profit educational organization. Our mission is public education, networking, and grassroots organizing on the environmental, health, social, and economic issues of mining that disproportionately affect Native and rural populations. The Penokee Hills Education Project is an education and outreach project of the Mining Impact Coalition and is focused on issues related to the proposed development of iron mining in northern Wisconsin.
Make sure your voice is heard! If you cannot attend the public hearing on the Mining Bill SB1, you may be registered in the public record by sending a written statement along with someone attending the hearing or email Senator Tiffany at firstname.lastname@example.org during the hearing on Wednesday January 23rd, 2013. To learn more about the bill you can also visit the WI League of Conservations Voters.