Dear DC, Stop All Mining in the Penokee Range, Sincerely Bad River

The Bad River Ojibwe Tribe of Wisconsin has asked the federal government to stop all mining activities in the Penokee Range in Northern Wisconsin according to a story February 19 on Wisconsin Public Radio. The tribe also plans to file a lawsuit with the state of Wisconsin next month asking for the end of mining activity in the area.

Trucks carrying rock samples from the mining site were stopped on U.S. 2 on February 18 as they drove through the Bad River Reservation by tribal wardens. Chairman Mike Wiggins told WPR that the officer had safety concerns after seeing drainage coming out from the back of one of the trucks.

GTAC Gogebic Taconite has been involved for several months in a controversial plan to build a large open pit iron ore taconite mine on land immediately adjacent to tribal land. The tribe and other mining opponents fear that pollution from the mine would damage the fragile waterways and environment. Currently the company is conducting sampling of rock in and around the mine site. The company plans to truck more than 2,400 tons of rock to Minnesota for testing.

Chairman Wiggins maintains that GTAC’s use of heavy equipment in removing the rock is being done so without a construction permit and violates both state and federal laws.

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