Iron Ore Mine in Northern Wisconin

The sloughs of the Bad River comprise 40 percent of the coastal wetlands of Lake Superior. A mining company is now drilling test wells it hopes will eventually lead to a 22-mile-long open-pit iron ore mine in the wooded, rolling hills at the headwaters of the Tyler Forks and Bad Rivers.

Pollutants associated with iron ore mining include sulfuric acid, arsenic, copper, mercury and phosphorous. The Republican-led Wisconsin legislature has passed legislation exempting iron ore mines from complying with environmental standards. The proposed mine will turn these beautiful woods into an industrial wasteland, and severely threaten the Bad River Indian tribe.

If you’re in the Ashland area, head south to check out the beautiful Copper Falls state park (photo), and see what is at stake. Read more herehere and here.



about 10 years ago

And let's not forget the other things that iron mining can bring, like good paying jobs, good benefits for employees, huge positive impact to the local economy. People being able to buy and build homes, cars, and improvements. People able to pay for education and provide a good life for their family. Just being able to support one's family. Iron mining is not sulfide mining! It can be done in a safe, practicable, and profitable manner.


about 10 years ago

I at least partially agree with some of what you wrote Joel. The things that do trouble me is the deregulation of safeguards surrounding the ore mining, so yeah  It can be done in a safe, practicable, and profitable manner. -- without regulations that turns into "it can be done in a profitable manner." So some folks can get decent jobs for a few years at the cost of unregulated potential damage lasting several decades at minimal.

Other, more general problem is mining is a very volatile industry. there are any number of ghost-towns, or gutted towns scattered throughout the upper Midwest that relied on mining. It's not a terribly great industry to grow communities around. It's very prone to boom and bust cycles. More so than many industries.

Given that that Gogebic Taconite has already hired essential paramilitary forces from Arizona as security in response to some vandalism and minor theft rather then using the police department does little to bolster Gogebic Taconite's image as something concerned with the well being of the area.


about 10 years ago

Don't forget about the livelihoods of the Bad River tribe. And jobs related to tourism, which depend on unspoiled land. Economic activity in Ashland County almost tripled between 1994 and 2007, and much of that is due to tourism. And, lastly, preserving the land and the public health trumps a few hundred jobs and big profits for a very few.


about 10 years ago

I just look at the cool surrounding towns and imagine them transforming into the Iron Range.


about 10 years ago

We never learn ... ever!
A few quick bucks for some and the promise of good, clean mining. You only need to drive to Colorado to see what can be when mining is allowed to run unregulated. How much has GTEC donated to Mr. Walker?  Madison couldn't care less about anybody above Highway 8 unless there is a buck in it for them.


about 10 years ago

The Duluth-Superior Quakers oppose the Gogebic Taconite mine in a letter to the Duluth News Tribune, yesterday.

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