WRN: Bad River Band discusses mine opposition with governor

"A proposed iron ore mine is running into opposition from a Wisconsin tribe. Bad River Ojibwe tribal chair Mike Wiggins met with Governor Scott Walker on Wednesday to discuss the proposed open-pit iron ore mine on tribally ceded territory in northern Wisconsin. But even before the meeting took place, Wiggins reiterated the band’s opposition, which he first stated in April’s annual State of the Tribes address at the Capitol. “It is clear to us that there’s no way that an open-pit mine in the Bad River watershed can be operated without significant environmental impacts to our lands, our waters, and ultimately our people,” Wiggins said during a press conference in the state Senate parlor.

The proposed mine — the largest ever in Wisconsin — would employ as many as 2000 construction workers and hundreds of miners in the Penokee Range region of northern Wisconsin. But tribal officials fear it would permanently contaminate the pristine Bad River watershed. “This is where we live,” said Tribal Council member Frank Connors. “We can’t just pack up and move. Our land is our culture, our history which runs deep. We came here today to protect it.”

Wiggins and Glenn Stoddard, an Eau Claire attorney retained by the tribe, said any rewrite of state mining law should be based on sound science and sound legal principles. “Not on emotion and the desperation of people in poverty, or the profiteering of private corporations,” Wiggins said. “We want to bring this debate down to the level of real detail” said Stoddard. “Not the mantra of jobs versus the environment or jobs versus tribes. Let’s talk about science, let’s talk about law, if we’re going to change the law.”"

Get the Story:
Bad River tribe opposes mine (AUDIO) (Wisconsin Radio Network 9/21)

Also Today:
Wis. tribe ramps up opposition to mine plan (AP 9/21)
Bad River tribe opposes iron ore mine near Hurley (The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel 9/21)

Related Stories:
WUWM: Bad River Band worried about effects of mining on lake (9/14)
Column: Proposed mine affects Bad River Ojibwe Reservation (6/22)
Letter: Bad River Ojibwe will suffer most with proposed mine (6/15)
Opinion: Proposed iron mine poses a risk to Bad River Ojibwe (6/9)
'Manoominike: Gathering the Good Seed' takes up wild rice (5/5)

Join the Conversation