Democratic Party of Washington County Wisconsin
132 N. Main Street, West Bend, WI
This project, promoted by Gogebic Taconite (GTac) will have a lasting impact on the ecosystem in Wisconsin’s Ashland and Iron Counties. If permitted, the Penokee Hills will be reduced to a twenty-two mile long, open pit strip mine. Wisconsin’s first “mountain top removal project. The Penokee Hills are located in the Bad River Watershed. At risk are the Kakagon Sloughs, the largest wild rice beds on Lake Superior, sturgeon
spawning habitat, and many pristine trout streams. This is also the homeland of the Bad River Ojibwe Nation. The development of this mining project, which will include a taconite manufacturing facility, may be the largest development project in Wisconsin’s history.
At present the permits for this project have not been issued. GTac, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, (WMC), the Wisconsin Mining Association (WMA) among others are attempting to change Wisconsin’s laws to accommodate the mining industry. Three legislative committees were not successful this year. The current election cycle has been dominated by the mining discussion and the need for mining jobs. At present the legislature is expected to act on new mining bill in January of 2013.
Mining in the Penokees – Uncovered will review the events of the past year, the process, and the threat presented by changing Wisconsin’s mining regulations.
Frank Koehn is a retired schoolteacher, former County Board Supervisor, and Town Chair. Frank spent many years of his youth living beside one of the streams in this watershed. He currently resides in Ashland, WI and travels throughout Wisconsin sharing the struggle to Protect the Water.