Candidate for Wisconsin Governor Declares Opposition to Huge Open-Pit Iron-Ore Mine in Northwestern Wisconsin
The company Gogebic Taconite (GTAC), has already purchased the mineral rights for 21,000 acres of the Penokee Range in Ashland and Iron Counties, Wisconsin, and has proposed a what the Sierra Club says would become the largest open-pit iron-ore taconite mine in the world. The mine would be 22 miles long, 4 1/2 miles long, 1/2 of a mile wide and up to 1,000 feet deep.
Located in the area of the Bad River in northwestern Wisconsin, which is part of a vast, water-rich ecosystem that President John F. Kennedy described in a speech he delivered in the area in 1963 as “a central and significant portion of the freshwater assets of this country”, the proposed mine’s impacts are of great concern to the adjacent Bad River Band of Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians, who’s 125,000+ acre reservation is located on the south shore of Lake Superior, the largest fresh water lake of the world in geographic size.
Although claiming to have no interest in circumventing Wisconsin’s formerly strong environmental protection mining laws, GTAC representatives later worked behind the scenes, reportedly with Republican legislators and Governor Scott Walker, to gut Wisconsin’s mining laws. According to former Trec Bicycle executive Mary Burke, who is currently the leading Democratic candidate for Wisconsin Governor, “By letting mining companies write their own rules, Scott Walker’s policies have put Wisconsin’s public health and great outdoors at risk.” Burke’s website states further: “That’s why Mary opposes the GTAC mine – the approach the Governor, legislature and industry took didn’t balance protection of our natural resources and public health with the need for job creation. Our precious natural resources are one of Wisconsin’s greatest assets.”