Editorial: More Citizens Demand Repeal of Wisconsin Mining Law

December 20, 2013 by WCMC guest

The following letter appeared in papers around the state, with over 100 signatures from elected officials, business owners and residents, and came from Minnesota, Michigan, Illinois and throughout Wisconsin. Please leave your name and location in the comment section below if you agree.

Dear Editor
The Tyler Forks River with Carolyn Lake and the headwaters of the Bad River. This land is sacred ground for the Anishinaabeg, and provides the fresh water for the entire area. The mine will go directly in its path.

The Tyler Forks River with Carolyn Lake and the headwaters of the Bad River. This land is sacred ground for the Anishinaabeg, and provides the fresh water for the entire area. The mine will go directly in its path. Photo: Larry Kinnett

According to Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Wisconsin mining and environmental laws under Governor Walker’s watch have been written by Gogebic Taconite. GTac is proposing a 22-mile open pit taconite mine in the Penokee hills of Northern Wisconsin.

Given the irreparable damage that a taconite mine would do to the Penokee/Bad River watershed, which provides pure drinking water for thousands of people, and nourishes the wild rice of the Kakagon Sloughs, the public needs to know the kind of person who is behind this scheme.

According to the December 15, 2013 article by Wisconsin Citizens Media Coop (WCMC), legal action is pending against GTac’s President, Bill Williams, for causing arsenic contamination in the groundwater while overseeing the Cobre Las Cruces (CLC) mine in Seville, Spain. Williams started work as Director of Cobre Las Cruces in January 2006, and seven months later, began extracting clean water and re-injecting wastewater back into the aquifer without the inspection certificate for the project (one of many violations).

One result of the unauthorized operation was contamination of a local aquifer with arsenic-tainted water, including flooding wells at a nearby farm. Similar contamination (and loss of well water altogether) is anticipated for farmers and residents of Northern Wisconsin, should GTac prevail.

Williams left Spain in 2010 to begin work for GTac and according to their now defunct website, he “managed all facets of the Cobre Las Cruces mining operation …” In July 2011, at a presentation in Ashland, he referred to CLC as a successful example of mining. While claiming that new (still-not-revealed) technology would save the Bad River Watershed from the negative impacts of mountaintop removal, he was fully aware of the  impending legal action against him for severe environmental damage.

Williams has exhausted three appeals in Spain and according to Ecologistas en Acción, is expected to be served by the courts as soon as the trial date is set.

Williams misled Wisconsin by failing to disclose the circumstances at CLC and lied by saying that CLC was a success. Along with lobbyists Bob Seitz and Tim Myers, GTac denies verifiable scientific evidence; discredits experts who warn of environmental disaster; hired an illegal (un-permitted) paramilitary to frighten citizens legally accessing managed forest land; and has bought off legislators in order to pass mining laws written by the company itself. Bill Williams and GTac have demonstrated criminal intentions and should not be allowed in the state.

We are hopeful that the people of Wisconsin care enough about their water and land that they will take action to repeal mining laws that have been put in place by what can only be termed eco-terrorists. For detailed background on this story, please access: http://wcmcoop.com.

Sincerely yours,
Larry MacDonald, Mayor of Bayfield, WI
Scott Griffiths, Mayor of Washburn, WI
Maureen and Mike Matusewic, Iron County, WI
Ted Gephart, business owner, Bayfield, WI
Gail Lemieux, Odanah, WI
Sally Kessler, Cornucopia, WI
Lynn Treadwell, West St Paul, MN
Dr. Lynn Carey, Germantown, WI
Cheryl and Ed Willett, business owners, Highbridge WI
Barbara With, journalist, Madeline Island, WI
Mary Rehwald, Ashland, WI
Mike and Jo Bailey, Bayfield, WI
Allie Raven, candidate for Bayfield County Board, Delta, WI
Ros Nelson, business owner, Town of Washburn WI
Kristy Jensch, business owner, Washburn, WI
Paul DeMain, Reserve, WI
Irene Blakeley, business owner, Washburn, WI
Mary Dougherty, Bayfield, WI
Bonnie Bergman, business owner, Marengo Lake, WI
Michelle Heglund, teacher, Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School, Mellen, WI
Teresa J. Wagner, City of Washburn, WI
Gena Gephart, Bayfield, WI
Cherie Pero, Odanah, WI
Henry C. Cole, Washburn, WI
Donna and Rob Ganson, Town of Washburn, WI
Bobbi Rongstad, Gurney, WI
John M. Stewart, Ph.D., Northland College Professor Emeritus & Director Wolf Research Team, Washburn WI
Warren Anderson, Washburn, WI
Lynn Maday, Odanah, WI
Brian Kearney, Mellen, WI
Nick Vander Puy, journalist, Iron County, WI
Cassie McCrow, Lac du Flambeau, WI
Tracy Chipman, writer, Town of Washburn, WI
Ali Gephart, Bayfield, WI
Christopher LaForge, owner: Great Northern Solar, Port Wing, WI
Amy Kalmon, business owner, Ashland, WI
Suzan MacKenzie-Smith, business owner: Designer’s Outlet, Ashland, WI
Kathy Tenney, artist, Ashland, WI
Joseph Skulan, Lodi, WI
Cathy Miller, Brule, WI
Bernie Winter, Brule, WI
Dr. Steve Birchall, Monona, WI
Steve Fiene, Madison, WI
John and Barbara McFarland, Manitowish Waters, WI
Kate Nolan, Monona, WI
Jon Gould, Naperville, IL & LaPointe, WI
Bob Gifford, Wisc. Green Party sustainer, Stevens Point, WI
Deb Lewis, Ashland, WI
Lori Liddell, Tomah, WI
Leonore Neumann, Tripoli, WI
Patricia M. Stewart, Town of Mason, WI
Marcie  Gephart, Bayfield, WI
Jayne Hogfeldt RN, Poplar, WI
John  Endrizzi,  Nekoosa, WI
Mary Gardner, business owner, Bayfield, WI
Amy Wilson, Port Wing, WI
Susan Hall, Town of Washburn, WI
Martha Cole, retired educator, Washburn, WI
Sharon Stewart, Washburn, WI
Tom Galazen, farm business owner, Town of Bayfield, WI
RIchard Knopf  Pepin, WI
Elizabeth Bader, Marengo, WI
Jordan Grunow, Marengo, WI
Howard D. Paap, Bayfield, WI
Ashleigh Koenigs, Milwaukee, WI
Marjean Moore, Pardeeville, WI
Jenny Gourdoux Newell, Oshkosh, WI
Kathy Waldo Browning, Lake Ann, MI
Gene Lemmenes, Herbster, WI
Marla Henseler, Webster, WI
Betsy Wilcox, Madison WI
Rose Lynd, Tomahawk, WI
Jim Sommerville, Milwaukee, WI
Dr. Paula Mohan, Lecturer, Madison, WI
Sibley Stonehorse, Odanah, WI
James Patterson, La Pointe Town Supervisor, La Pointe, WI
Bruce Noble, Madison, WI
Jim Brennan, Lake Galilee,WI
Jim Radtke, Bayfield, WI
Marco Good, Grand Marais, MN
Bernie Schlafke, Madison, WI
Jeannie Endrizzi, Nekoosa, WI
Nicholas Nelson, La Pointe Town Board, La Pointe, WI
Melanie Stricker, Mellen, WI
Marika Bader-Grunow, Marengo, WI
Nancy Foudray, Viola, WI
Sue Decker, Eau Claire, WI
Sally Lacy, Germantown, WI
Julie Cuccia-Watts, Watertown, WI
Diane Marie, La Pointe, WI
Debra Topping, Cloquet, MN
Greggory Jennings, Ashland, WI
Hattie Greylord, Neenah, WI
Norma Bader, Marengo,WI & Peoria Hts., IL
Susan Crane Brantwood, WI
Debbie Reinertson, Saxon, Iron County, WI
Wayne Toske, Mukwonago, WI
Connie Flonnes, Trego, WI
Mary Jo Walters, Madison, WI
Martin Curry, Town Board Supervisor, La Pointe, WI
Teresa Albrecht, Amherst, WI
Melanie Weberg, Osceola, WI
Cathy Miller, Brule, WI
Jeanne Johnson,  Stevens Point, WI
Mary Lee Maki  Little Chute, WI
Barb Arnst New Richmond, WI
Justus Grunow, Ashland, WI
Mark Hanson, Cambridge, WI
Steve Sohn, Mellen, WI
Jane Hudalla, Osceola, WI
Gene Cichon, Ashland, WI
Linda Accola Atkins, Prairie du Sac, WI
Brenda Burns RN BSN, Fond du Lac, WI
Pat Nash, Baraboo, WI
Greg Lindquist, Highbridge, WI
V. J. Link, tax-paying Wisconsinite, Madison, WI
Erik Schyvinck, Stevens Point, WI
Marsha and Gary Beggs Brown, Kewaunee, WI
Pam Fischer RN, Green Bay, WI
Nancy Tabake-Stencil, Wausau WI
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63 Comments on “Editorial: More Citizens Demand Repeal of Wisconsin Mining Law”

  1. Kristi Eilers December 20, 2013 at 9:21 am #

    I have lived most of my life in Wisconsin and I am saddened and outraged at the systematic sale and destruction of the public’s resources, and the health of it’s people. It’s time for the citizens of the Great Lakes and beyond to understand what’s happening to our water. There is no jobs, no money for the residents. The system is hi-jacked and we won’t sit and let it happen. Thanks to all who have worked tirelessly to expose the truth.

    • Aaron Camacho January 7, 2014 at 12:08 pm #

      On Wisconsin, retain and maintain our natural resources!
      Aaron Camacho, Fountain City WI

  2. David Groh December 20, 2013 at 9:30 am #

    David Groh, Saint Germain WI

  3. David Groh December 20, 2013 at 9:35 am #

    US Steel took cores out of that area. GTac knows what is in those cores, we don’t. It is pretty obvious that they do not want us to know. It is another lie, a lie by omission.

  4. Why the Attitude December 20, 2013 at 9:54 am #

    JT Haines, Saint Paul, MN

  5. Al Gedicks December 20, 2013 at 10:05 am #

    Al Gedicks, Emeritus Professor, Univ. of Wisconsin-La Crosse

  6. John December 20, 2013 at 10:16 am #

    John E. Davey, Kendall, WI

  7. Patty Johnson December 20, 2013 at 11:00 am #

    Patty Johnson Ashland WI

  8. Kristen Kvool Martin December 20, 2013 at 11:02 am #

    Kristen A. Martin, Fredonia, WI

  9. Pete Rasmussen December 20, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Pete Rasmussen, Marengo, WI

  10. Cinthia Davey December 20, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Cinthia Davey, Kendall, WI

  11. Barbara Oswald December 20, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Barbara Oswald Tomah, Wisconsin

  12. Cinthia Davey December 20, 2013 at 11:36 am #

    Cinthia Davey

  13. Kevin Rusch December 20, 2013 at 12:04 pm #

    Kevin Rusch Madison, WI

  14. Richard E Ofstun December 20, 2013 at 12:26 pm #

    Lets get back to protecting the citizens f this region and the Upper Midwest. People should come before selfish interests of corporations. We need to again start considering our actions in terms of not only today, but how they will affect tomorrow.

  15. Napoleon Janczak December 20, 2013 at 1:51 pm #

    Napoleon Janczak
    Bayfield, WI

  16. Jim Weeks December 20, 2013 at 2:18 pm #

    Jim Weeks Green Bay. Wi

  17. Gwen Carr December 20, 2013 at 2:28 pm #

    Gwen Carr, Appleton, WI

  18. Patricia J. Ortman December 20, 2013 at 2:58 pm #

    Patricia J. Ortman, Ashland, Wi.

  19. Mark Laustrup December 20, 2013 at 3:07 pm #

    Hayward, WI

  20. Edwin G White December 20, 2013 at 3:59 pm #

    Orlando FL ,formerly New Lisbon WI.

  21. Tom Robson December 20, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Tom Robson
    Portage, WI

  22. Steve Pacewicz December 20, 2013 at 4:35 pm #

    Steve Pacewicz, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin

  23. Scott Pitta December 20, 2013 at 4:42 pm #

    Scott Pitta
    Wisconsin Conservation Congress Member

    Wisconsin Dells

  24. Pam Robson December 20, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Pam Robson, Portage WI

  25. Cheryl Austin December 20, 2013 at 6:55 pm #

    Cheryl Austin, Lancaster WI

  26. thesplendide December 20, 2013 at 8:36 pm #

    Karen Kormann, Stockholm WI

  27. Pamela Meyer December 20, 2013 at 9:15 pm #

    Everyone’s water quality is at stake here and elsewhere, water quantity. We cannot give up the fight for protection of our water resource.
    Pamela Meyer, Eagle WI

  28. Aaron Gray December 20, 2013 at 10:34 pm #

    Aaron Gray, Ashland, Wi

  29. Selma Bennett December 21, 2013 at 3:47 am #

    Selma Bennett, Mazomanie, WI

  30. susan hansen December 21, 2013 at 5:30 am #

    Susan Hansen, Shell Lake WI

  31. Laura Brambilla December 21, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Laura Brambilla, Birchwood, WI

  32. Ed Jeannette December 21, 2013 at 10:03 am #

    Ed Jeannette, Edgerton, WI

  33. Pat Ament December 21, 2013 at 10:58 am #

    Greedy pandering politicians are enabling the destruction of our rights, our democracy, our country and our environment. They have been bought off by banks and big business owners so that they can exploit our resources and ship them to China. How many United States citizens’ lives will they destroy to make their billions? How many billions is enough?

  34. Deborah Blum December 21, 2013 at 12:31 pm #

    Deborah Blum, La Crosse WI
    This law isn’t just about one mine. It weakens the environmental protection for the entire state of Wisconsin.

  35. Katherine Berkvam December 21, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    katherine Berkvam, Beaver Dam, Wisconsin

  36. Diibiisku Geshigukwe December 21, 2013 at 6:08 pm #

    Diibiisku Geshigukwe Tyler Forks Penokee Hills, WI

  37. Victoria Hinzman December 21, 2013 at 7:43 pm #

    Green Bay,WI

  38. Jim Oakley December 22, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

    Jim Oakley, Member of Ashland County Board, Ashland, WI

  39. Susan Aguado, Mercer Wisconsin December 22, 2013 at 6:11 pm #

    Susan Aguado, Mercer Wisconsin

  40. JoAnn M Pfeifer December 22, 2013 at 8:59 pm #

    JoAnn M Pfeifer December 22, 2013 8:59 PM

    North Freedom WI

  41. ray reynolds December 23, 2013 at 12:00 pm #

    This is about turning WI into West Virginia, anything for a buck.

    Ray Reynolds

  42. Bruce Eggum December 24, 2013 at 5:04 am #

    Mining would destroy Wisconsin Vacationland and all the businesses connected. Devastation to our Health, State Revenue, Environment, Water and Air. Repealf Wisconsin Mining Law !

  43. Paul Butterbrodt December 24, 2013 at 12:19 pm #

    Paul Butterbrodt
    Milwaukee & Montreal, WI

  44. Carol R Buelow December 27, 2013 at 8:55 pm #

    Carol R Buelow, Madison

  45. Thomas Ray Worley January 2, 2014 at 12:53 am #

    Tom Worley, Madison, WI

  46. Danielle Beeb Carley January 6, 2014 at 1:02 pm #

    I totally agree that this company should NOT be mining here in WI or anywhere for that matter. Danielle Carley, Hayward, WI.

  47. blueskydp January 7, 2014 at 6:33 am #

    Diana Peterson, Madison, WI

  48. Tom Podlesny January 7, 2014 at 6:51 am #

    Tom Podlesny, Town of Gurney, Iron Co, WI

  49. Bill Roundwind January 7, 2014 at 7:31 am #

    Bill Roundwind, Odanah, WI

  50. Greg Sherlock January 7, 2014 at 9:02 am #

    Greg Sherlock, Clam Lake, WI

    Owns land adjacent to proposed mine

    • Steve Sohn January 7, 2014 at 11:45 am #

      Steve Sohn Greenlake, Wi.

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