In Northern Wisconsin in 2013 we were faced with the biggest Taconite Mine to be built in the Penokee Hills. As a part of the fight agaisnt this atrocity to our water and lands.With the need to help and unable to travel and walk far, my body was simply limited at that time, due to my heart condition. I did work from home. Resource Gramma activated!
Resourcing many of the project items through social media and contacts. I also created his letter for RFK Jr. with others approval and we sent it out hoping for a response ! Indian Country and the Bad River Band along with many other did protests and also created and educational project about the Taconite Mine
Dear Robert Kennedy Jr,
We are writing on behalf of the Penokee mountain range in Wisconsin. Recent mining deregulation has left us virtually unprotected from the same interests that destroyed mountains and streams in West Virginia. Chris Cline has decided he wants to open pit mine in one of the oldest mountain ranges in the world.
President John F. Kennedy visited here in 1963 with Gaylord Nelson. Fifty years later many of us recall President Kennedy’s visit to our to our precious Penokee Hills. After the initial meeting, President Kennedy and Gaylord Nelson met with Martin Hanson, a local environmentalist, to discuss our pristine place in Wisconsin.
We still hold dear the words spoken by your Uncle so many years ago:
“Lake Superior is a central and significant part of the freshwater assets of this nation.”
His remarks on the pristine quality of this area are legend here and his visit is remembered almost reverently by many locals. We would be most grateful if you could find it in your heart to visit us and help us fight the overwhelming devastation that would accompany poorly regulated open pit mining our beautiful Penokee range.
This will be the largest open pit mine in the world with the initial phase measuring four miles long by arguably ½ to one mile wide ,and up to 1000 feet deep, depending on the source.. The entire mine could be as long as 22 miles and will effectively eliminate what is known as the Penokee range.
The footprint of the mine is in what are considered ASNRI (Area of Special Natural Resource Interest) wetlands. This designation means they are either within the boundary of or have a direct hydrological connection to areas and waterways with a special designation, including miles of trout streams and Lake Superior. Prior to recent mining deregulation, these vulnerable areas were ineligible to be developed in any way. Now our wetlands and waterways can be filled in and “mitigated.”
It is important to know that taconite mining activity in the nearby Iron Range of Minnesota has created a dead zone for wild rice over 100 miles long in the St. Louis River. Their experience has yielded incredibly high mercury levels in fish, due to the high sulfate levels, and are associated with runoff from taconite mining. Sulfate levels of 10 ppm or higher activate normally dormant sulfate eating bacteria. The byproduct of this sulfate reduction is hydrogen sulfide which kills plant roots. When this reaction occurs in the presence of mercury,it methylates the mercury which in turn creates bioaccumulation of the toxins. We are heartsick at the prospect of a dead environment in our treasured Penokees. It is with sincere regard that we request your assistance.
On behalf of the Chair, Ashland County Board, Residents in Wisconsin,
and supporting organizations and Tribal Councils
(Pete Russo, Chair, Ashland County Board)
Residents in Wisconsin, and supporting organizations and Tribal Councils
Pete Russo Cell Number 715-xxx-xxxx
Supporting Organizations and Tribal Councils:https://docs.google.com/document/d/1tgkOsSOlamLUU1lCOjXiNPnpUiYzesjqOqDoyAJdxP8/edit?usp=sharing
Sincerely Kellie Stewart 715-xxx-xxxx