Iron County

Needed Before Mine Can Be Built
6:28 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Iron County Works On Mining Ordinance

Iron County has released a second draft of its metallic mining ordinance.

It outlines the process a mining company would need to follow for county approval, and includes a host of regulations and protections. 

Zoning Administrator Tom Bergman says the purpose of a local ordinance is to be more specific than state rules can be. For example, he says the draft includes a requirement that a mining company monitor and test nearby private wells.

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An Investigative Piece
12:16 pm
Sun June 8, 2014

Al Jazeera America To Air Film on Penokee Mine

Filmmakers from 371 Productions journeyed to northern Wisconsin to gather footage for their documentary.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Controversy over a proposed iron mine in northern Wisconsin will get some national attention this weekend, when a documentary on the topic airs on Al Jazeera America’s investigative program Fault Lines.

Milwaukee-based 371 Productions filmed and edited the piece over the past nine months. 

Producers made a series of trips to northern Wisconsin to look at the impact an iron mine could have on tourism and natural resources. 

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Talking About Options
6:51 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Iron County Forum Hones In On Economic Development

A forum in Iron County will take a closer look at economic drivers in the area, and brainstorm possible new ones.

The nonpartisan Iron County Citizens Forum this Wednesday at the Oma Town Hall is looking at economic sectors like timber, tourism and retirees. 

Coordinator Terry Daulton says the idea evolved out of discussions on how jobs factor into the Penokee Mine proposal.    

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Iron Co. election
5:47 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Tiffany Files State Complaint Against Voter

State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst has filed a complaint with the Government Accountability Board concerning a person who voted April 1, in the town of Anderson, Iron County. Tiffany authored the mining bill enabling a company to begin exploring for iron ore in the Penokee Hills of Iron and Ashland counties.

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Multiple Issues At Stake
4:27 pm
Thu April 3, 2014

Iron County Elections Yield No Clear Message On Mining

Ten seats were contested in this week's Iron County board elections; three challengers prevailed.
Credit http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Hurley_Wisconsin_Sign_Iron_County_Sign.jpg

Challengers won three seats in this week’s Iron County board elections.  The wins come despite campaign advertising by a billionaire-backed political advocacy group.

Americans for Prosperity labeled Victor Ouimette, Brad Matson, and Karl Krall as anti-mine activists on a recent mailing.   All three won seats on the county board in this week’s election, beating out incumbents. 

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Issue Ads on Mining Controversy
4:53 pm
Thu March 27, 2014

Iron County Elections Draw Outside Attention

Downtown Hurley, WI.
Credit http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/8b/Hurley_Wisconsin_Sign_Iron_County_Sign.jpg

A conservative political advocacy group funded by the billionaire Koch Brothers is dipping its hand into Iron County board elections.  Americans For Prosperity has been mailing fliers to Iron County residents. 

The fliers decry the influence of wealthy radical environmentalists who oppose a mine in Iron County, and point the finger at seven candidates who are challenging county board seats in next week’s election.     

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Exercising Treaty Rights
4:02 pm
Tue March 25, 2014

LCO Harvest Camp Says It Will Comply With County Rules, But Won't Pack Up

Lac Courte Oreilles tribal members and others have maintained a presence near a proposed iron mine since last spring.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Members of the Lac Court Oreilles Harvest Education and Learning Project plan to rotate in and out of the site to comply with Iron County rules. 

Earlier this month the Iron County Board of Supervisors gave Harvest Camp residents six business days to leave, saying they were in violation of a 14-day camping limit. 

Camp spokesperson Paul DeMain says the site will remain as it is, but longterm residents will follow the rules by leaving every two weeks for at least 24 hours. 

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Ten of Fifteen Seats Contested
5:15 pm
Tue March 11, 2014

Iron County Group to Host Candidate Forums

Contested county board elections in Iron County have given rise to a series of candidate forums. 

The Iron County Citizen's Forum is organizing the two nonpartisan debates inspired by the League of Women Voters format. 

Organizer Terry Daulton says the controversy over a proposed iron mine has engaged more people in local politics.

“It’s very unusual to have this many people running. And it’s actually brought a lot of people into the fold thinking about what are the things our county is doing – so I think it’s actually energized the public a little bit.”

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Residents Intend to Stay
5:40 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Eviction Vote is Deja Vu for LCO Harvest Camp

The Iron County Forestry Committee voted to evict the LCO Harvest Camp on the border of Ashland and Iron Counties.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Iron County Forestry and Parks committee members have again unanimously voted to evict the residents of the Harvest Camp near the site of a proposed iron mine.  

Members of the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe and other supporters have been camping on county land since early spring in opposition of Gogebic Taconite’s mine proposal. 

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Penokee Hills Mining Controversy
5:55 pm
Thu August 15, 2013

Mine Opponents Dominate DNR Hearing

Hundreds showed up at the DNR's public hearing on Gogebic Taconite's preapplication and bulk sampling plan.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Department of Natural Resources held its first public hearing on the Penokee Mine project Thursday.  Hundreds of people showed up in Hurley.

People came from far and wide to voice strong opinions on the proposal.  There were even a few speakers from the Navajo Nation in Arizona, and an Ashland, WI contingent actually biked the 40 miles to the hearing.  Cyclist Michael McKenna says they wanted to their voices to be heard:

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