Penokee Mine

Aired on Al Jazeera America
11:59 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Investigative Film on Penokee Mine Comes to Northern Wisconsin

Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

A film about a proposed mine in the Penokee Range is screening around the state and in northern Wisconsin. 

Milwaukee-based 371 Productions produced the film for Al Jazeera America’s investigative series Fault Lines.

The half-hour documentary looks at how Gogebic Taconite’s iron mine would impact the environment and the livelihoods of people in northern Wisconsin, and raises questions about the democratic process and the passage of the state’s new ferrous mining bill. 

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Visiting the Northwoods
4:35 pm
Wed July 2, 2014

Walker Says Science Should Decide EPA's Mining Involvement

Governor Scott Walker spoke at a luncheon Wednesday hosted by the Oneida County Republican party.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Governor Scott Walker says he hopes the EPA won’t intervene based on political reasons to stop an iron mine permitting process from moving forward. 

Wisconsin’s six Chippewa tribes have asked the federal agency to step in before the state DNR or the Army Corps of Engineers reviews a proposed mine in the Penokee Hills.  The tribes say water quality and fisheries protected by treaty rights are at stake.

Stopping in Rhinelander today, Governor Walker said state laws offer strong environmental protections.

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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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Questions And Speculation
12:34 am
Fri June 6, 2014

Mining Forum Draws Large Crowd

Almost 400 people attended a forum hosted by Science on Tap on the proposed Penokee Mine project.

A panel of six speakers discussed the facts and context of an iron mine that Gogebic Taconite wants to build in the Penokee Range.

 

Panelists included Northland College Geology Professor Tom Fitz who detailed the different rock formations in the region. Other experts spoke about the economics and job creation associated with mining, the technologies of mine waste management, and the characteristics of the Bad River watershed.

 

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Wide-Ranging Panel
10:00 am
Mon June 2, 2014

Science on Tap to Host Mining Forum

The popular science conversation series Science on Tap takes a different approach this week in tackling a controversial topic.  Instead of hosting one speaker at a brewpub, it’s assembled a panel at a large venue to discuss the proposed iron mine in the Penokee Hills. 

Organizer Tim Kratz says since the program began, people have been asking for a program about the Penokee Mine. 

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License Required to Bore Holes
4:33 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Gogebic Taconite Plans More Drilling, Data Collection in Penokees

Gogebic Taconite is working to collect environmental baseline data at the site of a proposed iron mine.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

Gogebic Taconite has indicated it plans to drill more holes in the Penokee Range this summer, though the DNR says the company hasn’t yet applied for the needed permission.

DNR hydrologist and mining project lead Larry Lynch says the DNR must first grant a license for any exploratory drilling. 

“So in order to get that they have to give us the locations of the holes, what their target depths might be, how they intend to maintain the site, handle stormwater…basically give us a good description of what they intend to do.” 

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Year-Round Presence
4:00 am
Wed April 30, 2014

Harvest Camp Turns One

The Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp is moving to a nearby location after its first year of existence.
Credit Monie Shackleford / WXPR News

The Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp celebrated its one-year anniversary this weekend.  

On Saturday, April 26th, a group of about thirty people gathered in Iron County to feast on pancakes and locally produced maple syrup they call “Penokee Gold.”   

Paula Mohan came from Madison for the event.

“I wanted to come for the pancakes and the Penokee Gold and all the other food and the fact that it is the one year anniversary," Mohan said. "I was last here in February and it’s kind of nice to be here because it is not twenty below and there are no bugs yet."

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County Won't Budge on Camping Limit
3:48 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

Iron County Votes to Evict Harvest Camp

The Harvest Camp, or Harvest Education Learning Project, has been in existence since last spring.
Credit Natalie Jablonski / WXPR News

The Iron County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to close the Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp Thursday night, saying residents are violating a 14-day camping limit on county forest land. 

About 30 people attended the meeting, most speaking in support of what’s officially called the Harvest Education Learning Project, or HELP Village.  An hour of public comment was followed by an hour in closed session, where county supervisors consulted with legal counsel.  A motion to close the camp passed 13 votes to 0, with two members absent. 

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Response to Preapplication
2:22 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

DNR Outlines Permit Requirements for GTac Mine

The Wisconsin DNR has responded to Gogebic Taconite’s initial plan for an iron mine in the Penokee Range. 

The company filed its pre-application notification last June…which consisted of preliminary plans and a stated intent to file a mining permit.

The DNR has responded with a list of required permits and environmental data that the company will need to prepare. 

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Public Access Controversy
5:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2014

Activists Test Limits of 600' Restricted Zone

Credit Andy Arthur

Groups of snowshoers continue to traverse areas where Gogebic Taconite is drilling and sampling.  

A new law forbids the public from coming within 600 feet of equipment and roads used for iron mining.   But those opposed to the measure say it’s designed to hide environmental damage from the public. 

Paul DeMain organized a recent trip to the Tyler Forks.  He says some activists are hoping for a citation, in hopes of challenging the law in court.

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