As lawmakers debate a controversial re-write of Wisconsin's mining laws, Native American tribes spoke out today against a proposed iron ore mine that the new bill would help expedite.
Opponents declared they have no false hope that they can change the minds of lawmakers who support an open pit mine project at the headwaters of the Bad River. However, they are preparing for a legal fight if the bill passes the legislature and the mine is approved by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Mike Wiggins, Jr. is Chairman of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.
"We're talking about our home. And when we look at our history, our tie to northern Wisconsin, our small reservation that essentially comprises our sovereign status, and exterior boundaries of our home — we have nowhere to run, nowhere to relocate to if groundwater contamination occurs."
Republicans have touted jobs as a reason to locate a mine in the Penokee Hills near Lake Superior.