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Let’s get on board and support mine PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

I’m amazed at the content of the letters I see from the anti-Iron and Ashland county iron ore mine people.

Here is some of the stuff I’ve read:

“The sulfur and other dangerous minerals emitted will pollute the environment.” Sulfur is normally an insignificant product of iron mining. If it, or any other mineral is present, it must be controlled under the permit process.

“The mine will pollute the water downstream of the mine.” I grew up on the Gogebic Range when the mines were operating and around 100 of them had operated mostly unregulated for many decades. The water was as good then as it is now. The rivers and streams were filled with native brook trout, as they are now. I’ve never lived in a better environment. We lived downstream from all the mines.

“The ore is too hard to get or no one will mine it.”  Well, if that’s the case, there won’t be a mine to scare people about. I could go on with more scare stories.

Remember, before a mine can operate it must pass an extensive permitting process, conforming to state and federal regulations by agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Natural Resources and the Army Corps of Engineers. Think now, how could one mine operating under today’s regulations pollute what 100 mines operating for decades could not?

Rather than address some mythical future pollutants, the anti-mining crowd should attack a real pollution problem that is occurring now and has occurred for at least a decade. The Bad River Tribe’s wastewater treatment plant had 241 violations from 2004-’08. The most in Wisconsin.

They have had 42 E. coli violations in the last five years. Their E. coli emitted has been as high as 5,400% over the maximum allowed. They have had 36 phosphorus violations over the same period. They are still operating without a license. Isn’t it strange that the tribal leadership opposes the mine for unproven/mythical pollution reasons? Are they not extreme hypocrites at the least?

Whenever someone enters the Bad River Casino, he is contributing to their pollution and possibly eating or drinking polluted food or water. One thing for sure, they would be breathing their smoke-filled air as the casino allows smoking. It is not a myth or scare that secondhand smoke kills. Does the tribe leadership really care about people’s health?

What kind of person would deny the people of the North Woods so many good jobs, and the opportunity for their children and  grandchildren to stay in an area they love? Is their hate for Gov. Scott Walker so deep, their environmental activism so radical, their lust for power so great, or their desire to have the North Woods for themselves so selfish?

The people of the North Woods are not prideless public parasites. They do not want to live on government handouts. They want to work hard at good jobs. They will not become Madison’s “pet rock.”

Let’s all get on board and support the mine and the 2,700 good jobs it will create. Let’s tell the naysayers to spew their baloney somewhere else.

Charlie Gullan

Eagle River

Tuesday, March 19, 2013 3:17 PM


-18 #2 2013-03-26 13:57
I go to Ashland all of the time during the spring, summer, and fall months as I have a boat up there in the marina.

Driving along Hwy 51 and US 2 is depressing. The towns up there are truly dying out. And then you have the reservation... the dirtiest stretch of highway on US 2.

Then you have the Port of Ashland which really isn't a "port" anymore with the demolition of the old ore dock. A monolith that stood for nearly a century.

I have had the opportunity to see this dock up and close while on the boat. It amazed me that after all of those years, it was still as strong as it could be. Talking to some of the demolition guys up there, that dock was far stronger than anticipated.

But alas, a major piece of infrastructure, an icon, and a testament to the past has been reduced to ruins. Not much different than the towns and communities.
-19 #1 2013-03-19 20:09
I agree, I grew up in Ironwood and the towns up there only exist because of mining, it is part of the hertitage. Go and ask people in Iron county and the UP if they want the mine and you will see that the vast majority want the mine with both party affiliations. It is a dying area in deperate need of good jobs. Luckily, Ironwood, Bessemer, and Wakefield township have a mine opening up next year about 10-15 miles from the Gogebic mine. We cherish the environment and land up there too, but, we would also like to see the areas do well and not die off to become ghost towns.

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