Ashland, WI ( - A group in Ashland organized an environmental demonstration during the Ashland Independence Parade Thursday focusing on the debate over mining in the Penokee Hills. "The goal of this presentation is a way for us to kinda simmer down a lot of this heat and tension right now between all of the communities of the pro miners and the anti miners and the in betweeners and talk about positive solutions or possibilities," Said Melissa Helman with Puppets for the Penokees. The presentation, known as "puppets for the penokees", involved more than thirty people operating puppets and paper machete props. The group's message was that caring for the community and its resources is the most patriotic thing community members can do. GTAC representatives say they plan to keep the environmental impact of the mine to a minimum. "The next step will be gathering data, so that's drilling wells to find out the hydrology, how the water works," said Bob Seitz, the director of external affairs for Gogebic Taconite. The message of the puppeteers is that people should stay involved in the debate. "We chose puppets because they're alive, they're vibrant, they're healthy, they, in specific in the parade, show the prevailing of life," said Helman. The presentation begins with three mining representatives handing out money. "Behind them [are] people on both sides, the anti-miners and miners. They're holding signs that say the same things like jobs, family, future. They all realize when someone runs down the middle that water is our common ground," said Helman. Bryce Henry