Wis. Mine May Disrupt Tranquility of Northwoods

By KBJR News 1

July 27, 2013 Updated Jul 27, 2013 at 5:45 PM CDT

Oma, WI (NNCNOW.com) - The woods of Northwest Wisconsin are known for its tranquility; but if a mine were to be built in the Penokee Hills near Mellen Wis., some fear that tranquility would be disrupted.

"I moved from an industrial town of Milwaukee, I know what it's like to live next to heavy industry," said Jim Brennan.

After he retired Jim his wife Ruth left the big city for the peace and quiet of their cabin located just two miles south of the proposed mine.

"Everything that I have worked for has been to enjoy a serene environment in a near wilderness place," says Brennan.

Brennan attended an informational presentation by a citizens group on Thursday which focused on the impacts a mine would have on the region.

"We are going to go over a pre-mining impact study related to the Gogebic taconite proposal here in Iron County," said Jason Laumann, Senior Planner for Northwest Regional Planning Commission.

Brennen is worried about one thing in particular.

"What is the direct impact on the value of my property? Not that I want to sell it, but I don't want to see its value depleted."

Right now the Northwest Regional Planning Commission is trying to fund a study that would help them answer some of these questions.

"Land use issues, growth issues obviously associated with the economic development of a project of this magnitude. Looking at the regulations that are in place and what might need to be changed or updated in the future," said Laumann.

A future, that depends on economic and environmental prosperity.

The informational meeting was held by The Iron County Citizens Forum, a non-partisan group formed to research issues facing Iron County.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.