Trego, WI (NNCNOW.com)--Government and business leaders from across the spectrum gathered to address the strengths and weaknesses of Northern Wisconsin's economy.
Those in attendance at the Economic Development Summit did convey optimism, but some of the state's lawmakers, including the Governor say thousands of jobs are locked in limbo underneath the rolling hills of the Penokee Range.
While the Northwoods of Wisconsin do offer several stops for tourists the in state marketing rivalry is competitive.
"They're competing against places like Wisconsin Dells, and they're competing against Green Bay and the Packers and Door County," said Stephanie Klett, Wisconsin Secretary of Tourism. "Like anything in the world you can always increase those marketing efforts."
Tourism was just one of several economic subjects discussed at the Northern Wisconsin Economic Development Summit.
"I think we can do some things to help bring industry to Northern Wisconsin."
One subject discussed in detail, a potential iron ore mine.
"That's something that can work that could provide anywhere from 2,000 to 3,000 jobs, obviously a good chunk here in Northwest Wisconsin, but in many cases related all over the state of Wisconsin," said Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker.
After a bill stalled in the Senate to streamline the mining process, government leaders are confident the legislature will craft a bill.
"While not only protecting the environment, but also enhancing the environment. I know we can do all of that together and do it well," said Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp.
Balancing industry and the environment, a combination lawmakers say is vital to the future of the northwoods.
Governor Walker said he is confident a mining bill will become law this legislation session.