Mining Token Topic at LCO Mid- Winter Social

By KBJR News 1

February 16, 2013 Updated Feb 16, 2013 at 11:53 PM CDT

Hayward, WI (NNCNOW.com) - Over 200 people attended a listening session in Ashland Wis. on February 9 to voice their concerns of an open pit mine in the Penokee Range of Northwest Wisconsin.

The conversation continued on Saturday in Hayward.

"Really we want to get together and chat and talk and eat and educate ourselves about something that may impact our wild rice walley, muskie, and the sugarbush..." said Paul DeMain who is with the Sawyer County Democratic Party.

As part of the annual Mid–Winter Social, a panel discussion was held discussing the affects an open pit mine would have on the environment in Northern Wisconsin.

"The problem in Wisconsin is that the rocks have these minerals in them...its pyrites. And when that is combined with air and water as it is in the mining process it can cause acid mine drainage which is like battery acid, and when that gets into the water it kills pretty much everything," said Sany Lyon, who is on the discussion pannel and is part of the La Courte Oreilles Mining Impact Committee.

Those in opposition say a mine could kill wildlife and other industries that Northwestern Wisconsin thrives on.

"The forestry, tourism industry cannot survive in a contaminated environment. And that is what's going to be left after mining takes place. So the infrastructure from mining which includes not just the extraction the processing the transportation is not only going to leave a large environmental footprint but it will be a highly destructive foot print," said Al Gedicks from the Center for Alternative Mining Developent Policy.

But others say a mine would help boost the region's economy.

"We need to look at other means of income and the only thing on our horizon is that mine," said a concerned citizen at the mining listening session on February 9.

Posted to the web by Kati Anderson.