Save the River! Saving the Menominee River to protect our water, air, soils, aquatic life, wildlife, and people from the dangers of open-pit metallic sulfide mining is very important! There has never been a safe sulfide mine!
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Save the River Supporters
Thousands of supporters have donated time and/or money to our cause. This map has been updated on 2/7/2022. Only the first name and first letter of the last name have been added to the map. Also, no address, phone number, or email has been added as well. If you would like to join our supporter list just follow the link.
Latest Blog Posts
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- In South Africa, a community says no after a coal miner said goUnlike most other households in close proximity to the mine, Sangweni did not accept Tendele’s compensation offer — in his case 800,000 rand ($44,000) — and […]
- Why Has Gold Resource Corporation’s (AMEX: GORO) Share Price Dropped So Much?Gold Resource Corporation (AMEX:GORO) price closed lower on Friday, November 25, dropping -2.33% below its previous close… Revisions to the company’s EPS highlight a short-term direction […]
- Conferences such as COP27 are nothing more than elite junketsThe Egyptian government was openly striking oil and gas deals on the sidelines of what is meant to be an anti-climate change conference. Other fossil fuel-dependent […]
- Sulawesi nickel plant coats nearby homes in toxic dustThe dust sticks to the community’s plants. People have to scrub clean moringa before consuming the fruit, which is high in protein and other key nutrients. […]
- The Tiny Insurance Company Standing Between Taxpayers and a Costly Coal Industry BailoutErin Savage, a scientist with Appalachian Voices, a Boone, North Carolina-based organization dealing with the long tail of coal mining pollution, has made it a pet […]
- Kogi communities lament environmental woes amid mining company, govt neglectOkobo and neighboring communities in Kogi State of Nigeria have been facing environmental risks from 11 years of coal mining, despite signing a Community Development Agreement […]
- COP27 – What’s the deal with mining and renewable energy? (No, fossil fuels are NOT better)Which requires more mining — fossil fuels or clean energy? The short answer to this question is that fossil fuels require much more mining and drilling […]
- Evers advances adding Green Bay estuary to national conservation networkKAK: You mentioned the Menominee River. It’s no longer on the list of pollution hotspots around the Great Lakes. But it’s just for decades been a […]
- Gold Resource Corporation Announces Financial Results for the Third Quarter 2022 and Reiterates 2022 Production and Cost GuidanceOVER $24 MILLION WAS INVESTED IN CAPITAL AND EXPLORATION THE THIRD QUARTER LOSS OF $9.7 MILLION IS A RESULT OF…Click to read more
- Officials: Michigan paper mill fire officially outThe Menominee Fire Department announced last week that the fire officially is out at the Resolute Forest Products’ recycled bleached kraft pulp mill in Menominee, Michigan… […]
- Canadian mining project in Guatemala opposed in a local vote over environmental concernsEighty-nine percent voted “no” to the development of mining activities, like the Cerro Blanco gold and silver open-pit mine owned by Bluestone Resources — a Canadian […]
- At 50, Clean Water Act marks progress to clean up water, but challenges remainStanding on the banks of the river Tuesday, the head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said the bipartisan law empowered the agency to enforce regulations […]
- Sulawesi islanders grieve land lost to nickel mineOne man described his grief as the grave of his son was exhumed and moved as a result of the mine… Abdul’s sandals slipped off his […]
- Wisconsin tribe seeks to protect a historic site where company plans to mine for goldAuthorities in Wisconsin and Michigan have now signed off on the Menominee Indian Tribe’s nomination of a site to the National Register of Historic Places, but […]
- Gold Resource Corporation (GORO) Stock is down againSince last month, GORO stock retreated -4.29%. Shares of the company fell to $1.5200 on 09/26/22, the lowest level in the past month… – Click to […]
- Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River holds Water Celebration featuring Native, and non-Native speakers on Back 40 mining projectDuring July 23, 2022, Water Celebration to benefit the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Coalition founder Dale Burie, left, presents a Trailblazer award to Ron […]
- 100-Year-Old Extinct Fish Species Revives Again In United States: ReportAccording to a report from Newsweek, after it had been completely wiped out by mining pollution, overfishing, and competition from other species, the state of Colorado’s […]
- A downstream dilemma: Canadian coal mines are seeping selenium into Montana watersContaminated water from coal mines in British Columbia is flowing into Montana, harming wildlife in both places that are sacred to indigenous populations. But Canada, and […]
- Report highlights challenges facing clean water in AmericaWhy are so many of America’s waterways still polluted 50 years after the passage of the Clean Water Act?… Many of our waterways still face major […]
- Save the Menominee RiverDue to opposition, the mining project has been on hold for more than 20 years, but recently Gold Resources acquired Aquila and has re-proposed the mining […]
Working together to save the river, air, soils, aquatic life, wildlife, and people from the dangers of open-pit metallic sulfide mining.
View the YouTube Channel ‘Clean Water Action Council’
Join us in our efforts to…
- Inform the public regarding the dangers of the mine.
- Seek donations for legal fees for Ted Warpinski, a renowned environmental attorney.
- Encourage local residents to get their well water tested.
Our mission is to work together to stop the Back Forty Mine.
The Menominee River was mentioned in the TV series, Das Boat. The entire episode is below. In the video below where it starts at 16:32, you can listen to when they mention our cause.
GOOD NEWS FOR OUR CAUSE!
Today American Rivers of Washington, D.C. announced that the Menominee River has been chosen as one of the Top Ten in their listing of “America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2020!”
Menominee River named among America’s Most Endangered Rivers of 2020
Mining threatens cities’ water supplies and Menominee Tribe sacred sites
April 14, 2020
Shanyn Viars, American Rivers, (607) 426-8283, firstname.lastname@example.org
Dale and Lea Jane Burie, Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River (615) 512-3506, email@example.com
Dr. Al Gedicks, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, (608) 784-4399, firstname.lastname@example.org
Allison Werner, River Alliance of WI, (608) 257-2424 x113, email@example.com
Washington, D.C. – For the second time in four years, American Rivers named the Menominee River among America’s Most Endangered Rivers®, citing the threat of a proposed metallic sulfide mine to drinking water supplies and sacred tribal sites. American Rivers and its partners called on Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (MEGLE) agency to deny the permit for this mining project and protect local communities and the cultural significance of the Menominee River.
“America’s Most Endangered Rivers is a call to action. This mine poses an unacceptable risk to the Menominee River and Lake Michigan,” said Shanyn Viars with American Rivers. “We cannot allow mine tailings to demolish Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin’s sacred sites or send toxic waste into drinking water supplies, potentially risking millions of people.”
A Canadian exploration company, Aquila Resources, Inc., seeks permits for a metallic sulfide mine on the banks of the Menominee River, near Stephenson, Michigan. Known as the Back Forty Project, the proposed mine and tailings dam would encompass 1,087 acres — the size of 1,435 football fields. If toxic acid mine drainage spilled out of the Back Forty tailings dam, it would send heavy metals linked to cancer, respiratory failure, and diseases of the nervous system, brain, heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys into ancient tribal ceremonial sites, the Menominee River and ultimately Lake Michigan. Currently, it is unclear if a contingency plan has been defined by MEGLE.
The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc., along with communities and other organizations in Wisconsin and Michigan, are fighting for their right to a clean river, joined in opposition to the exploration company, Aquila Resources, Inc. American Rivers also called on Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers and Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer to oppose this harmful project.
“After many years of metallic sulfide mining, with every mine proven to have polluted nearby water and contaminated the environment, we should recognize these ingredients as a recipe for disaster,” said Dale Burie, President, Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.
“The potential for a catastrophic failure of Aquila’s proposed tailings dam threatens the Menominee River, the largest watershed in the Upper Peninsula, downstream Lake Michigan, and decades of clean water efforts. In addition, the sacred sites of Native Americans should be ‘no-go areas, protected from destructive mining projects,” said Al Gedicks, Executive Secretary, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council.
“The risks to our waters are too high for this project to go forward. It’s not a matter of if pollution will occur, it is a question of when it will occur. Long-term protection of drinking water, cultural resources, fisheries, and economies are far more important than this short-term project,” said Allison Werner, Policy and Advocacy Director, River Alliance of Wisconsin.
A world-class smallmouth bass fishery, the Menominee River supplies drinking water for 24,000 people in Marinette, Wisconsin, and Menominee, Michigan. Winding through sacred tribal lands, the river is especially meaningful to the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, whose 10,000 years of history, culture, and heritage began where the river spills into Lake Michigan. Today, the tribe plays an active role in land management and river stewardship.
The annual America’s Most Endangered Rivers report is a list of rivers at a crossroads, where key decisions in the coming months will determine the rivers’ fates. Over the years, the report has helped spur many successes including the removal of outdated dams, the protection of rivers with Wild and Scenic designations, and the prevention of harmful development and pollution.
Other rivers in the region listed as most endangered in past years include the Boundary Waters (2018), Mississippi River (2020, 2019), Kinnickinic River (2018), and the St. Louis River (2016).
AMERICA’S MOST ENDANGERED RIVERS®
#1 Upper Mississippi River (Illinois, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Wisconsin)
Threat: Climate change, poor flood management
#2 Lower Missouri River (Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas)
Threat: Climate change, poor flood management
#3 Big Sunflower River (Mississippi)
Threat: Yazoo pumps project
#4: Puyallup River (Washington)
Threat: Electron Dam
#5: South Fork Salmon River (Idaho)
Threat: Gold mine
#6: Menominee River (Michigan, Wisconsin)
Threat: Open-pit sulfide mining
#7: Rapid Creek (South Dakota)
Threat: Gold mining
#8: Okefenokee Swamp (Georgia, Florida)
Threat: Titanium mining
#9: Ocklawaha River (Florida)
Threat: Rodman Dam
#10: Lower Youghiogheny River (Pennsylvania)
Threat: Natural gas development
River of the Year: Delaware River (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Maryland)
Honored as a national success story for restoration and a model for equitable and innovative clean water solutions.
ABOUT AMERICAN RIVERS
American Rivers believes every community in our country should have clean water and a healthy river. Since 1973, we have been protecting wild rivers, restoring damaged rivers, and conserving clean water for people and nature. With headquarters in Washington, D.C., and offices across the country, we are the most effective river conservation organization in the United States, delivering solutions that will last for generations to come. Find your connections in the PDF of the press release.
When asked to point to a mine that has never polluted, Joe Maki of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) confessed, “I cannot.”
What is all the fuss about?
What is the Back Forty Mine?
The Back Forty Mine is a proposal by Aquila Resources, a Canadian mining company, to extract copper, gold, and zinc from a site in Stephenson, Michigan. They intend to create an open-pit metallic sulfide mine.
The mine is estimated to cover 83 acres and be 750 feet deep (that’s the depth of two Statues of Liberty). It would be located only 50 yards from the edge of the Menominee River, which flows into Lake Michigan.
What’s the big deal about a hole in the ground?
It is the process of extracting the ore that contaminates local waters and soils. It produces sulfuric acid (the same caustic substance used in car batteries). This sulfuric acid dissolves rock and leaches out toxic heavy metals. Though the mines are lined below a certain level, this acid and metal seep out along the pit walls into rivers and aquifers (well water).
Also, cyanide will be used on-site because of the low grade of the ore. Because it is highly poisonous, cyanide has been banned from many countries and states, including Wisconsin.
Any contamination at the headwaters of the Menominee River is going to affect people who depend upon the fishing industry or the tourism industry— or for that matter, the clean water downstream.
Al Gedicks, Executive Secretary, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council.
Has there ever been a safe sulfide mine?
No. The Flambeau Mine operated near Ladysmith, Wisconsin, in the 1990s. Some point to it as a success, but the evidence of environmental contamination is overwhelming.
Let’s compare the two projects:
|Size of the mine pit||32 acres|
Max depth: 225 ft
Max depth: 750 ft
|Ore production||1.9 million tons||12.5 million tons|
|Waste rock production||8.6 million tons||54 million tons|
|Tailings generated from on-site processing of ore||0|
There was no on-site processing of ore at Flambeau. It was all shipped to Canada for smelting.
|11.8 million tons over the seven-year life of mine|
|Use of an underground cutoff wall to impede groundwater flow between mine pit and neighboring river||Yes|
(the Flambeau Mine pit was 140 feet from the Flambeau River)
|Yes, BUT the top of the bedrock where the cut-off wall will be keyed in, is weathered, fractured, and permeable.|
|Environmental footprint||181 acres||865 acres|
(4.5 times the Flambeau Mine)
Read a detailed report by Dr. Al Gedicks, Executive Secretary, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council.
How can I help save the river?
Test your water
If you are a property owner near the proposed site, we recommend having your well water tested. This will provide a baseline should the mine succeed, and we later must prove the negative consequences to our freshwater supply. Get more information here.
Funds are necessary to educate the public, oppose the mine, and support legal fees. Please consider making a contribution today.
People listen to people. We are coordinating efforts to reach every property owner on each side of the Menominee River in person. We also need people to participate in parades and events, write letters, and otherwise engage the public and oppose the mine. See how you can help.
WE INVITE YOU TO ATTEND OUR MONTHLY MEETINGS
Since the Covid 19 Pandemic, we have also been conducting our monthly meetings using ZOOM for our virtual meetings on the computer. Simply send us your permission to firstname.lastname@example.org to enter your email address into the Coalition’s roster.
Or you can visit us on the first Thursday of each month at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College 1601 University Drive Marinette, WI 54143. Volunteer meetings at 2:00 pm CST.
You will be sent an invitation with the “Link” to join us at our monthly meetings. The notices and the agenda will be sent out prior to the meeting as we meet every 1st Thursday of the month at 2:00 pm. CST.
Thank you for being on our team !!
Dale Burie, Corporate Resource Officer
Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.
Read a detailed report by Dr. Al Gedicks, Executive Secretary, Wisconsin Resources Protection Council.