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Follow up letter from the Army Corp. of Engineers

Please find a follow-up letter from the Army Corp. of Engineers concerning the designation of the navigability study for the Menominee River that was sent to Congressman Mike Gallagher—compliments of Pauline Meyer from his office.

Below, for your leisure reading, is the email I received from the Corps in January 2023.

We (USACE) are in the process of preparing the navigability study. No decision has been made at this point. The District prepares the Navigability Study, which is forwarded to the Division Commander for a decision. Since the Menominee River is part of a Corps of Engineers district and division boundary, we are working with St. Paul District to prepare the study. The Great Lakes and Ohio River Division Commander will coordinate with their counterpart in the Mississippi Valley Division in the decision phase. Updates on the process:

  • On December 20, 2022, we conducted consultation with representatives from the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin and discussed the navigability study process.
  • In summer 2022, the Detroit District inspected over 200 sites along the Menominee River and its major Michigan tributaries to document present-day commercial use of the waterways and existing obstructions to navigation.

We expect that a determination on the Menominee River Navigability Study will be made in 2023.

Pauline Meyer

Congressman Mike Gallagher (WI-08)

District Office, DePere WI 54115

Office: 920.301.4500

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Save the River

An image Save River from Mining Pollution

“Rallying for Rivers: A Spotlight on U.S. Groups Dedicated to River Conservation”


The call to “save the river” resonates across the United States, echoing the commitment of numerous environmental groups to preserve and rehabilitate our vital waterways. These organizations, each with their unique focus and approach, play a crucial role in safeguarding river ecosystems for future generations. Here, we highlight some key groups and their efforts, including the commendable “Join the River Coalition,” which is dedicated to protecting the Menominee River.

Environmental Groups Making a Difference

  1. Medina River Protection Fund (MPRF)
  2. Texas Rivers Protection Association (TRPA)
  3. Mississippi River Collaborative (MRC)
  4. American Rivers
  5. Save Our Wild Salmon
  6. Save The River
  7. Save the Delaware River
  8. Save the Red River Guardians
  9. Save The World’s Rivers
  10. Save the Sound

Join the River Coalition: Saving the Menominee River

In addition to these notable groups, the “Join the River Coalition” deserves special attention for its efforts to protect the Menominee River. This coalition brings together individuals, organizations, and communities with a shared goal of preserving the river’s natural beauty and ecological integrity. By joining forces, they work towards creating sustainable solutions to the challenges faced by the Menominee River.


The united efforts of these groups demonstrate the power of collective action in environmental conservation. By supporting and participating in their initiatives, we can contribute to the crucial mission of saving our rivers, ensuring they remain vibrant and healthy for generations to come.

For more detailed information on each of these organizations and their specific projects, please visit their respective websites linked in the sources.

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Menominee River: A Vital Lifeline for Michigan and Wisconsin Communities

The Menominee River: A Natural Treasure

The Menominee River, a majestic waterway, forms the natural border between Michigan and Wisconsin. This river is not just a picturesque landscape; it is an integral part of the region’s identity, offering ecological, economic, and cultural benefits to the communities along its banks.

Ecological Significance

  • Diverse Ecosystem: The Menominee River hosts a rich tapestry of flora and fauna. It is home to numerous fish species, including bass, walleye, and trout, making it a paradise for anglers and a crucial habitat for aquatic life.
  • Water Quality: The river’s health is vital for maintaining the quality of life in the area. It plays a key role in sustaining the local ecosystems, with its clean and nutrient-rich waters supporting both terrestrial and aquatic species.
  • Conservation Efforts: Various conservation initiatives highlight the river’s ecological importance. These efforts aim to protect and preserve the natural habitats and the species that depend on the river.

Economic Contributions

  • Recreational Hub: The Menominee River is a cornerstone for recreational activities. Fishing, kayaking, and rafting attract thousands of tourists annually, boosting the local economy.
  • Support for Local Businesses: The influx of visitors benefits local businesses, from bait shops and boat rentals to restaurants and lodging facilities. This economic activity underscores the river’s role as a regional economic stimulant.
  • Employment Opportunities: The tourism and recreational industries around the river provide numerous jobs, contributing significantly to the local employment landscape.

Cultural and Historical Importance

  • The Menominee Tribe: For the Menominee Indian Tribe, the river is not just a body of water but a sacred entity. It’s tied to their history, culture, and spiritual beliefs, representing an ancestral connection that spans centuries.
  • Historical Landmarks: The river’s banks are dotted with historical sites and landmarks, each telling a story of the region’s past, from Native American heritage to the early European settlers.

The Threat of the Back 40 Mine

The proposed Back 40 mine, a potential mining project along the river, poses significant risks:

  1. Environmental Risks: The mining process could lead to severe ecological damage, including water pollution from toxic runoff and habitat destruction.
  2. Impact on Wildlife: The disruption to the natural habitats could have a detrimental effect on the river’s diverse wildlife populations.
  3. Cultural Destruction: The mine could desecrate sacred sites and disrupt the Menominee Tribe’s connection to their ancestral land.
  4. Economic Downfall: Environmental degradation could reduce the river’s appeal to tourists, negatively impacting the local economy and livelihoods.
  5. Health Concerns: Potential contamination of the river poses health risks to local communities who rely on the river for their water supply and recreational activities.

In Defense of the River

Protecting the Menominee River from the Back 40 mine is not just an environmental issue; it’s a matter of preserving a way of life. Community groups, environmental activists, and the Menominee Tribe are at the forefront of this battle, advocating for the river’s protection.


The Menominee River is a lifeline for the Michigan and Wisconsin border region, offering invaluable ecological, economic, and cultural benefits. The threat posed by the Back 40 mine project serves as a call to action for all who value this natural wonder. It is imperative to safeguard the river for present and future generations, ensuring that it continues to be a source of life, culture, and prosperity.

The Menominee River’s story is a reminder of the delicate balance between development and conservation. It is a testament to the river’s resilience and the community’s dedication to preserving this crucial natural resource. As stewards of the environment, the responsibility lies with everyone to protect and honor this vital waterway.

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Protecting the Menominee River: A Call to Action

The Menominee River, a natural wonder nestled in the heart of the Upper Peninsula, faces a pressing environmental threat – mining pollution. Fortunately, there is a powerful tool that can aid in its protection: land trust conservation. In this blog post, we’ll explore the importance of collaborating with land trust conservationists and introduce you to some key individuals and organizations working tirelessly to safeguard this pristine river.

The Land Trust Conservation Advantage

Land trust organizations are champions of preserving and protecting natural landscapes. They play a crucial role in acquiring and managing land for conservation purposes. One of the most compelling advantages of working with land trusts is that donations made to them for land acquisition are often tax-deductible, making it an attractive option for individuals and businesses.

Protecting the Menominee River

Mining pollution poses a severe threat to the Menominee River’s ecological balance and the communities that depend on it. To combat this issue effectively, it’s essential to consider land conservation as a preventive measure. By acquiring and conserving land around the river, we create a buffer zone that can mitigate the impacts of mining pollution.

Meet the Land Trust Conservationists

Several dedicated individuals and organizations are actively engaged in land conservation efforts around the Menominee River. These include:

1. Nature ConservancyWebsite

The Nature Conservancy is a global organization committed to protecting the lands and waters on which all life depends. They have shown interest in preserving the Menominee River’s ecosystem.


The Nature Conservancy
101 East César E. Chávez Avenue
Phone: +1 517-316-0300
Email: [email protected]

2. Michigan Nature AssociationWebsite

The Michigan Nature Association focuses on conserving Michigan’s rare, threatened, and endangered species by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. Their work aligns with preserving the Menominee River’s unique environment.

Head Office

2310 Science Parkway, Suite 100
Okemos MI 48864
(866) 223-2231
[email protected]

3. Land Trust AllianceWebsite

The Land Trust Alliance plays a pivotal role in the conservation efforts of Michigan, including the protection of valuable natural resources like the Menominee River. Their dedication to preserving and stewarding lands is commendable, and they serve as a unifying force for various land trust organizations across the state. By providing support, resources, and guidance, the Land Trust Alliance strengthens the capacity of local conservationists to tackle environmental challenges effectively. Their work aligns with the shared goal of ensuring that Michigan’s landscapes, including those around the Menominee River, remain vibrant and ecologically sound for generations to come.

Connect with Us

1250 H Street NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20005
Contact us • [email protected] • 202-638-4725

Michigan Land Trust Conservationists

· Chikaming Open Lands
· Chippewa Watershed Conservancy
· Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
· Keweenaw Land Trust
· Land Conservancy of West Michigan
· Leelanau Conservancy
· Legacy Land Conservancy
· Little Forks Conservancy
· Michigan Nature Association
· North Oakland Headwaters
Land Conservancy
· Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy
· Six Rivers Land Conservancy
· Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy
· Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy

Wisconsin Land Trust Conservationists

· Caledonia Conservancy
· Door County Land Trust
· Driftless Area Land Conservancy
· Geneva Lake Conservancy
· Groundswell Conservancy
· Ice Age Trail Alliance
· Kettle Moraine Land Trust
· Kinnickinnic River Land Trust
· Landmark Conservancy
· Madison Audubon Society
· Mississippi Valley Conservancy
· Northeast Wisconsin Land Trust
· Northwoods Land Trust
· Ozaukee Washington Land Trust
· Tall Pines Conservancy
· The Prairie Enthusiasts and its affiliate, TPE Trust

Taking Action

If you’re passionate about protecting the Menominee River from mining pollution, here’s how you can get involved:

  1. Ask Them to Purchase Land: Contact them to ask them to purchase land around the Menominee River to protect it.
  2. Contact Land Trusts: Reach out to organizations like the Nature Conservancy and Michigan Nature Association to inquire about their efforts and how you can contribute or collaborate.
  3. Financial Support: Consider making tax-deductible donations to the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River and these organizations, specifying your intent for the Menominee River conservation.
  4. Raise Awareness: Share information about the importance of land trust conservation and the need to protect the Menominee River with your community and social networks.
  5. Advocate: Support policies and initiatives that promote responsible mining practices and environmental protection in the region.


The Menominee River is a natural treasure worth preserving for future generations. Collaborating with land trust conservationists and supporting organizations like the Nature Conservancy and Michigan Nature Association can play a significant role in safeguarding this vital waterway. By acting together, we can make a tangible difference in protecting the Menominee River from the looming threat of mining pollution.

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The Unavoidable Consequence: Total PFOS Abandonment

In the realm of environmental pollutants, PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) stands out as a formidable adversary. Its stubborn persistence challenges conventional approaches to regulation and containment. In this blog post, we’ll explore why the only viable solution for the Menominee River is the complete abandonment of PFOS.

The Relentless Persistence of PFOS

To fully grasp the urgency of this issue, we must first understand the nature of PFOS. As a member of the PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) family, PFOS boasts unparalleled durability. Unlike most chemicals, it doesn’t break down over time, making it a perpetual threat to our environment.

The Menominee River’s Precarious Position

The Menominee River, flowing into Lake Michigan, finds itself in a precarious situation. Historically, the river’s proximity to industrial and manufacturing facilities has exposed it to various pollutants, including PFOS. Given PFOS’s tenacious nature, it has entrenched itself in the river’s ecosystem.

The Unavoidable Consequences

The presence of PFOS in the Menominee River has dire consequences for both the environment and public health. Fish and aquatic life accumulate PFOS in their tissues, raising concerns about the safety of consuming these resources. Moreover, recreational activities like swimming and fishing in the river become increasingly risky.

Embracing Total Abandonment

In light of these challenges, the only pragmatic solution is a resolute commitment to abandon PFOS completely. This approach offers several compelling advantages:

  1. Environmental Stewardship: By eliminating PFOS, we safeguard the Menominee River’s fragile ecosystem and protect its inhabitants.
  2. Health and Safety: A total ban on PFOS ensures that recreational activities remain safe, and the local communities can enjoy a cleaner, healthier environment.
  3. Future-Proofing: Regulating PFOS may offer short-term relief, but complete abandonment is the only way to ensure a lasting solution for generations to come.

Taking Decisive Action

Addressing the PFOS issue at the Menominee River requires bold, forward-thinking action. This includes:

  1. Phasing Out PFOS: Encourage industries and manufacturers to phase out the use of PFOS-containing products and seek environmentally friendly alternatives.
  2. Strict Enforcement: Enforce stringent regulations that prohibit the release of PFOS into the river and hold responsible parties accountable.
  3. Public Engagement: Foster community involvement and awareness to build support for total PFOS abandonment.


In the face of PFOS, the Menominee River has no alternative but to embrace complete abandonment of this persistent chemical. Regulating PFOS alone is insufficient; the risks it poses to the environment and public health necessitate a resolute commitment to a PFOS-free future. Let us act decisively to protect the Menominee River and the well-being of all who depend on it.

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After a Long Campaign, Menominee Site Listed on National Register of Historic Places

Giving thanks for prayers answered that will preserve the culture of these sacred and historical sites of the Menominee Tribe. This is in honor of those who have gone before and those yet to come. Within this ceremonial dance ring giving thanks are L-R are Dr. David Overstreet, David “Nahwahquaw” Grignon, Tony Brown, Kahkamahut Waupekenay, Glen Miller, Lupi Corn, Lois Turney, Aaliyah Webster, and Dawn Wilber.

Keshena, WI — The Menominee Tribe is extremely happy to learn that its nomination to have the Sixty Islands or Anaem Omot (Dogs Belly) area in Wisconsin and Michigan be added to the National Register of Historic Places was approved. This recognizes critical burial and historic sites at the place of our origin.

Chairwoman Gena Kakkak was overwhelmed with gratitude, saying: “We are so very thankful to the National Park Service for including this site on the National Register of Historic Places. Our ancestors can now rest better in their places of burial. Our original spiritual and ceremonial grounds are recognized and our children can continue to learn and find their heritage in our places of origin.”

Tribal Historic Preservation Director David Grignon said: “This is a historic day for the Menominee people that the Sixty Islands area of the Menominee River will be placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It was a long time in coming, but now our sacred sites, mounds, and historic sites on the Menominee River at Sixty Islands are recognized”.
The Anaem Omot or Sixty Islands area of the Menominee River is located about 16 miles east of Stephenson, Michigan. The settlement remains date back roughly 10,000 years to the last Ice Age. The site has now been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The tribe has worked for several years to advocate for this listing and to protect the culturally sensitive areas that include burial mounds, garden beds, and ceremonial sites. Our tribal members and advocacy groups remain connected to this area for cultural purposes.

The Menominee Tribe, having no migration story, are the original people of this land from time immemorial. For more information on the Menominee Tribe visit our website at

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Officials: Michigan paper mill fire officially out

The 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…

Environmental agencies from both Michigan and Wisconsin were concerned about a spike in PFAS chemicals in the Menominee River because of runoff from the fire—potentially impacting drinking water for the cities of Menominee and Marinette, Michigan… – Click to read more

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At 50, Clean Water Act marks progress to clean up water, but challenges remain

Standing 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 to make waters safe for swimming, fishing, and drinking…

As the state celebrates the law’s anniversary, Gov. Tony Evers announced a new interactive tool to show where PFAS contamination has been found in the state…

PFAS doesn’t break down easily in the environment, and it’s been linked to kidney and testicular cancers among other serious health issues. The new tool shows around 150 drinking water systems serving nearly 1.7 million people have taken part in voluntary sampling to determine if PFAS is present in drinking water…

The Clean Water Act aimed to achieve “fishable and swimmable” waters by 1983, but Wilkin Gibart said the law fell short of that goal…

Click here to read the full article.