We wanted to share with everyone Mark Doremus’ updated website. It also serves as a reminder that this is far from being over and we are all in this together. Please take a few moments to look at all the updates. We are so thankful for Mark’s continued work.
Stay tuned for updates on the Peshtigo Parade, on September 30.
For our September 7 General Meeting, we are back at Marinette Tech on University Avenue, Room MN115 at 6 PM. We thank Our Saviors Lutheran Church for the use of their facilities this summer!
This just in:
The comment period on the proposed lease is open through Aug. 20
Aquila Resources USA, Inc. has requested a metallic minerals lease from the state of Michigan. The 406.67 acres, more or less, are located within Lake Township in Menominee County.
Get more detailed information on the direct leasing process on the DNR website or email DNR-LeaseManagement@Michigan.gov (subject line should read: Aquila Resources USA, Inc.). We will accept comments through Sunday, Aug. 20.
Be sure to follow the email link above to respond to this!
What this is about:
Sadly, the proposed mineral leases are on state lands. The proposed lands are also in the vicinity of the Shakey Lakes County Park. The people of Menominee County continue to be overwhelmingly opposed to a metallic sulfide mine that would pollute any waterways, pose human health hazards from toxic metal contamination, and destroy the existing economy based upon tourism, recreation, and a world-class fishing habitat. Now, in addition, there will be more truck traffic and heavy equipment. You, the DNR state that you promote “the public enjoyment of this state’s wildlife and other natural resources by providing public access to lands under the control of the department for outdoor recreation activities dependent on natural resources…” (Section 324.504 of the Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Act 451 of 1994).
If you were to grant this lease to Aquila/GORO, it would deprive the public of the clean air and water we rightly deserve. Metallic mining will release many pollutants into the air, waterways, and soil. The intended result is a metallic sulfide mine and leasing state-owned land for the purpose of developing a metallic sulfide mine is a violation of this public trust.
Furthermore, where is the oversight? An excellent example of the pollution threat and lack of oversight of local water supplies dates back to 2002, when Aquila Resources, the exploration company at that time, bored 769 drill holes, over 134,000 meters (83.3 miles) in Lake Township and Menominee County’s aquifer. Those test wells remain open and are not permanently capped. The failure to properly abandon these test holes creates a pollution risk to our drinking water. Now to add to the mix we have waste rock. The vast majority of the rock brought up is acid-draining waste. Where is this going? Into a tailings dam? A tailings dam is nothing, but an earthen structure destined to fail. This is a major environmental disaster just waiting to happen. I beg you to outlaw them.
Water is life. We cannot live without water. This alone should be sufficient reason to say no!
Things seem a little low-key right now GORO stock prices are rapidly declining.
It may look like we are winning the battle to save our beloved Menominee River. But now is not the time to become complacent. Things may be a little on the quiet side but they are far from being over. We must remain vigilant, we must continue to fight the good fight.
We still need you more than ever. Stay with us. Stay engaged. Tap into what you do best to help. Maybe that is writing letters to the editor, writing letters for others who don’t possess that talent, continue to write your local and state officials and agencies. Put up a sign and spread the word. It takes all of us.
We have a great Water Celebration coming up on September 16 at the Menominee Band Shell for starters.
This is something you don’t want to miss and we will also need lots of helping hands. We don’t sit around. We’re soon going mobile! We’re talking high visibility. Details soon! Coming soon are a few new merchandise options! We continue to walk the talk. We don’t want you to miss anything. We’ll tell you when it’s over….
During 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 and Carol Henriksen, leaders of the Front 40 grassroots environmental group, a predecessor of the Coalition. Beginning in 2003,… – Click to Read More
Warren McKenney, a custom guitar builder, pictured on left, presented his hand-crafted guitar named “FOXY” to MaKena Johnson-Haroldson, on right, of Lake Villa, Illinois.
MaKena held the winning raffle ticket for the guitar at the 2nd Annual Water Celebration held by the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. on Stephenson Island in Marinette, Wisconsin.
MaKena, only 15 years old, plays guitar, piano, clarinet, and ukulele, and has been accepted to the Chicago Academy for the Arts.
Warren McKenney also gifted MaKena with a hand-made case, leather strap, and a guitar amplifier.
Warren also serves as a Board Member for the Coalition.
MaKena is the daughter of Jeff Haroldson and Great-Granddaughter of Bill and Carole Boerner of Marinette, Wisconsin.
The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. was well represented at the Farmer’s Market Saturday, July 30, 2022.
at Spies Library in Menominee, Michigan.
Thank You, Karen, Janet, and Diane for all your work !!
Next door, the Brown Trout Derby was being held, sponsored by the M & M Great Lakes Sports Fishermen, Inc.
The Derby celebrates its 41st year in Menominee and has engaged 260 fishermen as they attempt to lure the biggest fish in numerous categories for huge prizes. The Brown Trout Derby is a major event for the Menominee and Marinette areas drawing hundreds and hundreds of sports enthusiasts to the area and to the local economy.
The Coalition is proud of our affiliation with the Great Lakes Sports Fishermen, Inc. organization as we both are challenged by the threat of sulfide mining on the Menominee River.
Contact: Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC)
firstname.lastname@example.org • ph 906-201-1949
“Mobilizing the Grassroots to Protect the Menominee River”
Dr. Al Gedicks, environmental sociologist and Indigenous rights activist
Anahkwet (Guy Reiter), executive Director of Menīkānaehkem, Inc.
Dale Burie, Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River
Wednesday, May 25, 2022, 8:00 pm ET / 7:00 pm CT via livestream on Facebook and Zoom
*NOTE THAT THIS LIVESTREAM IS ON A WEDNESDAY, not our usual Thursday*
Meeting ID: 860 7526 9466
The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin have joined forces to protect the Menominee River from the Back Forty Project, a proposed metallic sulfide mine next to the river. So far, their combined public education efforts and legal challenges have forced the withdrawal of Aquila Resources, a Canadian exploration company, from the project. However, a new company, the Gold Resource Corporation (GORO) of Denver, Colorado, has acquired the assets of Aquila Resources and has asserted that they will have all the permits for the Back Forty Project in hand by the end of 2023 with construction to begin by early 2024. On the next Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream, representatives of this environmental and tribal alliance will discuss how they have brought the Back Forty permitting process to a standstill and how they plan to continue their efforts to protect the Menominee River from any proposed metallic sulfide mine.
Dr. Al Gedicks is an environmental sociologist and Indigenous rights activist and scholar. He has written extensively about Indigenous and popular resistance to ecologically destructive mining and oil projects. In 1977 he founded the Center for Alternative Mining Development Policy. He assisted the Mole Lake Sokaogon Ojibwe Tribe in successfully resisting Exxon’s proposed metallic sulfide mine upstream from the tribe’s sacred wild rice beds. He is an emeritus professor of sociology at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse and the Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, a statewide environmental organization to educate the public about metallic sulfide mining projects in the upper Midwest. He is presently working with the Menominee Nation and the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River to oppose the Back Forty Project next to the Menominee River.
Anahkwet (Guy Reiter) is a traditional Menominee who resides on the Menominee Reservation and is the Executive Director of Menīkānaehkem, Inc., a Menominee Indian community organization. Anahkwet serves his community as an organizer, activist, author, amateur archaeologist, and lecturer. He also is a member of the Menominee Constitutional Taskforce.
Dale Burie is a retired Safety Coordinator from Tyson Foods, Nashville, Tennessee. Upon retiring and building their retirement home only 1/4 mile from the Menominee River 20 miles North of Marinette, Wisconsin, Dale and his wife Lea Jane became aware of the threat to the river from Aquila Resources sulfide mine exploration company from Toronto, Canada. Dale and Lea Jane organized their first meeting of the “Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.” The Coalition’s work continues challenging the next owner of the Back Forty project on the Menominee River. Their website is www.jointherivercoalition.org
The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s Livestream Series keeps the public up-to-date with environmental issues facing the U.P. The live streams are co-hosted by Board President Horst Schmidt and Vice President Evan Zimmermann. This live stream and all archived past events are available at https://facebook.com/upenvironment/live. For more about UPEC, visit https://upenvironment.org.
Letter to the Editor: May 9th, 2022
Aquila Resources has transferred its interests in the Back Forty project west
of Stephenson, Michigan, to Gold Resource Corporation (GORO) of Denver, CO.
Those of you who had purchased Aquila stock have already received your transfer
letter informing investors of significantly reduced share numbers and value.
Dr. Al Gedicks, my wife, Lea Jane, and I met in person with Allen Palmiere,
CEO, and Kim Perry, CFO, of Gold Resource Corporation, in Menominee,
Michigan on April 7th, 2022.
They informed us of their intentions to proceed with plans to revive the Back
Forty Project. We told them that our position has not changed, and we will
continue to challenge every permit application, in court, if necessary.
They were not aware of the eight counties, including Menominee County, that
has passed resolutions opposing the Back Forty project.
Allen stated that the Back Forty had all four permits, and Dr. Gedicks corrected
him since the only permit Aquila fully possessed was the NPDES permit for the
discharge of 1.52 million gallons of water back into the Menominee River per day.
Other permits were not fully granted because they were challenged in legally
contested cases. They also did not have the Dam Safety Permit that, according to
EGLE of Michigan is definitely necessary before a shovel ever hits the ground.
After a very thorough two-hour discussion, I asked Allen and Kim to participate
in a Public Forum. Allen agreed to participate after the Feasibility Study
and the mine design are completed, along with final permission from the Security
The format of the Public Forum will be a large venue, with a custom sound
system so that everyone can hear the dialog. The panel will consist of Gold
Resource representatives, our panel of scientific experts, and other notable guests.
All news media will be invited, including TV, radio, newspapers, social media, and
prominent documentarians for historical preservation. The public will be invited,
and the second half of the Forum will be established for questions from the public.
Because the threat of sulfide mining affects everyone in this watershed, and we
all are consumers of clean water, people must have the opportunity to have their
questions answered truthfully.
The Coalition continues to stand vigilant to protect the Menominee River.
Submitted by Dale Burie,
Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc.