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Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River holds Water Celebration featuring Native, and non-Native speakers on Back 40 mining project

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

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“FOXY” Guitar Given Away!

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.

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Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. was well represented at the Farmer’s Market

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.

From left to right, Karen Prange, Janet Klaver, and Diane Woods

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.

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The Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition’s Livestream Series Presents

Contact: Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition (UPEC)   •   ph 906-201-1949

Mobilizing the Grassroots to Protect the Menominee River

Our guests:

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




Meeting ID: 860 7526 9466

Passcode: 2022

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.

Our Guests

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

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 For more about UPEC, visit

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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
Exchange Commission.

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.

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Local Environmental Group Receives International Award for their efforts

March 24, 2021

For Immediate Release:

A local environmental group was honored this week with an international award for their efforts to protect the Menominee River. The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to keeping the Menominee River safe from the threat of an open pit metallic sulfide mine,  received the 2020 Freshwater Hero Award.  The award, given by Freshwater Future., a non-profit organization based in Petoskey, Michigan, honors and celebrates everyday people who jump into action to solve the most pressing issues facing the Great Lakes. 

The award  features a miniature canoe and is inscribed with the following:

  Fresh Water Hero Award

                  In grateful acknowledgment for your outstanding contributions COALITION TO SAVE THE MENOMINEE and exceptional efforts to ensure the healthy future of our water in the Great Lakes region.

                                Jill M. Ryan, Executive Director 2021

Dale Burie, President of the Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River, Inc. issued this statement:

“We are humbled to receive this award from Freshwater Future,”

“They have been one of our many mentors and have stood by us during our mission” stated Burie.

“We accept this award on behalf of all the volunteers, donors, and leaders who have accepted huge responsibilities to help the Coalition forge ahead to protect the Menominee River for the generations to come”. added Dale Burie, President.