An Upper Peninsula American Indian tribe and several other groups are trying to stop the state-sanctioned rape and pillage of Michigan’s northern wilderness by an uncaring mining company and it’s minions.
The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC) strongly opposes the “acid mine” on the Yellow Dog Plains because sulfide mining tramples ceded territorial rights and the treaties of 1842 and 1856.
The mine is being built not far from the natural depiction of a Native American – that the winds and waves of Lake Superior carved into the cliffs of Presque Isle below the grave of northern Michigan’s most famous American Indian Chief Charles Kawbawgam, last Chief of the Chippewa.
While sulfuric acid may soon drip like tears from the eyes of this mysterious carving, the real Chief Kawbawgam would undoubtedly be leading the fight against the mine if not for his death about 105 years ago.
The state of Michigan gave the Upper Peninsula the worst of all possible Christmas gifts promising unimaginable environmental damage – in exchange for a handful of jobs and the threat of even more sulfide “acid” mining to be followed by uranium.
Continuing their valiant fight for northern Michigan’s valuable wilderness, environmentalists and Native Americans have sued the state to prevent the mine from opening.
Northern Michigan trout, salmon, deer, bear and other wildlife can not speak for themselves, so it’s up to the people to save the woods, streams and lakes of northern Michigan.
Upper Peninsula turned into Land of Kennecott – short-timers who will pillage our minerals, leave behind an enviro-graveyard – and move their shovels from county to county until most remaining pristine areas of the U.P. are reminiscent of Love Canal or the mining ruins of West Virginia.
It’s pockets full of cash from other environmental savagery, Kennecott Minerals successfully lured the state down a road of environmental ruin.
At issue is a controversial nickel-copper mine between Marquette and Big Bay with six new mine sites proposed within 50 miles of the Eagle Project – and that’s just the beginning.
Those who oppose the “acid mine” protested on Dec. 17, 2007 in front of the federal courthouse in Marquette, MI.
(Marquette Mine Protest Rally Photos by Earth Keeper Gail Griffith, Save the Wild UP (SWUP) board member)
You see, the international mining giant will be long gone in 7 years or less – after creating less than 100 short-term jobs – and local residents will be left with a huge stain (at best) – and possibly a ruined trout stream feeding a soiled Lake Superior.
The Great 2008 Betrayal: 2008 will be year of Great Betrayal of Michigan northwoods unless lawsuits prevail or mines stopped by those with the power
The ink was barely dry on the promised suit when the owners of the “acid mine” admitted what had been feared all along: similar mines will be popping up like mushrooms in all corners of the U.P. – again trading short-term gain for tourism and recreation.
Many residents call the project an “acid” mine because one of its nasty byproducts is sulfuric acid when the ore hits the air.
Just as our railroads and other areas are covered in iron ore pellets – much of the Yellow Dogs Plains near Lake Superior will be covered with acid or other dubious mining leftovers.
At least our iron ore mines are open for a century or more and create thousands of jobs.
Did state watchdogs eat bad mushrooms?:
Acid, Uranium Mines to spring up like mushrooms across northern Michigan wilderness
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality – and democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm – betrayed the people of the Upper Peninsula in mid-December by issuing three permits that will allow the opening of an “acid” mine by the Kennecott Minerals Company.
This time next year northern Michigan’s pristine snow will be mixed with sulfuric acid.
The state’s top environmental watchdog – the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (aka Quitters) – bit the hand that feeds her – tourism!
“Environmental quality” is in the name of the MDEQ – the top state watchdog for Michigan’s gorgeous Upper Pensinula. The agency should be stripped of that name.
How about – MDEQ – Michigan Department of Environmental Quitters?
That way the MDEQ wouldn’t have to change the towels that will soak up the lifeblood of the U.P. – tourism.
Protect the Upper Peninsula and our:
Fighting the good fight: KBIC and environmental groups joined by descendants of America’s Industrial Revolution
The lawsuit was filed by National Wildlife Federation, the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community (KBIC), the Huron Mountain Club and the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve.
Thank you to these groups for taking this fight to a judge.
I recently criticized the ultra-exclusive, pro-business and secretive Huron Mountain Club for not joining the fight as the “acid mine” will lay at its doorsteps.
For joining the lawsuit:
I must now say kudos to the Huron Mountain Club (circa 1890) – a private retreat built by those who led America’s Industrial Revolution – that owns 13,000 protected acres including one of the largest tracts of primeval forest in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.
Thank you to these groups for taking this fight to a judge.
Anatomy of a Murder: Part Two – Site of famous northern Michigan film will be site of mass murder of environment
“Have you left no sense of decency?”
A movie filmed near the location of the planned “acid mine” even has ties to this country’s fight against tyranny
We hope the Michigan judge, who could stop this “acid mine,” has the common sense of another jurist – Joseph N. Welch – a judge on the screen and in real life – who was portrayed in the famous 1959 movie by Otto Preminger entitled “Anatomy of a Murder” filmed near the site of this mine.
The movie was based on a best selling novel written by Michigan Supreme Court Justice and avid trout fisherman John D. Voelker using the pen name Robert Traver.
A fisherman’s fisherman, Voelker spent most of his life wandering the pristine trout streams of the Upper Peninsula.
In a sad irony this mine will dig beneath one of Voelker’s beloved prime trout streams that feeds Lake Superior.
And some experts fear the stream will collapse into the mine releasing a flood of acid and other pollution that will be pouring into Lake uperior in a flash and then the rest of the Great Lakes.
Welch – who was a judge in real life and portrayed an outspoken judge in “An Anatomy of a Murder” – was the lawyer who defended the U.S. Army against Senator Joseph McCarthy during his 1954 anti-communist witch hunt.
Welch uttered the following famous words – that could be used today to describe the people who are allowing this “acid mine” to proceed at lightening speed:
Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?”
You can bet the late Judges Voelker and Welch would not let this mine open – and would note its tyranny upon the U.P. wildlife, forests and streams is not unlike the scourage of the McCarthy hearings.
Native Americans and the environment groups are livid that Rio Tinto, the parent company of Kennecott, is now targeting six other U.P. sites for mines.
“We had long suspected that this was merely the first in a series of new mines, but hiding that information until after the MDEQ approval was announced is certainly contrary to the ‘good neighbor’ image Kennecott has sought to portray,” said Michelle Halley, an attorney for the National Wildlife Federation and the other co-petitioners
“Whether they knew it or not, the MDEQ and the Governor have egg on their faces,’ Halley said.
MDEQ, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm lay with mongrels whose plans will ruin Yellow Dog Plains and tourism
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality could also stop the project – but right now those who care about the future of the U.P. are hoping a judge will have more common sense that the state of Michigan and our illustrious governor who did nothing to fight the project.
Shame on the MDEQ and Governor Granholm – but there is still time for the state’s top democrat to be a hero.
Kennecott Minerals is hoping to start construction on the mine in January 2008 – but it’s awaiting approval of two permits from the Department of Natural Resources.
Why has Governor Granholm kept quiet on the project?
At best, the answer is she is leading a state in the midst of a severe financial crisis – but common sense dictates the effects of these acid and uranium mines will far outweigh any short term gain.
The mine will dig below the Salmon-Trout River – a prstine fishing stream – and some think it will collapse – mixing acid, other pollution, and clean water.
That pollution will then quickly end up in Lake Superior – and down the chain of Great lakes.
Photo by Jackie Donoho, Northwoods Wilderness Recovery
So I ask again – why is Governor Granholm keeping tight lipped when we need her the most?
Green money means more to the government and media watchdogs than the lush green forests
Why is many members of the northern Michigan media not doing investigative reports on the company, it’s history and the effects of other Kennecott operations across the globe.
And why is the majority of the media not writing strong editorials opposing the ill-advised project.
Could it be the tons of advertising dollars?
Most of U.P. media fail as watchdogs: Editors of good heart – please take a firm stance against this sulfide mine and join this fight against our acidic future
Why have Marquette’s business leaders gone along with the project betraying their forefathers who founded the U.P. and are undoubtedly spinning in their soon-to-be acid soaked graves?
Again, could the green of money be outweighing the burnt orange color that the rivers will turn?
It boggles the mind that U.P. business leaders can betray their own grandchildren – and that Michigan Governor is willing to leave a legacy of destroying the Upper Peninsula.
Marquette Mine Protest Rally Photos by Earth Keeper Gail Griffith, Save the Wild UP (SWUP) board member
A plea to actor/director Jeff Daniels: Please film a sequel to Scrooge here and bring the ghosts of Christmas past and future to bear on those who ignore the acid mine effects on our wildlife
I am also disappointed in actor/director Jeff Daniels – who has made U.P. movies and supported local theatres – but has also remained quiet on the aicd mine and is not trying to stop this project.
I beg these business leaders, Governor Granholm and Mr. Daniels to look deep into their hearts – the time is now to step forward and stop this looming disaster.
While a real life sequel to the famous movie Anatomy of Murder is being played out in real life here in northern Michigan – maybe Mr. Daniels could film the sequel to another movie classic.
If only the sequel of Scrooge could be filmed here – and have the ghosts of Christmas past and Christmas future scare some sense into these people.
The Great Burnt-Orange North: an acid and uranium mine is coming to the wilderness theatre near you!
Other possible future movie titles if the mines are not stopped:
Pirates of the Yooperland: Northern Carribean turned into acid seaIt’s a Terrible Life – in the once wonderful U.P.: Those responsible for this environmental disaster should all jump off the nearest bridge.
The Sound of Murder: Acid mine is music to ears of greedy, short-sighted.Gone with the Whim: Acid winds blow across yooperland, Marquette is burning.
To Kill a Mockingbird – and the rest of wildlife.
That’s why we mock Kennecott – the great killer of birds and wild life.
Wizard of Odds: U.P. biz leaders gamble with northern Michigan’s future.
Mines, fines, and big-fat-heels: Planes, trains and Automobiles built with northern Michigan iron ore – fish, deer and bears pre-cooked in acid.
If you have an idea for a sequel to northern Michigan’s cinema legacy – let me know.
Great White North to become Borealis version of West Virginia: The Great Burnt-Orange North will be the new name In closing – while I do believe there is still a glimmer of hope – I recommend anyone who has ever thought about visiting the pristine Upper Peninsula had better do it quickly.Because – unless we are saved by the MDNR, the EPA, a judge – in the next few months northern Michigan will become the West Virginia of the Great White North.
The state-sanctioned destruction of pristine northern Michigan wilderness – that the KBIC tribe says violates land treaties – brings to mind this famous photo of the “Crying Indian” – and the tears of “Iron Eyes Cody” – who was not Native American but lived his life dedicated to American Indian causes, adopted two American Indian children and was married to a First Nations woman.
The historic Keep America Beautiful public service announcement – entitled “People Start Pollution, People Can Stop It” – mesmerized TV audiences after it first aired on Earth Day 1971.
More than any other commercial – it helped add momentum to the newly-launched environmental movement.
Many Native Americans – and other U.P. residents are weeping real tears as they are being betrayed for the sake of the almighty dollar.
Above Marquette Mine Protest Rally Photos by Earth Keeper Gail Griffith, Save the Wild UP (SWUP) board member; photo below courtesy Save the Wild UP.