Sulfide mining, not so far away

The area of this proposed sulfide mine is wide open, unpaved and unpowered. It is situated right in the middle of the largest undeveloped tract in all of Michigan. Its rivers and streams feed Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. What a terrible place for a mine. What a terrible threat to the Great Lakes.
-Former Michigan Governor William G. Milliken

Mine Drainage at Sudbury, OntarioOn and off over the past few years, I’ve been working with some people who have themselves been working very hard to sound the alarm about a frightening and risky technology that goes by the very unsexy name of “metallic sulfide mining”. Maybe if it was called “acid mining” or you could just hold up pictures like the one to the right, it would have been easier for Save the Wild UP to rouse alarm and outrage among Michigan’s citizens. We are talking about a technology that has NEVER failed to pollute water when located in close proximity, that is being located in close proximity to Lake Superior, greatest of the Great Lakes.

Big Bay, the Salmon Trout River and the Yellow Dog Plains seem pretty remote way up there on the northern shore of Michigan. However, once the first mine has been permitted, others will surely follow. Some targeted sites like Menominee are on Lake Michigan, from whose bountiful waters and wild beaches many of us draw not just our livelihoods, but also a good measure of our joy.

I invite you to watch the video below with one of the founders of Save the Wild U.P., former Leelanau resident Dick Huey. Then come out to the Hagerty Center in Traverse City for the After Work Jam Session with Josh Davis this Friday (Sep 28) at 5:30 to hear some music and talk about what can be done to stop a destructive and ravaging industry that has no business in the Great Lakes.

Photo credit: Acid Mine Drainage at Sudbury, Ontario from Save the Wild U.P. Many more photos in the Save the Wild UP group (including some from recent public comment hearings) and much more information at savethewildup.org.

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