Sen. Cullen, Bipartisan Coalition of Legislators to Tour Proposed Mining Site
Legislators Will Meet with Local Stakeholders, Examine Project Site
(MADISON) – Sen. Tim Cullen (D-Janesville) will travel to Ashland County this weekend and visit the site of a proposed iron ore mining project. Cullen will meet with Sen. Bob Jauch (D-Poplar), Sen. Dale Schultz (R-Richland Center), and Sen. Jim Holperin (D-Conover) Saturday morning to tour the proposed project location.
The group will also visit with local officials and hold a public listening session from 1-3 pm for community members at Mellen High School. The meeting will allow supporters, opponents, and citizens with concerns about the proposed mine to offer ideas and expectations for legislation that would allow for a mining project to proceed.
“This tour will allow legislators from around the state to gain a better understanding of how this mine will affect its neighbors,” Cullen said. “We cannot determine what is best for this region from an office 300 miles away in Madison. This tour will give us an opportunity to better understand the effects – both positive and negative – that this mining project could have in the region and in the state of Wisconsin.”
Earlier this year, the State Assembly passed a 183-page mining bill with no authors or supporters touring the proposed mining site. Recently, Sens. Jauch and Schultz introduced an alternative to the Assembly mining legislation. The 13-page bill would remove provisions that weakened environmental protections at the site of a mine while also reforming the current permitting process to allow for a streamlined approach that provides a higher level of certainty to mining companies seeking a permit.
“I am confident that, with input from local stakeholders, we can work to pass legislation that strikes the necessary balance of allowing for job creation and reinstating environmental safeguards,” Cullen said.
- Tour Copper Falls State Park with Kent Goeckermann, retired 34-year park superintendent. Hike to the falls on the Bad River.
- Travel to an overlook to get a perspective of the western end of the Penokee Range, where the proposed mine would be located.
- Visit the gorge of the Tyler Forks and walk upriver to a section of the river that would border the proposed mine site and be lost to the public.
- Tour the west side of the proposed mining site along Ballou Creek with a short stop to see the angle of the ore body, which is exposed along the road. Continue south to Caroline Lake Road and then to the source of the Bad River.
- Participate in the Mellen Community Meeting on Mining at Mellen High School.