Notice: I've taken a part-time job, and it's definitely affecting my blogging time. I'll continue to add content here as often as possible. Pertinent guest posts are always welcome.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Proposed Taconite Mining Very Near NCT in Wisconsin

map of NCT in Wisconsin near iron deposits

based on a news article at the Wisconsin State Journal

NorthStar Economics, of Madison, Wisconsin, announced in April that a taconite mine is being proposed near Ashland. If the Gogebic Taconite (GTac) mine were built, at an estimated cost of $1.5 billion, the two-year construction period alone would create 3,175 jobs and $20.6 million in state and local tax revenue. The estimated life of the mine could be 35 years, a huge economic impact.

While this would be quite a boost to the local economy, there are environmental issues to balance the question. Ann Coakley, director of waste and materials management for the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, pointed out that there would need to be extensive environmental review. Impacts on surface and ground water, wildlife, threatened and endangered species, and air pollution would all need to be evaluated.

Any sections of the North Country National Scenic Trail which are certified will have a certain level of standing which also will need to be taken into account. Mellen, Wisconsin, is usually considered to be the first ever "Trail Town" along the NCT, and Gogebic Taconite holds an option to lease a 22-mile stretch between Mellen and Upson. Upson is just northeast of Mellen, and the North Country Trail traverses a ridge on the north edge of this entire stretch before entering Copper Falls State Park and then heading south into Mellen.

This segment is on NCTA map WI-01

See Chequamegon Chapter of the NCTA

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see this economic argument being pushed on a natural recreation website. This mine will permanently impoverish the Kakagon/Bad River watershed by devastating its water resources, ruining business in tourism, hunting, and recreation. People are pushing short-term economic gain to argue for permanent damage to irreplaceable resources.