Speaking Tour and Rally
Madison, April 29, 2000
Rally Photo Gallery Link to: April
29th Student Rally Photo Gallery
750 RALLY AT WISCONSIN STATE CAPITOL
FOR "PEOPLE POWER" TO STOP CORPORATE
MINE, WATER, AND POWER PROJECTS
A total of between 700 and 800 opponents of proposed corporate projects
throughout Wisconsin rallied on April 29 at the State Capitol in Madison
in support of "people power against corporate power." The student-led
rally was organized by the Wolf Watershed Educational Project (WWEP),
founded by the Midwest Treaty Network in 1995. The rally united high school
and college students with Native Americans, sportfishers, farmers, environmentalists,
unionists, and others from various regions of the state, in opposition
to new mine, water, and power projects, and in support of "environmental
justice" and a "Seventh Generation Amendment." WWEP organizers promoted
the rally as a Wisconsin version of the Seattle and D.C. anti-corporate
The Students/Youth Rally brought together different ages and races to
stop four proposed corporate projects : the Crandon metallic sulfide mine
in northeastern Wisconsin, a high-voltage transmission line in northwestern
Wisconsin, a Perrier bottling operation in central Wisconsin, and the
RockGen power plant in south-central Wisconsin. Speakers also questioned
the role of Republican Governor Tommy Thompson -- and the state government
agencies Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Public Service Commission
(PSC) -- in facilitating the projects against the wishes of rural citizens
and their township, county, and tribal governments. They demanded the
restoration of the Public Intervenor and an independent DNR chief not
appointed by the Governor.
Rally organizer and University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point student leader
Dana Churness declared that "the power of profit is taking over the citizens'
voice." U.W.- Stevens Point student Lora Clem (another member of the Progressive
Action Organization) put the Wisconsin rally in the context of growing
links between people around the world protesting corporate "globalization."
Echoing the international protests, U.W.-Madison students carried huge
colorful puppets depicting corporate figures, and mock fish and dragonflies
symbolizing company threats to the environment.
Churness introduced speakers as part of a "Journey Around Wisconsin,"
representing the communities near proposed projects. From northeastern
Wisconsin, speakers opposed the Crandon metallic sulfide shaft mine, planned
by Toronto-based Rio Algom Ltd. to operate next to the Mole Lake Chippewa
Reservation (famed for its wild rice beds), and upstream from the Wolf
River and the Menominee Reservation. Native nations and sportfishing groups--former
adversaries in treaty rights conflicts-- have joined together to protect
the fishery from a "threat" of acidic contamination that would for last
thousands of years.
The Mole Lake Drum opened the rally, honoring elders who have fought
the Forest County mine proposal for 25 years. Menominee Treaty Rights
and Mining Impacts Office Director Kenneth Fish said, "Earlier I noticed
there was an eagle flying in the sky....Northern Wisconsin is going to
be a nesting ground for corporations to take our natural resources. When
they are all gone, we're going to be looking at Superfund sites. We're
going to leave a legacy to our future generations of not being able to
swim in this water." College of the Menominee Nation student government
representative Elizabeth Warrington said, "The youth are the building
blocks of our nation...We need to support each other in every effort if
we are going to bring this state back to the people." Menominee musician
Marissa Tucker also sang her song "Back in the Evergreen"* (below),
about mining by the Wolf River.
Chairman Chuck Sleeter of Nashville Township, which includes Mole Lake
and half of the Crandon mine site, described his efforts to overturn the
previous town board's "Local Agreement" with the mining company. "The
company came to Nashville and took democracy away from the people," he
said, "These are some of the bravest people you have ever met; they have
been under siege....". Sleeter also praised the diversity of the rally,
which he said "doesn't happen that often." Langlade County resort owner
and Trout Unlimited chair Herb Buettner said, "For decades we have been
fighting to keep the Wolf River clean, and it is still one of the last
watersheds of pristine groundwater....People power is the final power
of democracy. We don't have democracy now; we have government of the special
Other speakers criticized the DNR's "undermining" of the state's 1998
Mining Moratorium Law, by opening loopholes that allow the company to
present examples of "safe" metallic sulfide mines that cannot prove the
safety of its Crandon operation. Speakers also noted that the mine would
be the largest toxic waste dump in state history, and use 18-20 tons of
cyanide per month in ore processing. Milwaukee student artists carried
huge banners backing a ban on cyanide in mines, much as Montana voters
have enacted. They also erected "headstones" representing rivers around
the world that have been "killed" by cyanide spills from mines. Milwaukee
Steelworker Gerry Gunderson, of the Committee of Labor Against Sulfide
Pollution (CLASP) and Mining Impact Coalition, also read union local and
federation resolutions opposing the Crandon mine.
While most speakers addressed how mining companies would pollute northern
Wisconsin's clean water, one speaker described a plan by one company to
actually "mine" pristine water in central Wisconsin. Rosemary Carlson,
of the Committee to Protect New Haven's Water, opposed Perrier's proposal
to pump groundwater from Big Springs, in Adams County, and build a "football
field-sized" bottling plant near Wisconsin Dells. "They are bulldozing
their way through our community because they want our water in the worst
way," Carlson said, "I don't think we should give our pristine waters
to a Nestle-owned multinational." Perrier has come under intense local
opposition in three counties, but the DNR may soon permit its plan because
state law does not protect rural wells from being pumped dry.
In northwestern Wisconsin, farmers and others along the proposed Duluth-to-Wausau
route of a 345-kilovolt transmission line have formed the new grassroots
group Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL). Rural residents fear the health effects
of stray voltage on cattle and human beings, and defends the property
rights of landowners who do not wish to sell land to utility corporations.
SOUL President Tom Krueger said "It's about time Wisconsin went back to
the people. Let's use the alternatives we know exist, but the PSC and
utilities think we're too stupid to know." Ann Stewart, U.S. representative
of Pimicikamak Cree Nation in Cross Lake, Manitoba, described how hydroelectric
dams--a source of electricity for the proposed line--have damaged rivers
in the northern region, causing Indigenous cultural destruction and a
high suicide rate.
Nashville Chairman Sleeter noted that a 115-kilovolt "feeder line" is
proposed from the main transmission line to power the Crandon mine. He
observed, "On one end of the line in Manitoba, a tribe has been devastated.
They want to connect the line to another tribe and devastate it as well.
That is unacceptable." Some of the 120 SOUL members at the rally carried
signs reading "No Line, No Mine."
The PSC also came under criticism from opponents of the proposed RockGen
power plant, in eastern Dane County. Christiana Township resident Sharon
Hutchinson observed that even though the township and two counties have
questioned the environmental effects of the plant, the PSC is moving forward
with a permit. Other speakers agreed that rural people are often "shut
out" of the democratic process by state agencies that enable companies
to bypass local zoning codes, ignore local referenda, and gain exemptions
from state laws (such as exempting mine waste from hazardous waste rules).
Yet corporate opponents also pointed to significant victories, including
successful town and county codes and resolutions, the slowing of Local
Agreements in court, and strengthened tribal environmental regulations
backed by federal agencies and non-Indian neighbors. The lead attorney
for both SOUL and Nashville, Ed Garvey, observed that "We've got these
companies on the run, and they can't figure out what's gone wrong....As
people look to government and it does not respond, they have to take matters
into their own hands....We're not going to turn our Dairyland over to
the multinational corporations. This is a state where people come first."
Garvey, a former candidate for Governor, viewed the rally as a part of
Wisconsin's populist and progressive historical tradition.
U.W.-Madison graduate student Zoltan Grossman, a co-founder of the Midwest
Treaty Network, observed that companies often accuse rural activists of
having a Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) philosophy. He replied that the grassroots
groups at the rally instead held a Not In Anyone's Back Yard (NIABY) philosophy,
which questioned the underpinning rationales for corporate projects and
overall state policies. He added: "Whether our issues are mining, transmission
lines, Perrier, agribusiness, genetic engineering, union-busting, job
discrimination, welfare reform, or new prisons, we all have a common denominator.
We are all defending our local democracies, economies, and cultures against
corporate plans being shoved down our throats, with the collusion of government
officials. Just as corporations and politicians work together, we should
begin to act together as a single Wisconsin anti-corporate movement. Only
together can we win."
College student representatives spoke in support of the rally's demand
for "environmental justice," as necessary to protect the environment for
everyone. Jon Greendeer, U.W.-Marathon County student and a Ho-Chunk tribal
member, stated: "We don't have to be Native American to know that these
issues are affecting people. You don't have to live on the Wolf River
to know that an environmental disaster is at hand. You don't have to have
children to know that our future is in jeopardy." U.W.-Milwaukee student
Sara Garcia spoke of her anger that "the Governor is making us waste our
time and money fighting these projects."
College students also attended from U.W. campuses at La Crosse, Eau
Claire, Stout, Oshkosh, and elsewhere, Lawrence University (Appleton),
the Madison Area Technical College, and other campuses around the state.
The April 29 rally culminated a year-long WWEP speaking tour which reached
many colleges and high schools around the state. Rio Algom spokesman Dale
Alberts criticized the WWEP for "exploiting" students to advance its anti-mine
cause. Sleeter retorted, "How dare he insinuate that students are stupid...or
High school and middle school speakers also joined the rally's call
for passage of a Seventh Generation Amendment to the State and U.S. Constitutions.
As devised by the late Chippewa environmental leader Walter Bresette,
the Amendment would define the natural environment as the "common property"
of all citizens, and require that environmental decisions be made with
a view ahead of seven generations--or about 150 years. Madison West High
student Dustin Moriarity announced the formation of the Student Environmental
Action League (SEAL) to organize area high school students. A Watertown
middle school group calling itself Students Against Vanishing Ecosystems
(SAVE), presented the WWEP with a $300 check to continue its anti-mine
work. Science teacher Peter Watts pointed out that dozens of 7th-graders
signed the check, and noted that the mining company has started a schools
speaking tour of its own.
Rally emcee Dana Churness told the crowd near the closing: "We have
speakers from 8 to 80 years old. Isn't that beautiful?". Eau Claire grade
school student Joseph Theo, 8, told the crowd from his father's shoulders:
"My grandpa lived in the Northwoods; he hunted and fished there for many
years....I want to be able to take my grandchildren to the beautiful Northwoods."
Rusk County farmer and long-time Ladysmith mine opponent Roscoe Churchill,
80, said, "When you get older you wonder if your fight will be carried
on, and I feel it is being carried on....We are here to say to Governor
Thompson, the DNR and PSC that the people have spoken, and it is time
that they listened!".
For more information or to get involved** on mining
and other Indigenous/environmental issues in the western Great Lakes region,
contact the Midwest Treaty Network at (800) 445-8615, or log on its website
at http://www.treatyland.com Tax-deductible
contributions can be made to "MTN/PC Foundation," and sent to Midwest
Treaty Network, P.O. Box 14382, Madison, WI 53714-4382. (Please send clippings
on the April 29 rally to the same address.)
*-- Some people who attended the April 29 Capitol
rally to stop the Crandon mine have asked how to get CDs by the Menominee musician MARISSA TUCKER, who performed her beautiful song "Back in the Evergreen," about mining by the Wolf River.
Her CD (with that song plus ten others) is called "If I Had a Penny." It is available for $12 ($10 plus $2 shipping). The number previously given is no longer correct; checks should be made out to:
Robert and Marissa Tucker, 313 South Warrington Street, Cecil, WI 54111
**-- The next meeting of the Madison Treaty Rights Support Group will
be Wednesday, May 3, 7 pm, in Catacombs (Pres House basement, 731 State
St.). The next WWEP meeting is TBA possibly Sunday, May 21 in Shawano.
IN THE NEWS
Protesters are people power from all over state
Capital Times [Madison WI]
May 2, 2000
One of the more bizarre fantasies advanced by conservatives and their
journalistic lackeys is the suggestion that protests in Madison are made
up of a tired cadre of local lefties who dust off their marching boots
each time the call to demonstrate is issued.
In fact, because of Madison's status as the state capital, protests
here draw activists from around the state -- many of whom travel three,
four, five and six hours to make their views known to a cynical Legislature
and an even more cynical media. That was certainly the case with Saturday's
"People Power Against Corporate Power'' rally outside the Capitol. The
event was a terrific example of the diversity and depth of the coalitions
that are calling for a shift in state policy on a host of environmental
American Indians, family farmers, fishing enthusiasts, small-town retirees
and newly active students marched up State Street to the Capitol to protest
against continued efforts to develop the Crandon mine, against proposals
to pump water from Wisconsin streams by the Perrier corporation, against
a proposed utility corporation transmission line that would stretch across
northern Wisconsin, and in favor of an independent Department of Natural
Resources and a Legislature that rejects special interest in favor of
the public interest.
Debbie Beyerl came all the way from Colby to hold a sign that read:
"Proud to be a farmer. Want to stay one. No power line in our fields."
She arrived with a busload of activists with Save Our Unique Lands (SOUL),
a grass-roots group of northern Wisconsinites who are challenging plans
by utility companies to tear up the North Woods to run a transmission
line across the top of the state. Most of the SOUL activists who came
down to Madison could be referred to as classic Wisconsin farm folk.
Typical of the group was Pearl Guralski, a dairy farmer who made the
three-hour bus trip to Madison because she is furious with plans to rip
up farms to further enrich power corporations that are already benefiting
from monopoly business practices and corporate welfare protections. Standing
amid hundreds of people on the Capitol steps, with tribal drummers who
oppose the Crandon mine on one side and members of West High's Student
Environmental Action League on the other, Guralski said, "I love having
all these people here because, you know, we all agree on something. We're
all for preserving the basics of Wisconsin -- the land, the air, the water."
By the same token, she says, "we're all fighting against the same basic
things. On our own, we'd have a tough time. But together, we've got people
power. The corporations just don't have enough dollars to shut us all
Ed Garvey, the 1998 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, agreed. Speaking
to the crowd, he said, "I think we've got these corporations on the run.
They can't figure out what's gone wrong. Suddenly, they've got all these
people stirred up -- willing to come down to Madison from all over the
state and make their voices heard. ... This is grass-roots democracy,
this is people's democracy. And it works."
John Nichols is the editorial page editor of The Capital
� 2000 The Capital Times
Diverse groups rally against big business
Various projects threaten environment, crowd of 600 agrees
By Kevin Murphy
Special to the Journal Sentinel
Last Updated: April 29, 2000
Madison - Separate organizations opposing either a proposed Crandon
mine, an electrical transmission line from Duluth to Wausau, or Perrier's
plans to pump and bottle water in central Wisconsin found Saturday that
they have something in common.
An estimated 600 environmentalists, sportsmen and American Indians joined
in a rally at the state Capitol, all of them concerned that corporate
profits were threatening the needs of people and the land.
"People want to protect their communities, natural resources and their
way of life from the large-scale projects being shoved down their throats
by corporations with the collusion of state government," said Zoltan Grossman
of Midwest Treaty Network, one of several groups that brought people from
around the state to the rally.
Rally organizers said they want to harness common interests of these
groups and concerned individuals into a statewide alliance that would
remove corporate influence from environmental decisions.
Rich Daul of Athens, one of about 120 members of Save Our Unique Lands,
a group opposed to the power line project, said individuals still matter
even in this day of high-priced political campaigns.
"Corporations don't vote, but they can buy votes, so it's up to the
voters to put people into office who won't trade our natural resources
for corporate profits," said Daul, whose 160-acre livestock farm is within
250 feet of the proposed line.
Daul said that pressure on public officials could slow the transmission
line approval process.
"The longer we can drag this out, the better our chances are to putting
a stop to this line, because more people will learn what's up," he said.
Genevieve Buettner of White Lake has joined her husband, Herb, in speaking
out against efforts to mine along the Wolf River in northeast Wisconsin
for 20 years.
"I'd like them to take the millions available in the Stewardship Fund
for purchasing recreation land and buy the mining site," she said Saturday.
"That way, it would protect this pristine source of water and get rid
of the mining company once and for all."
Red Cliff Chippewa tribal member Andrew Gokee said the rally not only
helped connect the different organizations but showed him that people
from all walks of life share the same ideas on what he considers environmentally
"I was talking to an older Caucasian lady, who is as average a person
as anyone," he said. "She was against the state allowing Perrier to take
our water, and we both believe that if the politicians listen to the people
and not the big-money corporations, then we'll retain the quality of life
we enjoy in this state."
A local official who has stood up against Crandon mining interests fired
up the rally when he urged the people to "keep fighting the mine and everything
that endangers the people."
Speeches on the Capitol steps were preceded by a march up State St.
and followed by a potluck supper and a powwow.
Appeared in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on April 30,
Protestors Urge Wisconsin Withdrawal From
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)
News Release, April 29, 2000
MADISON -- Protestors opposed to a mine, a power line and
pumping drinking water are determined to shut down businesses
and have Wisconsin residents retreat from modern life, a Wisconsin
Manufacturers & Commerce official said Saturday.
"These radical environmentalists want to obstruct businesses
from legally operating in this state," said James A. Buchen,
WMC vice president of government relations. "Their real agenda
is to run businesses out of the state, kill jobs and force our
families to check out of modern life."
Protestors were slated to rally at the headquarters of Wisconsin
Manufacturers & Commerce on Saturday as part of a day of protests
in Madison. The protestors oppose the Nicolet Mine at Crandon;
a proposed power line from Duluth to Wausau; and a plan to pump
water for Perrier.
All three projects must comply with all state and federal
laws, Buchen said. "The law requires these projects to be environmentally
safe," Buchen said. "Wisconsin has the toughest environmental
laws in the nation, but the environmental radicals won't be
happy until these projects are killed. We need minerals and
we need electricity, but we don't need to return to the dark
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)
501 East Washington Avenue, P.O. Box 352
Madison, WI 53701-0352
LOOK OUT: WMC IS ANGRY
by Ed Garvey
Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is angry. And when WMC
is angry, we should all get nervous. They already set the agenda
for the Legislature and the Governor, fund campaigns for their
pals, run issue ads in support of their favorite candidates,
have made the DNR part of the Department of Commerce, turned
the Department of Agriculture over to the Farm Bureau, carry
the day at the PSC, gain tax breaks for the big corporations
only little business can dream about, so this should be the
very best of times for them. But something has gone wrong. Could
it be the tale of two states? The people, these "uneducated
and ill-informed locals," are getting in the way of big
business and their government. How dare they! They forced a
moratorium in an effort to halt the Crandon mine (that DNR has
refused to enforce), stopped the two million chicken "farm"
in Dunn County, stopped the 10,000 hog operation in Richland
County, killed the recently proposed 2,850 cow deal in the Town
of Porter, are opposing the huge powerline, and now they have
the effrontery to demand that Perrier go back to Switzerland.
What�s going on here? Could the people start taking things into
their own hands?
Never a group to confuse power with ideas, the WMC vice president
for government relations, a Wisconsin euphemism for "the
boss," issued a news release condemning citizens who met
at the Capitol steps two weeks ago without even obtaining a
permission slip from WMC. Students from UWM, Marathon Community
College, Madison, Stevens Point, farmers, Native Americans,
small business people converged to protest against Perrier taking
hundreds of millions of gallons of our groundwater; Exxon and
Rio Algom trying to take our zinc, copper and gold while endangering
the Wolf River and Rice Lake; Minnesota Power clear-cutting
250 miles for an unnecessary transmission line from Duluth to
Wausau to wheel energy to Chicago; and corporate farms that
would destroy our way of life. Don�t they understand that WMC
recruited these corporations, through their subsidiary, the
State of Wisconsin?
Perhaps WMC became over-stimulated because these "locals"
stopped by to briefly picket WMC�s beautiful building on East
Washington. Hard to keep the riff-raff out of the neighborhood
these days. He said, "These radical environmentalists
want to obstruct businesses from legally operating in this state.
Their real agenda is to run businesses out of the state, kill
jobs and force families to check out of modern life." Wow!
Little did this ill-informed citizen know these people were
about to plunge Wisconsin into darkness, impede our progress
toward total corporate control, place us at a competitive disadvantage
with Indiana that welcomes huge factory "farms." And
I thought these well-behaved citizens, who barely received mention
in the media were rather calm, the speeches well reasoned, the
audience respectful. Little did I know they were "radical
environmentalists" who want to stop multi-national corporations
from taking natural resources and forcing Wisconsin families
back to using candles. Shame on them.
Worse than the demonstration, the Town of Porter rejected the
WMC/Department of Commerce/Department of Agriculture/DNR 2,850-cow
operation. Don�t they understand, as WMC/ DOC Secretary Brenda
Blanchard wrote, that this operation would create 23 jobs? What
is wrong with these dunderheads? These issues should not be
decided locally. These are decisions made in the boardroom.
Don�t they know that Wal-Mart has helped small business and
that these new corporate "farms" will help redefine
Wisconsin in the 21st Century?
Rumor has it that WMC will soon put a million-chicken ranch
behind their building on East Washington. "Best little
chicken house in Madison." One can almost hear their officers:
"We�ll show them that the smell is not so bad."
WMC is railing against those who would follow in the footsteps
of Aldo Leopold, George Vukelich, Roscoe Churchill, Warren Knowles,
Chuck Stoddard, John Muir, Jim McDonald, Kathleen Falk, Tom
Dawson and Gaylord Nelson. These "radicals" think
that Wisconsin should control its own resources, preserve our
family farms, protect our forests and wetlands while WMC stands
behind the notion that any multi-national that wants our precious
resources should take �em. Dr. Tom Gelhaus from Owen was one
of the "radicals" opposing the Crandon mine. He said,
"I never marched in a protest before. It was my first picket
sign. I�m just your average dad and husband; 46 years old, four
kids�We are working to fight injustice." Well, if Dr. Tom
Gelhaus is a WMC radical, so are many, many Wisconsinites who
live here because of our high quality of life, clean environment
and, until recently, our well-respected public sector.
In Crandon, Rio Algom and Exxon remain poised to move the bulldozers
and trucks in to steal our resources and our State government
stands ready to help. In New Hope, the Swiss conglomerate Nestle,
operating as Perrier, would take 500,000 to 1,000,000 gallons
of groundwater per day while running 300 trucks a day past three
schools. What would they pay for this treasure? Nothing. It�s
only water. Their equipment would be exempt from taxation under
the M&E exemption and their sales will be outside Wisconsin.
The water will go through a mobile pipeline known as trucks
to be sold in the Mid-West but not in Wisconsin. And those trucks
will rip up our roads, pollute our air, and disturb children
in the schools they pass. Ah, but the Department of Commerce
says, it is all worth it because "they will create as many
as 200 jobs." This must make this project 10 times more
important than Porter where only 23 jobs were killed.
Gaylord Nelson started Earth Day. Isn�t it time
we started Wisconsin Day? Come all you radical environmentalists,
let�s listen to the brook, watch the birds, drink our water
from the tap not the bottle, help our family farms, keep our
resources. Selfish? Or radical? Somehow "On Wisconsin"
sounds better than "On Perrier, On Rio Algom, on Holsum
Proud To Protest Against Injustice
Letter to Wisconsin State Journal, May 10, 2000
The April 29 evening news on television featured a protest
march ending at the Capitol in Madison. The protesters has various
issues they were concerned with, most notably the Crandon Mine
and the proposed 350,000-volt Arrowhead-Weston Transmission
The television reporter ended the coverage with an interview
of a representative of the mining company. This representative's
comment was "these people (protesters) are against everything."
Well, I was one of those protesters. I had never marched in
a protest before. It was my first time ever carrying a picket
sign. I'm just your average dad and husband: 46 years old, four
kids, ranging from first grade to college, married 25 years....
There was one commonality of all the people I met at the march.
They are working to fight injustice. They are not "against everything."
They oppose pollution like sulfide mining produces with the
tons of cyanide...... They oppose electrical pollution that
causes sickness and death in animals and humans. They oppose
big power companies flooding out the Cree Indian Nation of northern
Manitoba and ruining the Crees' mother earth in the name of
profit. They oppose corruption in politics and government. And
they were willing to give up a day out of their lives to express
We need more people like this. I was proud to be among them.
--Dr. Tom Gelhaus,
For more information
On the proposed...
|Dear Mr. Buchen,
I am one of those "radical environmentalists" who demonstrated
at the Capitol on 4/29/00.
We can't seem to escape the monotonous opposition mantra of
"Wisconsin has some of the toughest mining regulations in the
According to a 1990 report from the Mine Waste Task Force
of the Western Governor's Association, which included Wisconsin
information, Wisconsin is not even in the top 10. It is considered
to be about average. Certainly Montana is setting precedents
with the banning of cyanide. Since its passage in 1978, there
have been very few modifications to the state's mining codes
that have placed burdens on mining companies, just the reverse,
the codes have been relaxed.
In 1981, Wisconsin eliminated its non-degradation standard,
1983 mining companies were granted an exemption from clean groundwater
standards and foreign corporations land investment cap was lifted.
Since 1989, Gov. Thompson has twice vetoed bans on mining in
our state forests and park land, meaning these recreational
areas are not safe. In 1996, a request was made to Gov. Thompson
for research that compares present Wisconsin laws regulating
metallic sulfide mining to laws regulating sulfide mining in
other states and to my knowledge there has been no response
to that request.
If you evidentiary information that proclaims the mantra of
"toughest laws" to be true, I would certainlyappreciate an opportunity
to review. Until I am assured that every effort will be made
to protect our waters, air and environment, I remain sincerely,
"Radical Environmentalist", Bonnie E. Mayer