Take Action!

Preventing the construction of the Penokee Hills iron mine is going to take a lot of work, from a lot of people. Below are some ways to get involved:

Milwaukee Penokee Support Committee

The Milwaukee Penokee Support Committee is an all volunteer group of people based out of Milwaukee who are working together to:

  • Provide factual information to residents about the mine;
  • Engage residents to take action via the campaign led by the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa (ProtectPenokeeHills.org);
  • Fundraise for the Bad River Legal Defense Fund;
  • Coordinate efforts with other groups working to stop the mine.

Get involved in the Milwaukee Penokee Support Committee by:

  • Attending monthly meetings and volunteering on one of the working committees (art, communication, fundraising, events/outreach).
    • Sign-up for email newsletter which announces monthly meeting time and location by emailing “Add to Email List” to penokeemke@gmail.com

Send a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency

The Six Bands of the Anishinaabeg Territory Watersheds and Waters of Lake Superior have formally requested that the Environmental Protection Agency protect treaty rights, aquatic resources, fisheries, wildlife, subsistence and public uses in the Bad River Watershed and western Lake Superior Basin from metallic mining in the Penokee Hills. Show your support by writing a letter encouraging the EPA to deny Gogebic Taconite any and all mining permits.

  • Click here to use the Bad River’s letter template: EPA Letter 
  • Click here to use the back of our postcard: Penokee Postcard 
  • Alternately, address letters to: Dr. Susan Hedman, EPA Region 5 Administrator, EPA, 77 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604-3507

Mail completed postcards &  letters to the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa to be delivered to the EPA all at once: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, P.O. Box 39, Chief Blackbird Center, Odanah, WI 54861

Organize a Film Screening & Fundraising Event

There are a few excellent documentaries out which describe the controversy surrounding the GTAC mine. Hosting a screening is a great, simple way to help educate the public on the issue, get more people involved, and help raise some money to support campaign efforts. Contact penokeemke@gmail.com if you are interested in hosting a screening and we’ll help you get started. Films to consider are:

Film: Wisconsin’s Mining Standoff (25 minutes)

Produced by 371 Productions, this half-hour investigative piece for Al Jazeera’s series “Fault Lines” tells the story of how GTAC and its allies wielded money and power to influence the law, and goes behind the scenes with the burgeoning movement to resist the mine. To organize a screening in your community, contact devon [at] 371productions.com.

Film: To Wisconsin With Love (45 minutes)

This film is a cautionary story about communities under siege from extractive industry. Using the history of mining and the recent Elk River contamination in West Virginia as a reference, the film looks at the developing story of a proposed mine in the Penokee Hills of Wisconsin. The site is planned to span 22 miles, which would make it the largest open-pit iron mine in the world.

Film: Protect Our Future (30 minutes)

This documentary was produced by three Bad River Ojibwe teenagers and examines the spiritual, cultural, and environmental impact of a proposed massive open-pit taconite mine at the headwaters of our tribe’s ancient wild rice beds.

Write a Letter to the Editor

Submit a well written, factual Letter to the Editor to one of the news outlets in your area. Below is information on how to submit a Letter to the Editor to a few news sources in Wisconsin:

Donate to the Bad River Legal Defense Fund

There are a variety of ways to make a donation:

  • Via Paypal directly to the: Bad River Legal Defense Fund
  • By mailing checks to: Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, P.O. Box 39, Odanah, WI 54861
  • Making a donation to the Milwaukee Penokee Support Committee
  • Purchasing a t-shirt which are available for sale during events as well as at People’s Books and the Riverwest Coop.
  • By organizing a dinner party and asking guests to make a donation to the Bad River Legal Defense Fund.

Visit the Penokee Hills! 

Learn first-hand why it is critical to protect the Penokee Hills by visiting the area! Contact penokeemke@gmail.com if you are interested in information about upcoming trips that the Milwaukee Penokee Support Committee may be planning. Otherwise, plan a trip of your own. Here are some suggestions of places to check out:

  • Lac Courte Oreilles Harvest Camp: The Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa established a harvest camp at Old Plummer Camp Village off Moore Park Road in the Penokee Hills three miles east of the Ashland/Iron County line along the south side of Highway 77. The Harvest and Educational Camp is on county land and covered by ceded territory hunting, fishing and harvesting rights.
  • Morgan Falls & St. Peter’s Dome: These popular trails are located in a non-motorized area. Highlights of the trail are the 70 foot high Morgan Falls and the overlook at the top of St. Peter’s Dome which has an excellent view of the Chequamegon Bay of Lake Superior and the Apostle Islands. Morgan Falls – 0.6 miles (1.2 miles round trip); St. Peter’s Dome – 1.8 miles (3.6 miles round trip).
  • Copper Falls State Park: Ancient lava flows, deep gorges, and spectacular waterfalls make Copper Falls one of Wisconsin’s most scenic parks. Camping is also available.
  • Potato River Falls: One of the most beautiful falls in the Midwest. Drops 90 feet into the Potato River southwest of Gurney. Town park with rustic campsites and a picnic area is available.

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