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by Steve Timmer
Aug 7, 2013, 12:00 PM

Comment to “Trouble in the Grotto”

Flambeau, Schmambeau

Reader Reid sent this comment:

Great job, Steve. Those of us who live in the Ely area listen all the time to the local boosters touting the Flambeau Mine as a success story. Bob McFarlin of Twin Metals is particularly shameless in his recounting of the Flambeau myth. NMW [Northeast Minnesotans for Wilderness], Sustainable Ely, and individuals based here are working hard locally and nationally to try to head off the train wreck that the multinationals and our politicians are engineering. Thanks for being in the fight.

The comment was to this post, Trouble in the Grotto, about the Flambeau mine near Ladysmith, Wisconsin, and what a cautionary tale it is for policymakers and the public alike in Minnesota.

Holding up the Flambeau mine as an example of “extraction without pollution” is either titanic ignorance or titanic dissembling, almost certainly the latter. If mining advocates are willing to dissemble about the Flambeau mine, when they are so transparently wrong, how can we trust what they write in their environmental impact statements? A supplemental one is due from PolyMet any day.

I’ve written quite a bit about the risks of sulfide mining in the last several weeks, but I am frankly new to public advocacy on this issue. This used to be my friend, and former writer here, Aaron Klemz’s beat. Aaron is now the communications director for the Friends of the Boundary Waters, and he is involved in an initiative of the Friends and other environmental groups called Mining Truth.

There are lots of people and non-profits sounding the alarm, and more are needed, especially citizens from around the state, all of whom have, as the editorial writers at the West Central Tribune have noted, both a stake and a say in whether sulfide mining happens in northeast Minnesota.

Thanks for your feedback. If we like what you have to say, it may appear in a future post of reader reactions.