Event: Mining Heritage: Past, Present and Future

When: Saturday, Jan. 17, 2009, 10:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m Central Time, 11:30 a.m.-6:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Where: Patrick J. White Conference Room, West Iron District Library; 116 West Genessee; Iron River, MI 49915 (One block South of U.S.2, midtown); (906)265-2831
Contact person: Robert Rivera (906)265-3176

Concerned citizens of Iron County, with assistance from the Northwood Alliance, will hold a public forum, “Mining Heritage: Past, Present and Future”, on January 17, from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the West Iron District Library in Iron River, MI. A morning session, beginning at 10:30 and ending at noon, will examine the history of mining in Iron County. Two afternoon sessions, beginning at 1:00, will examine remediation efforts at the Dober and Buck mine sites on the Iron River and the prospects of new mining development and its future effects. The sessions will feature a short film by the National Wildlife Federation about the Eagle Rock project on the Yellow Dog Plains near Marquette, and local experts and citizens will report on various aspects of mining. Numerous governmental and corporate spokespersons have been invited to participate, as have representatives of regional groups opposed to new mining development. There will be musical interludes in late morning and mid-afternoon, as well as question-and-answer sessions following the afternoon presentations.

Iron County, Michigan, is part of a mining district extending across the Upper Peninsula, Northern Wisconsin and Northern Minnesota. Both the Iron and Mesaba Ranges have experienced intensive mining, deeply imprinting local culture and significantly affecting the environment. Most mining activity ceased forty or more years ago, but the heritage persists. Now, new mining exploration and development, including uranium exploration, are arising throughout the region. This movement, and techniques such as sulfide extraction, may bring to the area threats historically unseen with traditional methods of copper and iron ore mining. The allure of economic development has been confronted by those concerned with potential environmental damage and future economic costs from short-term gains.

For more information on this event, contact Robert Rivera at (906) 265-3176.

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