How Did Wisconsin Become the Most Politically Divisive Place in America?


May 24, 2012

This past March, standing outside a Shell station in Mellen, Wis., in the state’s far north, Mike Wiggins Jr. told me about a series of dark and premonitory dreams he had two years earlier. “One of them was a very vivid trip around the North Woods and seeing forests bleeding and sludge from a creek emptying into the Bad River,” Wiggins said. “I ended up at a dilapidated northern log home with rotten snowshoes falling off the wall. I stepped out of the lodge, walked through some pine, and I was in a pipeline. There was a big pipe coming in and out of the ground as far as I could see. Continue reading

A Mining Rush in the Upper Peninsula

Andy Manis for The New York Times

A miner operating a drilling machine about 180 feet below ground at the Kennecott Eagle mine near Marquette, Mich. Kennecott is a Rio Tinto subsidiary. More Photos »

Published: May 24, 2012

IRONWOOD, Mich. — On the far northern reaches of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, James Jacques drove on a rutted logging road to an old mining shaft surrounded by a chain-link fence. Continue reading

Bad Mining Law HR 4402

Stop House Proposal to Disenfranchise Communities and Contaminate Our Water House Floor Vote This Week on HR 4402

HR 4402 is the latest huge giveaway to the mining industry.

The House of Representatives is voting on this bad legislation THIS WEEK. If this bill becomes law, it will allow the mining industry to poison our lakes, rivers and streams and disenfranchise local communities. Continue reading

Big Bay Residents Report on Rio Tinto AGM in London

By Michele Bourdieu

MARQUETTE — Two Big Bay, Mich., residents concerned about air pollution from Rio Tinto-Kennecott’s Eagle Mine went all the way to London — to Rio Tinto’s April 19, 2012, Annual General Meeting (AGM) with shareholders — to request an independent, third-party air quality monitoring program for the mine.

Continue reading

As Mining Surges in Michigan’s North, State Looks at Taking Control

by Jim Malewitz, Staff Writer


A new nickel and copper mine being built at Marquette, Michigan, on the Upper Peninsula, will be a major addition to the state’s mineral extraction industry. (AP)

MARQUETTE, Michigan – It’s a long drive from Marquette to Lansing: more than 400 miles in all, including a five-mile trip across the Straits of Mackinac, divider of Michigan’s peninsulas. So it’s easy to see why local officials here might not feel connected to lawmakers in the state capital. Continue reading

Mining Boom in Great Lakes States Prompts Environmental Concern

by Jim Malewitz, Staff Writer


Beneath the placid waters of the Salmon Trout River on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula lie vast stores of nickel and copper. (Jim Malewitz, Stateline)

BIG BAY, Michigan  – For thousands of years, the Salmon Trout River held fast to a deep secret, as its pristine waters flowed into Lake Superior. Below the river’s headwaters, and hidden underneath 1,000 feet of sand, clay and rock, lie 4.1 million metric tons of ore speckled with valuable metals — primarily nickel and copper — a deposit that’s valued at as much as $5 billion.      Continue reading