Members of Wisconsin Senate Select Committee on Mining,
I am writing to ask why Michelle Halley, attorney for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and author of a recent comparative analysis of mining laws in the Great Lakes states (WI/MI/MN) and Ontario, has not been invited to testify before the Wisconsin Senate Select Committee on Mining (the “Committee”). Ten or so hard copies of a summary of Ms. Halley’s comprehensive analysis were hand-delivered to Senator Cullen’s office a few weeks ago for distribution to Committee members to alert them to the existence of the report (see attached electronic copy of the Wisconsin section of Ms. Halley’s analysis).
Now I find that the Committee indeed has scheduled a hearing to discuss how Wisconsin’s mining laws compare to those in other states. Yet, Ms. Halley, an expert on regional mining laws who serves as the Lake Superior Manager of conservation programs at NWF’s Great Lakes Regional Center, has not been invited to share the results of her study with Committee members or answer any questions they might have.
Rather, it is my understanding that the Wisconsin Mining Association alone has been invited to present an industry-commissioned analysis of Wisconsin’s mining laws to the Committee at a hearing scheduled for November 29, 2012.
Since Senator Cullen and his Committee have been concerned to include ALL interested parties in the discussion of potential mining law reform, the failure to invite Attorney Halley to present her analysis of the laws appears to be an oversight.
In the spirit of fairness, would Committee members please move to add Ms. Halley to the Thursday agenda? Or, if too late to do so because of scheduling constraints, could you please arrange for a second hearing at which Ms. Halley could be invited to present her findings? Committee members and citizens need to hear BOTH sides of the story in a debate as important as this one. Ms. Halley can be reached at email@example.com or 906-361-0520.