SWE: Response to AAEDC  01.14.13

Mr. Dale Kupczyk, Exec. Director

Ashland Area Economic Development Council

Mr. Kupczyk,

The attached document with the AAEDC’ s Superior Days statement is in my opinion, simply egregious. In addition to being short sighted, it is at the very minimum misleading.

The specific issues raised by the AADC’c Superior Days Mining Legislation include:

1.     The statement the “Citizens of Northern Wisconsin request” is at best misleading. This statement ignores the fact that this is and will continue to be a very divisive project. This statement is simply inappropriate as there is not a community wide consensus supporting this assertion. AADC will be hard pressed to support this claim.

2.     The AADC has chosen to ignore any discussion of the long-term water quality issues.

3.     The AADC proposal is oblivious to the potential impact on the community of Odanah, which as you and your committee members know will live with the long-term impacts of this project.

4.     The AADC has chosen to emphasize only the short-term economic gains.

This issue paper expresses a concern for municipal water wells. What about the private wells so very many residents of the area depend on for water?

I am requesting a response from the AADC to the following questions:

I am asking you or the AADC board to explain why these wells are ignored?

Why has the AADC chosen to remain silent protecting the surface water and the steams and rivers, which flow directly through the watershed shared by the Pahokee Hills and the Bad River Watershed?

This AADC issue paper is silent treaties and reserved rights of the Lake Superior Ojibwe who live in the community that is directly threatened by any changes in Wisconsin’s mining laws.  When did the AADC board request input from the Bad River Tribal Council for input and direction, as this paper was prepared?

The issue paper will not help provide a united front in Madison. In fact, I am working with others to attend Superior Days to provide additional information to legislators, which will not support the AADC issue paper statement.

In closing I have attended Superior Days as a county board supervisor and I know how effective these lobby days have been.  The action taken by the AADC is counter productive to the past working together climate that certainly contributed to the past efforts. For now, the actions of the AADC will tarnish the credibility of all the planning and hard work that has made Superior Days a success.

In closing I remember the powerful presence and appeal of citizen lobbyists who were representing the best interests of the Northland working together. If this position paper is indicative of a new direction, then I fear Superior Days will become just another good idea that will come to an end.

If you are interested in discussing my concerns, kindly let me know.