The proposed massive open-pit Gogebic Taconite (Gtac) Iron ore mine that would destroy pristine habitats and waters and fill in wetlands looks dead in the wake of a statement issued Friday by Gtac President Bill Williams announcing the firm will close its Hurley office in Iron County effective Sunday. (Rick Olivo, Ashland Daily Press)
Amid Scott Walker's assaults against the Wisconsin environment and University of Wisconsin System, the news spread quickly across social media.
The closing of the mine was predicted two years ago by an attorney in Iron County, Tony Stella.
The proposed mine attracted national attention with New York Times writer, Dan Kaufman, calling the fight against the mine, The Fight for Wisconsin's Soul.
Professor Charles Wilkerson, Distinguished Moses Lasky Professor of Law at the University of Colorado Law School, also said Native American Treaty Law would doom the mine. (Mal Contends)
At the site of the citizens group, Citizens Concerned about the proposed Penokee Mine (Facebook), people expressed joy and determination to fight again should Gtac decide to move on another front in this massive con game.
Writes Wisconsin environmentalist, Jim Rowen:
GTac says it is shelving its plan to blow up, dig up and mill the Penokee Hills in the Bad River watershed for low-grade iron ore already in surplus supply - - because, it says it found too much water in the wetlands in the watershed at the edge of Lake Superior.
Sure, it took the mining company four years to make this discovery.
The uproar the plan caused in state politics helped force the moderate GOP mining opponent Dale Schultz from the State Senate and it seems as if the company wasted $700,000 in thank you money in routed to a Scott Walker advocacy group for his getting a sweetheart enabling bill that is still on the books through the Legislature.
A mining protestor, Katie Krow Kloth, is still facing a criminal charge from a corrupt Iron County District Attorney, Martin Lipske, who fronts for the Gtac mine and the Iron County sex industry, including sex trafficking of minors.
Maybe the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin or the FBI will look into this one day. I would not hold my breath.
In the mean time, those on the front lines in Iron and Ashland counties should be feeling good about themselves this weekend.
Said Wisconsin environmentalist, Barbara With: "I am glad that people are being realistic about GTac closing their offices, having intelligent discussions, etc etc but for this moment, can we please just be happy they are leaving? No it doesn't mean the stand is over, no, it doesn't mean they aren't coming back. But for now, thousands and thousands of people stood long and strong to protect our water, and GTAC is closing their offices and leaving. For now. So for now, we celebrate. It doesn't mean we are naive or stupid or don't understand the bigger picture. But for god's sake if we cannot savor a moment we have long dreamt of, what's the point? This effort has been exhausting. I don't know about anyone else, but I personally gave up my life for several years to take this action. So for now, please, just let me be happy. that is all."