Menominee Tribe applauds opposition to Back 40

Michigan county passes resolution against mine

The Menominee County, Michigan, Board of Commissioners formally passed a resolution this week opposing the proposed Back Forty Mine.

Officials with the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin were pleased that the county’s board was committed to protect the Menominee River, which includes significant cultural resources for the tribe.

The planned mine site is located in the county, but its impacts would be felt throughout the entire region, according to a tribal press release. Menominee County is part of a widespread and diverse opposition that includes multiple Wisconsin counties, cities and towns, tribal nations, bipartisan Wisconsin state legislators, and tribal, citizen and environmental organizations.

“The Menominee Tribe acknowledges the Menominee County Board commissioners who had the moral courage to take a stand for what they know is right for their community,” Tribal Chairman Gary Besaw said. “The significance of the host community passing a resolution in opposition of the project cannot be understated. When people stand together in solidarity it sends a clear message to political leaders and investors alike — the risks of this project are unacceptable.”

The massive 83-acre open pit metallic sulfide mine and processing facility is proposed to be located 50 yards from the banks of the Menominee River, which separates Wisconsin and Upper Michigan. The tribe is concerned that, if completed, the acid mine drainage from the tailings, waste rock stockpiles and open pit, would forever change the area.

Aquila Resources, Inc., a Canadian development stage company, has already received three of four permits from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.