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Water good enough to drink near mines PDF Print E-mail

Dear Editor:

I would like to comment on the letter from Greg Schiek, “Environment must remain a priority,” in the April 22 Vilas News-Review. In his letter, Greg tells us of the pristine and beautiful area on the south shore of Lake Superior, including the Apostle Islands and the Sylvania Wilderness.

I agree with Greg and have been enjoying the area since I was a child in the late 1940s. I often wonder at how lucky I was to grow up free to roam in the area.

I am a miner’s son. Most of our neighbors and relatives were miners or worked in a business to support miners. There was some logging. We fished clean native trout streams and swam and drank from the lake and many artesian wells. This was between the mines that were operating, largely unregulated, on Lake Superior.

More than 100 mines have operated over there. The people of the area long for the day when there is work so their children and grandchildren can stay in the area they love. It is as pristine now as it was then.

Mr. Schiek would have us believe that the Tea Party and anyone on the right would spoil the area. If 100 mines operating unregulated could not, how could a highly regulated mine spoil it now?

I know some Tea Party people up here. I’m sorry, Mr. Schiek, they love the environment as much as I do. They are not selfish and they do not wish to have the area to themselves, as many anti-mine people do.

Those opposing any development in the area fall into three categories: those who hate Gov. Walker and Republicans so much they would do anything to prevent them from looking good; extreme pseudo-environmentalists who would move everyone back to “settlements” under government control; and those who are well-meaning but ignorant.

The people of Iron County have experienced mining and 81% favor the Gogebic Taconite Mine. The most significant source of pollution flowing into Lake Superior is from the Bad River Band, who oppose the mine. Two beaches on Lake Superior were closed last summer because of Bad River pollution.

I will make a deal with Mr. Schiek. I will drink a pint or more of water from an artesian well downstream from the 100 mines if he will drink a pint of water downstream of the Bad River Band. Actually, I drink all I can when I’m over there, it is so good. Try taking a bicycle ride down to Little Girls Point. Stop and drink from the spring on the way down and back.

Charlie Gullan

Eagle River

Tuesday, May 06, 2014 9:47 AM


-9 #7 Frank Gabl 2014-05-12 07:03

Thanks for the offer to check the accuracy of your memory, but I had already done my own research prior to posing the question.

So I’m not quite sure how you came to your conclusion, but you are wrong about what Charlie said in a previous letter.
+4 #6 2014-05-09 13:41
Charlie said it in a past letter from weeks ago. Feel free to search for it.
-8 #5 Frank Gabl 2014-05-09 07:23

I know how you do research (or not).

Regardless, that’s not what I meant since it is common knowledge that Vilas County has never had any appreciable mining. However, I did fail to make myself clear.

I’m looking for your proof that Charlie “said Vilas County had mines in a prior letter,” which is what you made a big deal about in order to discredit his facts in this letter.
+1 #4 2014-05-08 11:44
I've researched it and asked local historians and there doesn't appear to have been other than gravel pits.
-7 #3 Frank Gabl 2014-05-07 19:39

If you are going to correct Charlie, the son of a miner, by stating: "Once again you are incorrect like you were when you said Vilas County had mines in a prior letter," site your proof.
+5 #2 2014-05-06 16:03
Not sure where you get your information from Charlie, but once again you are incorrect like you were when you said Vilas County had mines in a prior letter. If you look at many of the areas in the Northwoods from 50 or 100 years ago you would no it wasn't always "pristine" Many of the lakes had septics running into them and many of the mines did have run off. The reason our area IS pristine now is due to regulations. If you were to ask most on the matter they issue they have more than anything is allowing a mining company with a poor environmental record to write it's own legislation. I don't know where you pulled your polling from but polls I've seen say something different. or
-2 #1 2014-05-06 10:42

You are 100% spot on!!!

I am up there all of the time every summer. And if the unregulated mining didn't spoil it years ago, how would it do it now.

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