Tribes use speech to call for help fighting UP mine

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A Menominee Indian tribal member is asking the Wisconsin Legislature for tougher action to stop chronic wasting disease and to join the fight against the proposed Back Forty gold mine.

Gary Besaw delivered the annual State of the Tribes speech to the Legislature on Monday. He thanked lawmakers for working on bills that would define protections for Indian burial mounds and legalize commercial hemp.

He then demanded legislators enact stronger protections to stop the spread of CWD, saying Gov. Scott Walker’s hands-off approach is jeopardizing treaty rights, tourism and hunting.

He also implored legislators to work against Aquila Resources’ potential mine in Menominee County. The Menominee have sued to block the mine’s development.

Besaw also said Republican lawmakers’ decision to lift Wisconsin’s moratorium on sulfide mining defies common sense.

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