State of the Menominee River

As 2021 comes to a close, I would like to offer my “State of the River” address to the people of this Menominee River watershed and beyond.

This past year we have seen Great Lakes Exploration file an application for exclusive mineral rights in Holmes and Faithorn townships in Menominee County. The Coalition to SAVE the Menominee River established a “Call to Action” button on our website, www.jointherivercoalition.org, for concerned citizens to submit their letters of opposition. More than 600 letters were filed with Michigan’s Mineral Leases Division in opposition, and we are asking for denial of this application.

Aquila Resources also filed an application for exclusive mineral rights in Lake and Holmes townships in Menominee County. Once again, the Coalition established a “Call to Action” button on our website to send a letter of opposition to the state’s Mineral Lease Division. Well over 200 letters were submitted, asking the division director to deny this lease application.

In October, Aquila Resources announced the transfer of their interests to Gold Resources of Denver, Colorado. This is the same Aquila Resources that came to this area with promises of high-paying jobs, helping local school systems, building better roads. After spending more than $100 million they obtained from our friends, relatives and the good people of Marinette and Menominee counties, they are all but bankrupt.

My heart goes out to the investors for their losses.

As Gold Resources intends to spend 2022 filing for the necessary permits to continue the Back Forty project, the coalition stands ready with our staff of environmental attorneys to stop any forward progress for a sulfide mine on the Menominee River, with your help and support.

We have an opportunity to submit your letter of support to make the Anaem Omot (The Dog’s Belly, Anaem ah ka chiew, 60 Islands) Holmes and Lake Townships, Menominee County, Michigan for consideration for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places by the State Historic Preservation Review Board at their meeting on Jan. 28. You also can attend via ZOOM. This is the historical Menominee Indian burial grounds, dance rings and gardens.

You may submit your support letter to Todd A. Walsh, National Register coordinator, by email at WalshT@michigan.gov or by letter to: Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, 300 N. Washington Square, Lansing, Michigan 48913.

Protect the Menominee River for your children and grandchildren.


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