"Over and over, Michigan environmental regulators sounded alarms as they reviewed a proposed large, open-pit ore mine in the Upper Peninsula near the Menominee River, prized for walleye fishing and a major tributary to Lake Michigan. The mine would send acidic mining wastes into the river and surrounding waterways, which would then spill into the Great Lake, staff said. More acres of wetlands would be harmed than the mining company was projecting, evaluators found.
Then the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and then-Michigan Department of Environmental Quality approved the mine anyway.
At stake in whether the Back Forty Mine proceeds is the potential endangerment of one of the most important rivers in Michigan, part of a system that drains more than 4,000 square miles of the U.P. and northern Wisconsin, and a river culturally iconic to the Menominee Indians of Wisconsin, whose creation story includes that they come from the river’s mouth. Sacred burial grounds of the tribe are potentially threatened by the mine.The tribe is now among those appealing wetlands and surface water permit approvals for the mine."