Opinion

Column: Mine plan would harm a way of life for Bad River Band





"It’s easy for me to remember the date of a remarkable assignment I had as a young journalist — a guided tour of the Kakagon Sloughs during the wild rice harvest — because it was in the year Gretchen and I were married 44 years ago.

The Milwaukee Journal sent me and a photographer to the reservation for the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa Indians to describe the harvest for readers of the Sunday magazine — a plum assignment for a young reporter transplanted from Minnesota and just getting acquainted with the stunning diversity of the Wisconsin landscape.

A member of the tribe took us on a boat ride deep into the sloughs on the coast of Lake Superior near Ashland so we cold see the teams of rice harvesters — each canoe with a man standing in the stern to pole the canoe through the vast beds of wild rice while the man in the bow drew the rice over the gunwales with one stick and beat the heads of rice off with the other.

Some years later I learned about the importance of the vast sloughs when I served on the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute’s advisory board — that the sloughs contain some 40 percent of Lake Superior’s remaining coastal wetlands and thus are vitally important to the health of the lake."

Get the Story:
Dave Skoloda: Mining plan would hurt vital wetlands (The Lacrosse Tribune 2/14)

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FSRN: Bad River Band at hearing on controversial mine plan (01/24)
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