Mining in Wisconsin discussed at Thursday program
Frank Koehn of Ashland and possibly other guests will give presentations and welcome discussion of Mining in Wisconsin in the Community Room at T. B. Scott Free Library, 106 W. First St. in Merrill on Thursday, Feb. 21, beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The program, part of the library’s Words Worth Hearing adult programming series, is free to the public. Refreshments will be served, compliments of First Street Coffee Station and The Checkered Churn.
Mining is an integral part of Wisconsin’s history and has often been important to the state’s economy. Proponents of an open-pit iron mine in the Gogebic Range near Hurley emphasize the potential jobs and economic impact it will generate.
However, such proposals are not without controversy. Can such projects can be undertaken with absolutely no runoff of heavy metals into groundwater or rivers? If the answer to that question is no, is there a level of such pollution that is not harmful to the environment?
Mining legislation presently being considered by the Wisconsin legislature would make it easier for mining companies to develop sites in the state. The outcome of their actions is important to everyone interested in the future of Wisconsin’s northwoods.
Thursday’s program will include a presentation by Frank Koehn of Ashland with his view of the balance between economic development and environmental stewardship. Koehn’s website is at www.savethewatersedge.com Koehn is a retired high school teacher who served for 12 years on the Bayfield County Board of Supervisors.
State Senator Tom Tiffany of Hazelhurst, a mining legislation proponent, was invited to speak at the program or send a representative, but declined, citing other commitments. Invitations still pending have been sent to other pro-mining contacts and other northern Wisconsin legislators.
“While we hoped to represent a variety of views at our program,” says library assistant director Don Litzer, “we may count on our audience to provide that diversity. We welcome the free exchange of ideas, so long as everyone’s opinion is respected.”
The next programs in the Words Worth Hearing series will be: Writers Among Us!, on Sunday, March 17 at 1 p.m.: Novelist Tara Woolpy of Minocqua, romance writer Lorrie Kruse of Antigo, and adventure author Joel Goulet of Wausau will talk about what makes them write and what it’s like to be a writer in northern Wisconsin. They will take questions, and sell and sign copies of their work.
A Whole Which is Greater-Examining the 2011 Wisconsin “Uprising,” on Thursday, April 18 at 6:30 p.m.: Paul Gilk of rural Merrill recently co-edited a collection of essays discussing the legacy of the 2011 eruption in the state’s grassroots politics. Several of the book’s contributors will discuss their views on the subject. Copies of the book will be available for purchase.
For information about the library and its activities, go to www.tbscottlibrary.org on the Internet, or Facebook’s “T.B. Scott Free Library” page.