WRPC Mission Statement
The Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (WRPC) was founded in 1982 to help counter the lack of information about the effects of large-scale metallic sulfide mining on our state’s precious water supplies, on the tourism and dairy industries, and upon the many Native American communities that are located near potential mine sites.
Our members share a common goal: to educate the public about the consequences of allowing international mining corporations to develop a new mining district in northern Wisconsin under the present legal and regulatory framework. We believe that current laws and rules regarding metallic sulfide mining in Wisconsin simply do not offer the kind of protection we need in order to be sure that mining operations will take place without unacceptable damage to our state’s environment and economy.
Current activities: In June 2009 WRPC filed a complaint against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the Flambeau Mining Company (FMC) regarding Kennecott Copper Corporation’s illegal pollution of the Flambeau River in Ladysmith, Wisconsin from the company’s closed Flambeau mine. If the DNR and FMC do not respond to our complaint with appropriate corrective action, we will proceed with a lawsuit under the Clean Water Act. For more information about the lawsuit see the “Announcements” section of the website.
Metallic sulfide mining is not the only threat to the clean waters of the Lake Superior region. There are several uranium companies exploring for uranium in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and the U.S. Department of Energy is once again considering Wisconsin’s granite bedrock as a potential second site (after Yucca Mountain in Nevada) for a proposed nuclear waste repository. In the fall of 2009 the Wisconsin legislature will once again consider a bill to repeal Wisconsin’s nuclear power plant moratorium law which says nuclear power plants cannot receive a license unless there is a federal repository that can store the nation’s current nuclear waste and there is a demonstration that nuclear power is economically advantageous to the citizens of the state.
On July 23,2009 WRPC will co-sponsor a public debate on nuclear power at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse with Jennifer Nordstrom from the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Rep. Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem), an advocate of repealing the state’s current moratorium on nuclear power plant construction. Ms. Nordstrom’s presentation is entitled: “Carbon-Free and Nuclear Free: Wisconsin Can Be Both.” Nordstrom’s talk is part of a statewide tour sponsored by a broad coalition of 14 organizations opposing any new nuclear power plants in Wisconsin. This coalition of Wisconsin groups, including Clean Wisconsin, Sierra Club, Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, Wisconsin Network for Peace & Justice, and Citizens Utility Board, recently sent a letter to Governor Doyle, urging the state not to allow more nuclear reactors. “Given nuclear power’s high costs and its legacy of nuclear waste, expanding the use of nuclear power is not a responsible choice for meeting future electricity needs in Wisconsin.” Ms. Nordstrom’s talk will be in 102 Wimberly Hall @ 7:00pm on the UWL campus. For more information on this issue, see http://www.wnpj.org/Environment
The Wisconsin Resources Protection Council operates on a small budget and without paid staff of any kind. Our entire budget comes from membership contributions; we do not receive grants of any kind. You can be certain that every dollar you send will go directly to further our legal expenses and our public education efforts about the effects of large-scale metallic sulfide and uranium mining in the Lake Superior region. WRPC is a non-profit but not tax-exempt, environmental organization. Donations are not tax-deductible.
WRPC has always emphasized the integral connection between the threat to our clean waters from metallic sulfide mining and the cultural threat to the Native American Nations who depend on these waters for the continuation of their lifestyles. Whether it is the threat to the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa’s wild rice lake, or the threat to the Wolf River watershed from mining pollution, we have tried to build understanding and mutual support between native and non-native communties who depend upon a shared resource. In 1994, WRPC assisted the Sokaogon Chippewa in filing a shareholder resolution about the resistance to the proposed Crandon mine for Exxon shareholders to consider at their annual meeting. The resolution received 6% of the vote, which guaranteed that the resolution would reappear on the 1995 shareholder ballot. In 1996, WRPC released its documentary film, Keepers of the Water, about the threat to the Wolf River from Exxon’s proposed mine.
For updates on WRPC activities, check out current and back issues of our newsletter. To receive information about WRPC membership, contact us at:
P.O. Box 263
Tomahawk, WI 54487