(3/13/12) The leader of the Ho-Chunk Nation says he’s optimistic that lawmakers and tribes can agree on a bill to speed up the approvals of state mining permits.
But Jon Greendeer said the environment must be preserved. And he believed there’s a way to protect Wisconsin’s water resources, while generating the jobs that mining would create. Greendeer touched on the subject today during the annual State-of-the-Tribes address to a joint session of the Legislature. The address informs lawmakers on the most pressing issues facing Wisconsin’s 11 tribes. A week ago, senators rejected the latest compromise for a faster permit process – and as a result, Gogebic Taconite ended its plans to build an iron ore mine south of Lake Superior near Hurley. The Senate’s Judiciary Committee plans to meet Monday to discuss possible future options. Governor Scott Walker has said he might call a special legislative session to re-visit the mining issue.