People who know a lot more about water rights and Native American treaty rights than do I tell me the Environmental Protection Agency's recognition of the Bad River band's water quality standards and right to set them is a very big deal.
That's because because it tips decision-making power over water and land management towards the Tribe and its interests, and away from the Gegobic mining company, its proposed open-pit iron ore mine, and legislative efforts to fast-track a mining permitting process and stage-manage the political situation near Ashland.
Further explanation, here.
"It gives the tribe a very big stick," said lawyer Glenn Stoddard of Eau Claire, who represents the band.Which is all well and good in a perfect world, but I wouldn't put it past Scott Walker and his allies to use this turn of events as a political and ideological lever against the Federal government, the EPA and their regulatory authority - - and also against environmentalists and more liberal voices in the southern part of the state who are supporting the Tribe when Walker looks for, or manufacturers issues during the recall.
He and allies, whether in the Legislature or on talk radio can stir the pot and play the demagogue, though the Tribe and the EPA are completely within their rights and obliged to help guarantee clean water for the rice harvest and the integrity of Tribal land and tradition.
The Journal Sentinel story elicited some ugly, anti-tribe, anti-Obama comments, like the ones below. Cool heads need to prevail.
So much for eliminating the 27% unemployment in Northern WI - that's double that on Indian Reservations that rely solely on government handouts...too bad the EPA couldn't do their own dirtywork instead of shuffling it off to the Indians who don't possess the technical knowledge to properly test the waters unless they hire outsiders to do it for them.
... obama is in charge of the EPA. ya know who wont allow us to drill in the gulf, alaska or anywhere else.... killing jobs.