More than 20 perennial streams flow through the proposed mining area, according to a study published by Tom Fitz, associate professor of geoscience at Northland College in Ashland. Many of those streams have been designated as exceptional or outstanding resource waters by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.[7:15 p.m. update] A commenter who cannot tell the difference between the Wisconsin Gazette and The Janesville Gazette in Paul Ryan's home town forces me to put up this link to the Janesville operation so readers can see that there are two news organizations sharing the word Gazette. To both publications - - you're welcome.]
Fitz and others are concerned about the potential impact the mine might have on the flow as well as the chemistry of the groundwater and surface water that spreads from the mining area. That area is full of pyrites and other sulfur-bearing minerals, which could send acid mine drainage down the Bad River, the Tyler Forks River, and other rivers that spill into Lake Superior.