Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Iron County Backs Away From Camp Site Challenge To Mine Opponents

Cooler heads prevail.

Iron County officials decided, for the moment, not to press for the ouster of mine opponents from a site on public forest land near the proposed GTAC iron mine, according to media reports.

The ouster mechanics were sent to a committee where, presumably, the plan dies a deserved, procedural death.

The pressure to shut down the camp was a losing proposition for the public peace, for good government and for mine supporters, especially.

Legally, it was likely that the Ojibwe would prevail in court, given that their treaty=protected rights to lands they ceded to the authorities decades ago were going to trump an Iron County ordinance laying out forest camping permit procedures.

The treaties may be old, but they have been validated by federal courts. And they are profoundly significant to all parties, as they helped establish the State of Wisconsin and the region's economy.

For those enormous benefits, the Ojibwa retained access to the lands they ceded - - access they were exercising with the establishment of the camp.

Rousting the campers would have brought ugly PR raining down on local officials who would have appeared as little more than GTAC lackeys blind to the bigger picture.

So a confrontation was averted, at least for now, and everyone has had a lesson in Northern Wisconsin land use and rights.

And that's good for all parties.


CJ said...

The real reason- My guess is that Walker's carefully crafting his public message and doesn't want the national attention regarding the corrupt local officials operating outside of or on the edges of the outside law.

We tried to warn you.. said...

Us "hicks" up north have been telling all the "smart boys and girls" down state that they better pay attention to the treaty rights because they are real and they carry a big legal stick.

Are you listening now?