Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bad River tribe making new stand for clean WI waters

Props to the same stewards of the land who helped preserve the Bad River watershed and the Penokee Hills in NW WI from decades of destructive open-pit mining:
A Chippewa tribe in Wisconsin is calling for 12 miles of pipeline to be removed from its reservation after 64 years of operation, saying they want to protect their land and water from oil spills. 
The Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa's tribal council approved a resolution Wednesday refusing to renew easements for 11 parcels of land along a section of Enbridge's Line 5 pipeline, which carries oil and natural gas liquids 645 miles from Canada to eastern Michigan. 
The resolution also calls for decommissioning the pipeline and removing it from the tribe's reservation along the shores of Lake Superior in far northern Wisconsin. The resolution also directs tribal staff to prepare recycling, disposal and surface restoration work that would come with removal.


Anonymous said...

I am surprised the Walker cabal hasn't snuffed the Public Trust Doctrine, Article IX from the Wisconsin State Constitution.

James Rowen said...

Like with the DNR, they are demolishing it piecemeal. They have already taken groundwater out of the equation so big users can get all they want, and soon the Legislature will grant such permits in perpetuity without regard for downstream or cumulative effects.

Anonymous said...

If the tribe has had easements for 64 years, they are not going to be able to demand the pipes be removed. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. I support the tribes.

The courts will look at this as being an example of when you allow your private property to become regularly used as a public property for an extended period of time. By law, that property becomes public in the sense that the owner has allowed it to be used that way.

And if this were to go to the Supreme Court of Wisconsin or the SCOTUS after tRump gets to make Obama's appointment, we no there will be no relief there.

I am glad the tribe made this move. I am only posting this because your readers need to understand the context of what this means. I hope, and imagine that this is, the first step to what will actually be concrete action regardless of what court rule on the matter (which we know will be litigated).