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Public input on mining sought

July 30, 2013
By STEPHEN ANDERSON - DMG writer (sanderson@mininggazette.com) , The Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON - The Lake Superior Binational Forum is seeking public input about regional mining issues through an online survey, and the public comment opportunity ends Wednesday.

The LSBF, a diverse stakeholder group of 24 members from Michigan, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Ontario, will use the survey results to make recommendations and provide input to binational, state, provincial and indigenous governments who play a role in managing Lake Superior.

"It's not the role of the Forum to take a position on an issue such as mining or any human-made activities in the (Lake Superior) basin," said Bruce Lindgren, U.S. co-chair of the Forum. "However, it is our role to solicit public input from lake users about how they want the natural and human environments to be managed."

Article Photos

Kurt Hauglie/Daily Mining Gazette
A remnant of the copper mining days is seen alongside M-26 in this photo taken Thursday. The Lake Superior Binational Forum is seeking public input about regional mining issues.

The survey closes at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, and it consists of 12 questions, in addition to open forms for providing comments. It takes about five minutes to complete. All people are welcome to take the survey one time.

The results of the survey will be compiled along with public input from three open meetings about mining held within the last year in Michigan (Marquette on Sept. 28), Minnesota and Wisconsin. A summary of the input will be posted on the LSBF website, superiorforum.org, in mid-August.

"The Forum's role is to link the public - the lake users - with the binational and tribal governments and agencies that manage the lake," said Lissa Radke, Forum U.S. coordinator, who is based out of the LSBF's home at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College. "By forwarding public comments to governments, the Forum is able to engage the public in the very important process of having a voice in the management of shared resources."

The survey can be taken at superiorforum.org/mining/public-comment-mining-in-the-lake-superior-basin or by scanning the QR code accompanying this article.

Several other opportunities have been available to the public to share input on mining. Rio Tinto, which recently completed its sale of Eagle Mine to Lundin Mining, has held several open forums, which included a community scorecard in which attendees could vote on their perception of environmental performance, local hire, safety, transparency and communication, and "leaving more wood on the woodpile" (the importance of building infrastructure outside mining for after the eight-year estimated mine life).

Full results from the community scorecard can be viewed at eaglemine.com/approach/community/community-scorecard.

Friends of the Land of Keweenaw (folkminingeducation.info), whose recently completed mining study was described in a July 25 Daily Mining Gazette article, plans to hold public house parties and presentations to provide input opportunities as well.

Again, the Lake Superior Binational Forum survey, which closes at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday, can be accessed at superiorforum.org/mining/public-comment-mining-in-the-lake-superior-basin or by scanning the QR code below.

 
 

 

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