The Coalition to Save the Menominee River is seeking contributions to help pay fees and expenses that will be incurred in 2019 to support two lawsuits on the Back Forty Project filed by the Coalition to stop this mining project. Donations need to be received before April 25, 2019 to help achieve the June 30, 2019 goal of $50,000. As of now the Coalition has received $19,000+ from various sources. Donations have ranged from $1.00 to $8,000. If you can make a contribution, please make the check payable to: Coalition to Save the Menominee River, Inc. and mail it to Coalition to Save the Menominee River, Inc., P.O. Box 475, Marinette, WI 54143. The Badger Fly Fishers have contributed to this cause in the past and need to review this year’s contribution level with its membership. For additional information on the proposed Back Forty Project (aka “the mine”) and the opposition to it you can go to this linked website.
The background and reasons for this request are that in 2018 the Coalition filed two lawsuits on the Back Forty Project and are confident in achieving favorable rulings that will prevent this mine from being developed. One case was filed in Federal Court and the other case was filed in Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. The estimated costs for these lawsuits including expert witness costs, travel expenses for the hearings, attorney fees, etc., will reach approximately $200,000. The Federal lawsuit addresses two issues: (1) Did the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) properly determine that the issued Wetlands Permit was within the authority delegated to the State of Michigan? (2) Was the EPA’s decision to withdraw its lengthy list of objections to the Wetlands Permit arbitrary and capricious, an abuse of discretions, or otherwise not in accordance with applicable laws? No date has been set for hearing this case. The delay in setting the court date is due to the backlog of cases created by the recent 35-day Federal Government Shutdown.
The second lawsuit is a “Contested Case” filed in Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. This case states that it is unlawful for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to rely on a very lengthy list of conditions that are part of the Wetlands Permit as a way to address all the shortcomings in this permit. This case is scheduled to be heard in early June 2019 in Lansing, Michigan.
The Coalition’s other expenses are for the production and distribution of educational and advocacy materials designed to increase and support opposition to this mine. It also sponsors and arranges educational events with the same goal. It has limited basic office supply costs. No salaries are paid to the many volunteer members of the Coalition.
The Coalition is a 100% volunteer group that advocates for the protection of the Menominee River and Lake Michigan from the hazards of a proposed polymetallic sulfide open pit/underground mine that would be located on Michigan’s shoreline of this river. No salaries are paid to anyone that works with the Coalition. It is a 501(c)(3) corporation.