Mine Opponents Protest at State Capitol

U.P. residents opposed to the Kennecott Eagle Mine have wrapped up a day in Lansing.

They’ve asked downstate residents who share their views to join them there.

They were downstate for a protest at the state capitol and to give something to Governor Jennifer Granholm.

It’s an environmental justice petition.

Nearly 1,000 people from around the U.P. have signed it.

The petition asks the governor to remedy what Save the Wild U.P. and other groups call a lack of community engagement in the permit process for the mine.

Cynthia Pryor of the Yellow Dog Watershed Preserve says in the groups’ opinion, the process never allowed for dialogue between what’s now the DNRE and the community — allowing for public comment periods and public hearings in which the DNR and DEQ did not have to respond to concerns people brought to them.

They hand-delivered the paperwork to the governor’s office.

Then the protesters talked with the DNRE’s Natural Resources Comission about the issues mentioned in the petition.

Pryor says those included the ability of private industry to profit from publicly-owned land, and concerns about the future of Eagle Rock, since it’s an Anishinaabe sacred site — concerns the protesters have had from the beginning of the permit process.

The Commission sets official DNRE policy statewide.

The protesters included several who’d camped out at and near Eagle Rock in the last month or so.