See a slideshow of the beautiful rivers, lakes and forests in the Penokee Range.
The Penokee-Gogebic Range in northern Wisconsin is the site of a proposed iron mine.
Nature Conservancy Testimony on Risks to Freshwater Resources Associated With Proposed Changes to Wisconsin’s Iron Mining Regulations
January 23, 2013
Proposed changes to Wisconsin’s iron mining regulations in Senate Bill 1 and Assembly Bill 1 will pose serious risks to the rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater and other natural resources in the Penokee Range in northern Wisconsin. Link here to read written testimony by The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin. (pdf 79 KB)
Nature Conservancy Statement on Environmental Risks Associated With Proposed Changes to Wisconsin’s Iron Mining Regulations
December 14, 2011
Proposed changes to Wisconsin’s iron mining regulations will pose serious risks to the rivers, lakes, wetlands, groundwater and other natural resources in the Penokee Range in northern Wisconsin. Link here to read entire statement by The Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin. (pdf 1 MB)
Mining companies have expressed interest in extracting iron ore from the Penokee-Gogebic Range, which extends 25 miles through Iron and Ashland counties in far northern Wisconsin.
The majority of the Range is owned by RGGS Land and Minerals, Ltd. of Houston, Texas, and LaPointe Mining Co. in Minnesota. Together these companies control a narrow 22-mile, 22,000-acre stretch of the Penokee Range from southwest of Hurley to about six miles west of Mellen. The Cline Group, out of Florida, has secured an option to obtain the mineral rights held for this property and has created a subsidiary called Gogebic Taconite (G-TAC) to move forward with the mining of iron.
Any decision to allow mining in the Penokee Range should take into consideration the wealth of water, forest and other natural resources that support timber and tourist economies, nourish tribal culture and provide clean, safe water for people and wildlife.
Why This Place is Special
The Penokee-Gogebic Range consists of two steep, parallel ridges that dominate the local landscape rising 1,200 feet above nearby Lake Superior. The topography of the area and the variety of soil conditions result in a wide range of habitat that supports a diverse group of species and natural communities.
It’s the Water
It’s the Wetlands
It’s the Forests
See What Others Say
Wisconsin Land Legacy Report (2006)
The Penokee Range was identified as an important area to meet Wisconsin’s future conservation and recreation needs due to its unique geology; many rare plants, animals and forest communities; and high quality recreational opportunities.
Wisconsin Wildlife Action Plan (2005)
The Penokee Range was identified as an Important Bird Area and a Conservation Opportunity Area of Continental Significance to maintain a large, continuous, climate change-resistant forest.
Wisconsin Coastal Wetlands Assessment (2000-2001)
The Kakagon-Bad River Sloughs were identified as an ecologically significant coastal wetland site in the Lake Michigan and Lake Superior basins.
National Natural Landmark
The Kakagon-Bad River Sloughs were designated a National Natural Landmark by the U.S. Department of the Interior in 1983, recognizing their outstanding condition, rarity, diversity and value to science and education.
Wisconsin’s Wetland Gems (pdf 3.82 MB)
The Wisconsin Wetlands Association named the Kakagon-Bad River Sloughs one of Wisconsin’s 100 Wetland Gems, noting the extensive size and high quality of these Great Lakes coastal wetlands.