Our Purpose

The Forum offers this section of its web site as a source of information that reflects many perspectives expressed in a community where a mine is operated or proposed. The links included here are meant to offer information that can help communities make well-informed choices for their future. Inclusion in this database does not necessarily mean the Forum overtly supports any one mine, position, perspective, or resource.

Mining Information

For information concerning specific states/province please click on the icon.

 Mining in the
     State of Michigan     
   Mining in the    
    State of Minnesota     


Responsible Mining Recommendations

Responsible_Mining_in_LS_Basin_screen_shotTo develop the recommendations, the Forum hosted three open public meetings in Michigan, Minnesota, and Wisconsin and brought in speakers that addressed diverse perspectives about mining. Specialists gave presentations about historical mining operations and impacts in the basin; economic development and benefits to communities’ economies; environmental impacts on water and wildlife; research on mercury deposition; legal aspects of mining; cultural and Native American perspectives; and current research results, as well as about a dozen other perspectives.

Click to view Lake Superior Binational Forum’s Responsible Mining Recommendations.


Webinar Available

Dr. Nancy Langston explains the Lake Superior Binational Forum’s recommendations for responsible mining in the Lake Superior basin in this webinar produced in December 2013.


Geographic Locations

glifwc_basin_mining_map_screen_shotBelow is a map of the exploratory drilling operations, current, and proposed mining sites in the Lake Superior basin as of November 2011. This map was prepared by the Lake Superior Workgroup’s Mining Committee.

Click on Map for a full size view.
Updated:  May 13, 2013


Public Comment Opportunity Results

Public_Comment_Form_screen_shot The comment form asked multiple-choice questions about mining operations in general, as well as questions about specific portions of the mining permitting and operating processes. Respondents were also allowed to submit personalized comments on the form.

Click to view the Public Comment Opportunity Results




Perspectives on Mining Series
The Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, hosted a series of lectures on mining and the Penokee Range. The lectures covered topics ranging from geology, hydrology, the permitting process and more.

Perspectives in Mining: Donald Fosnacht & George Hudak
Featured speakers Dr. Donald Fosnacht and  Dr. George Hudak of the Natural Resources Research Institute at the University of Minnesota – Duluth. The two spoke on Thursday, April 17, at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. The two discussed the unique geological formations that are driving the mining boom and how modern mines are engineered to extract and process ores into raw materials. Listen here

Perspectives in Mining: Roy Smith & Bob Tammen
Featured speakers of two professionals with experience in the mining industry on April 8th at 7 p.m. Roy Smith and Bob Tammen talked about their experiences with mining from the perspective of the workers and offered their opinions on the economics and environmental impacts associated with mining communities. Listen here

Perspectives in Mining: Ann McCammon-Soltis
a lecture presentation by Ann McCammon-Soltis. McCammon-Soltis is an attorney and the director of the Division of Intergovernmental Affairs at the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission in Odanah. She spoke about how mining activity may impact treaty rights in the ceded territories of Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota on March 12, 2014. Listen here

Perspectives in Mining: Ann Coakley A lecture presentation by Ann Coakley, Director of the Waste and Materials Management Bureau at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources. Coakley oversees potential mining projects for the department. She supervises the open-pit iron mine proposed by mining company Gogebic Taconite. Coakley gave an overview of the Wisconsin permitting process for mines and answered questions related to the GTAC project on February 11, 2014. Listen here

Perspectives in Mining: Tom Fitz
A lecture presentation by Tom Fitz, associate professor of geoscience at Northland College. Fitz gave an overview on the geology and mineralogy of the Penokee Range on November 7, 2013. Listen here

Perspectives in Mining: Matt Hudson A lecture presentation by Matt Hudson. Hudson is the watershed program coordinator at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. Hudson gave an overview about how an iron mine may affect the Bad River Watershed. He also spoke about the hydrology of the watershed in and around the area proposed for construction of an open-pit iron mine by Gogebic Taconite. Hudson spoke on October 10, 2013. Listen here


More Information

Others who offer web sites about mining issues:


Who We Are and Disclosure

  • What is the Forum and what do we do.
  • The Forum is part of the broader Lake Superior Binational Program.
  • The Binational Program has developed a Lakewide Management Plan (LaMP) that identifies priority lake management issues and goals and outlines ways to reach these goals.
  • Part of the LaMP includes a unique Zero Discharge Demonstration Program that calls for point source discharge reductions of 9 of the most toxic chemicals found in the lake.  The vision of this demonstration program is to have zero discharges of these chemicals by 2020.

The Forum does not take a position for or against any mine in the basin, but the group does promote the goals of the Zero Discharge Demonstration Program and the broader ecosystem goals as outlined in the LaMP.  The Forum recently sent a statement to Wisconsin legislators regarding proposed legislation changes.    View Statement

In 1991, the Forum wrote and adopted by consensus a groundbreaking vision statement that in effect speaks for the water and a sustainable economy. The first line of that Vision Statement is “Water is life, and the quality of water determines the quality of life.”  The vision statement also highlights the need for sustainable community and economic development.

The U.S. Forum Coordinator is located at the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute on the Northland College campus. The Institute and Northland College support the Forum’s functions of convening opportunities and meetings that provide reasoned information from diverse perspectives to help people make informed decisions about issues in their communities.


The Forum has archived some of its information about mining issues on these discussion pages on its web site.


*Photos sources:, Dave Bren, EcoSuperior, Northern Michigan University


The Forum has tried to include all perspectives about mining and community issues on this web site. However, we do not pretend to offer an exhaustive database of every source of information that is available. The Forum will continue to expand and evolve this site as more information becomes available.

If you have more information or websites that you do not see here, please tell us.