Member Spotlight: Wisconsin Resources Protection Council

Each week WNPJ will highlight the work of one of our member groups.

WNPJ 2013 Lifetime Achievement to Al Gedicks

Established in 1982, the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council was created  to help counter the lack of information about the effects of large-scale metallic sulfide mining on our state’s precious water supplies, on the tourism and dairy industries, and upon the many Native American communities that are located near potential mine sites.

Members of WRPC share a common goal: to educate the public about the consequences of allowing international mining corporations to develop a new mining district in northern Wisconsin under the present legal and regulatory framework. The repeal of Wisconsin’s landmark “Prove It First” Mining Moratorium Law in 2017 leaves our communities at risk of unacceptable damage to the environment, human health, treaty rights and sustainable economies.

WRPC has always emphasized the integral connection between the threat to our clean waters from metallic sulfide mining and the cultural threat to the Native American Nations who depend on the water for the continuation of their lifestyles. Whether it is the threat to the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa’s wild rice lake or the threat to the Menominee River and the homeland of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, we have tried to build understanding and mutual support between Native and non-Native communities who depend upon a shared resource.

Some notable successes of WRPC’s alliance building in defense of clean water include:

The defeat of Exxon’s proposed Crandon metallic sulfide mine at the headwaters of the Wolf River in 2003. The proposed mine site is now a conservation area jointly managed by the Mole Lake Sokaogon Chippewa and the Forest County Potawatomi Tribes.

The grassroots legislative campaign to enact Wisconsin’s “Prove It First” Mining Moratorium Law in 1988.

The 2012 successful Clean Water Act lawsuit against the Flambeau Mining Corporation (FMC) for pollution of the Flambeau River from FMC’s sulfide mine in Ladysmith, WI. In 2013 the Federal Appeals Court in Chicago overturned Judge Barbara Crabb’s 2012 decision but did not dispute WRPC’s claim that FMC had discharged contaminated water to the Flambeau River at the mine site.

The 2015 defeat of Gogebic Taconite’s proposed iron mine next to Lake Superior by an Indian, environmental and grassroots citizen alliance.

In recent activity for the WRPC, on February 16, 2021, Professor Al Gedicks, Executive Secretary of the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council, gave a presentation on the current status of the “Back Forty Mine” as proposed by the Canadian company Aquila Resources. Opposed by numerous counties, tribal governments, and a host of environmental organizations, the mine permitting process was recently stalled when a Michigan judge overturned Aquila’s wetland permit. Find out why the Back Forty name is very misleading and why this proposed mine would be a threat to the Menominee River, which flows into Green Bay just a few miles away from the Door County peninsula. What are Aquila Resources options now that the wetland permit is overturned?

Here is the video recording for those who were unable to attend the live event:

For more information on Action Alerts and upcoming events, contact the Wisconsin Resources Protection Council.

Contact: Al Gedicks

Address: 14 Copeland Avenue # 115

Phone: 608-784-4399




                               Al Gedicks 


This week's SPOTLIGHT submitted in part by WNPJ volunteer, Ambar Cornelio - as well as text written by Al Gedicks