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No Consensus on Mining at 'Superior Days'

Posted at: 02/19/2013 6:11 PM
Updated at: 02/19/2013 7:07 PM

During the first day of meetings for Superior Days, more than 200 delegates from northwestern Wisconsin met in the state capitol with department heads. One issue brought up over and over again was mining legislation.

The topic is on the Superior Days agenda four different times, but delegates won’t pick sides.

“Our department has not taken an official stance on the issue,” said Mary Motiff, director of Tourism and Recreation of Bayfield County.

With each mention of mining legislation, a quick clarifier of “no endorsement.”

“We’re not advocating for any specific bill, we’re saying let’s look at the issue but let’s do it responsibly,” Dave Minor said, CEO of the Superior Chamber.

The high school students from Hurley, WI lobbying for the mining legislation said the lack of consensus makes their job tough down in Madison.

“It's pretty split up there because you have people for it and then you have people really against it,” said Hurley junior, Rebekah Harrington. “It's hard to lobby for it if you can't have an opinion.”

Even still, it’s an issue that cropped up in most every agency meeting, such as tourism, one of northern Wisconsin’s biggest industries.

Delegates said mining is on the agenda for discussion purposes only. If and when a mining bill is passes, they want to make sure it’s done right, with sounds legislation.

“We're waiting to see what research is done, depending on how the legislation is written because it’s definitely going to have an impact one way or another,” said Motiff.

Tuesday of Superior Days was full of meetings, but Wednesday will focus on their lobbying efforts. The groups will meet with four to five legislators to promote the issues close to home.