Tuesday, November 18, 2008

IEN Conference: Mining impacts in Western Great Lakes region

The Indigenous Environmental Network Welcomes You



Numerous ferrous and non ferrous mines, mining proposals, and abandoned mines ring the Western Great Lakes Region. We are pleased to sponsor this conference in order to bring to you a broad spectrum on information on the impacts of mining gathered locally as well as the shared experience of others who have had mining activity in their communities. Welcome and please do enjoy the conference.

Opening Reception 6:00 pm Otter Creek Room and key note address by Winona LaDuke, Executive Director, Honor The Earth, 7:00

A special Thank You to the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, The Lannan Foundation, and the Western Mining Action Network for their generous efforts and support to make this conference possible

Conference Agenda

November 20
7 – 8 AM Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 Welcoming, Wayne Dupuis, Environmental Program Director, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Conference Introduction, Robert Shimek, Mining Projects Coordinator, Indigenous Environmental Network

8:30 – Noon Plenary Presentations, Otter Creek

8:30 –10:00 - The State of mining in the western Great Lakes Region. This Panel will provide an overview of various Tribal responsibilities and relationships and a summary of various mining projects impacting the Western Great Lakes region.

Overview of mining projects in the Western Great Lakes region of the U.S. John Coleman, Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission

Overview of mining projects in the Western Great Lakes Region of Canada, presenter being arranged.

Lake Superior Bi-national Program; Concerns for Habitat: Mike Ripley from the Chippewa Ottawa Resource Authority will speak about the Lake Superior Bi-national Program and its work and interest in mining issues in the Lake Superior Basin.

10:00 – 10:15 Morning Break

10:15 – 12:00 Noon - The Land; What are the local and landscape impacts of mining on Ceded and Reservation Land in the Western Great Lakes Region.

Cumulative Impacts of mining operations in northeast Minnesota; Nancy Schuldt, Fond du Lac Indian Reservation Water Quality Program

The Eagle Project, Yellow Dog Plain, MI; Chuck Brumleve, Keewanaw Bay Indian Community

The Polymet Mine, a broad discussion about some of the critical issues related to the Polymet project. Dave Chambers, Center for Science in Public Participation, Bozeman, MT.

12:00 – 1:00 PM Lunch Break and Guest Speaker Karen Diver, Chairperson, Fond du Lac band of Lake Superior Chippewa

1:00 – 5:00 PM Workshops

1:00 – 2:45 PM Concurrent Resource Workshops on Resource Areas

Workshop A Otter Creek: The Land:
Introduction to Hardrock mining and associated areas of concern; David Chambers, Center for Science in Public Participation, Bozeman, MT.

Financial Assurity for mine closure and clean up, Jim Kuipers, Kuipers and Associates

Workshop B Fond du Lac Creek: The Air:
This workshop will delve into air quality issues and concerns regarding mining activities. Led by Brandy Toft, Trent Wickman, Superior National Forest, Ann Foss, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, and Chris Holbeck, Voyagers National Forest will discuss commenting on permits, when to comment, and the rules and regulations behind commenting.

Workshop C Stoney Brook Creek: The Water:
Protecting the Water, Glenn Reynolds, Reynolds and Associates, Madison, WI.

2:45 PM – 3:00 PM Afternoon Break

3:00 - 5:00 PM Concurrent Workshops on Baseline and Mine Impacts.

Workshop D Otter Creek: Establishing Area of Potential Effect (APE) under the National Historic Preservation Act and Impact Area of Influence (IAOI) or Area of Influence (AOI) under the National Environmental Policy Act as a first step in impact analysis of proposed mine projects. Dave Woodward, 1854 Treaty Authority; Esteban Chiriboga and John Coleman, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission.

Workshop E Fond du Lac Creek: Predicting Water Quality at Hardrock Mines, Jim Kuipers, Kuipers and Associates

Workshop F Stoney Brook Creek: Trust Responsibility and the Federal Agency Role in Mine Permitting and Review. Margaret Watkins, Grand Portage Band of Chippewa, Environmental Department & Ann McCammon Soltis, Great Lakes Indian Fish & Wildlife Commission.

End of Day, dinner on your own or in groups.

November 21 Plenary Presentations

7:00 – 8:00 AM Continental Breakfast

8:00 – 8:30 AM Announcements

8: 30 – 10:00 AM - The Life Giving Cultural and Natural Resources on the Land.

Cultural Resources and mining, Rose Berens, Boise Fort Indian Reservation Cultural Resource Program.

Identifying and protecting Traditional Cultural Properties, Glenn Reynolds, Reynolds and Associates.

Cultural and Spiritual Connection to the Land. Laura Calmwind, Chiefs of Ontario.

10:00 – 10:15 AM Morning Break

10:15 – 12:00 The Sky – Air quality issues associated with mining projects are often overlooked or under-emphasized during environmental review and permitting processes.

Discussions of federal and state roles as well as air quality and mercury lessons learned from mining operations in Nevada and Alaska. Ann Foss, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Chris Holbeck, Voyagers National Park, Bonnie Gestring, Earthworks, Missoula, MT

12:00 – 1:30 PM Lunch Break and film -“Mining Madness, Water Wars: The Great Lakes in the Balance” This film explores the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality’s failures and biases, the threat of acid mine drainage to Lake Superior, Anishinaabe treaty rights and top-notch scientists' analyses and more -- all packed into a riveting 33 minutes. Michelle Halley of the National Wildlife Federation will follow up the film screening with a discussion of the film and other environmental quality issues related to the mine proposed for the Yellow Dog Plain of Michigan

1:30 – 3:00 PM - The Water – Surface and Ground water are often the first resources adversely impacted by mining operations. While some water pollution is permitted, at times there are exceedences that can have short or long term impacts. These impacts can have cultural, ecological, and human impacts.

Mining Impacts on Water; An overview of the issues associated to hard rock mining, Dave Chambers, Center for Science in Public Participation, Bozeman, MT.

Water as a Cultural Resource. Tina Van Zile, Sokaogon Chippewa Community & Glenn Reynolds, Reynolds and Associates.

Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality at Hardrock Mines, Jim Kuipers, Kuipers and Associates, Butte MT

3:00 – 3:30 PM Closing Comments

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