Penokee Mountain vandals and campers and walkers. Oh my.

Said the spokesman from mining company Gogebic Taconite:
“They ran in, dressed in black, their faces wrapped in a turban. The people up there said it looked like al-Qaeda,” he said. “They yelled profanities and threats.”

Keep me posted on those northwoods “al-Qaeda”, will ya?
And let me know how the f**k you wrap a turban around a face.
Good grief.

Bill Heart of the Penokee Hills Education Project was also quoted in the same article from whence the turban-face quote comes [thank the flying spaghetti monster above for THAT]. He says he was at the drill rig site one half hour after the alleged incident and does know some people who were involved.

“The people I saw, I knew a couple of them,” he said. “Some of them were wearing black jeans but they were clean-cut kids, most of them. And I call them kids because they’re probably in their early 20s. Calling them a terrorist is kind of laughable.”
Heart said the small group made mistakes by damaging equipment and scaring workers. He said none of them were part of the nearby Lac Courtes Oreilles Harvest Camp or are tribal members.”

Read more about the situation at the Duluth News Tribune’s article, “Vandalism to Gogebic Taconite drill rig reported”

More Walkers
Earlier in the week Tonette Walker did some walks up north to promote the beauty of parks in blissful feigned ignorance of the destruction that the world’s largest open pit mine would most assuredly inflict on nearby Copper Falls State Park. Which is the 1st site where she walked. Now there’s a planned walk to the drilling site this Saturday June 15th at 1PM.

From the site United in Defense of the Water:

“This walk is an opportunity to safely observe what test drilling looks like, firsthand, and to see how it impacts a pristine landscape. The walk will take place on lands that are open to the public, and the Penokee Hills Education Project encourages all walkers to obey the law and practice non-violence. The walk is approximately three miles through fairly hilly terrain; be sure to bring your camera and bug spray! Persons of all ages are invited.

Directions: From Mellen, take Highway 77 east. Enter into Iron County and at approx. 8.75 miles from Mellen, turn right on Moore Park Road. Follow the road until you reach the “Road Closed” signs. Park on the RIGHT side of the road only.”

The Harvest and Education Camp
If you decide to come to the camp, you do need to bring your own supplies.
This helpful page tells you what to bring.

The walk on Saturday would be a great time to visit the camp and get to know the people who set it up. You can get a start by watching this video of Paul DeMain interviewing the camp caretaker, Melvin Gasper of the Lac Courte Oreilles tribe.

“The Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe tribe has opened a treaty harvest and educational camp on public lands in the Penokee Hills, near the site of the proposed worlds largest open pit iron mine, upstream from the Bad River Reservation. The site includes an area that hosted almost 200 Indian allotments in the late 1800 which were stolen, or deceptively removed from Indian ownership in favor of wealthy investors of the original shaft mining in the area. Ancient mining artifacts in the region have been carbon dated to 260AD. The camp will be open for hunting, fishing, harvesting and public recreational use as defined by treaty and public laws.” – from


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