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The DNR extends comment period for pre-application of the proposed Gogebic Taconite MineSubmitted: 09/06/2013
Story By Melissa Constanzer

The DNR extends comment period for pre-application of the proposed Gogebic Taconite Mine
Photos By KARE-11

ACROSS THE NORTHWOODS - We can feel strongly about environmental topics. That's especially true when it comes to mining in Northern Wisconsin, specifically the Gogebic Taconite mine proposed in Iron County.

On Tuesday, the comment period on bulk sampling ended. That period allowed the public to weigh in on one GTAC plan. The company wants to take four thousand tons of rock from the mine site for testing. The DNR got hundreds of comments, some for mining in general and others against it but the DNR really values the technical comments about the site itself or the sampling they would like to see.

"When we get the completed bulk sampling plan, we'll look at that bulk sampling plan and we'll also look at the technical comments we received on the bulk sampling plan when we're making our permitting decision," says Ann Coakley, DNR Waste and Materials Management Director.

While the bulk sampling got lots of comments, the pre-application notification did not. That's different from the request to sample. The pre-application is one of the first steps in the process of asking for an actual permit to mine.

"It was just very clear that they didn't know that the hearing or the comment period were for the pre-application notification so I just wanted to make it clear and to give people more time to comment on that pre-application notice," says Ann Coakley.

The comment period on the pre-application has been extended to September 17th.

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The Northwoods "Let's Go Fishing" pontoon helps veterans, seniors, the disabled get on the lake for a day of fun.

The Northwoods chapter needs volunteer captains and mates to keep the rides running.

The first training session is tomorrow night at 6 p.m. at the Pavilion at Hodag Park in Rhinelander.

Chapter President Mark Schroeder says the program is like lake therapy.

"Hey for one thing we are out on the water. It's something that is good for all us; it is good for everyone really," said Schroeder.

Anyone can volunteer to be a captain or a mate.

The training takes about two hours.

"When you're out in the water, there's something that happens. It is the look that people have, it's the smile have. It truly changes your attitude towards life," said Pastor Rod Ankrom of Calvary Baptist Church.

Pontoon rides run through mid-September.

If you want to schedule a ride or volunteer, call 715-219-5436.



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