Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

DNR licenses Oneida Co. mineral drilling exploration; forthcoming ordinance could increase environmental protectionsSubmitted: 02/12/2020
Story By Stephen Goin

DNR licenses Oneida Co. mineral drilling exploration; forthcoming ordinance could increase environmental protections
ONEIDA COUNTY - A Michigan company's plan to drill for precious metals in Oneida County could soon become a reality.

In January, Menominee-based Badger Minerals sent a Notice of Intent to Drill to the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). In the same month, the company also sent a mineral exploration license application to the DNR.

In a letter dated Feb. 10, the DNR issued the license requested. 

In the January notice, the company detailed its plans to drill 10 holes totaling a maximum of 4,000 square feet in the Town of Schoepke. The company claims it wants to evaluate the "mineral potential within the project area."

The notice goes on to say drilling would target potential base and precious metals mineralization. The company estimates those minerals are covered by 10 to 70 inches of "unconsolidated glacial deposits" referred to as overburden.

According to Badger Minerals, drilling is planned on parcels of land privately-owned by Badger Minerals or the Heartwood Forestland Group. The company said it has entered into a Purchase Agreement with Heartwood and has been given permission to access and conduct exploration activities on its property.

The drilling sites are located near the Wolf River and Stockley Creek; water from those bodies would be used in the drilling process. 

Oneida County Supervisor Bob Mott represents District 7 which includes Schoepke. When Mott heard of the Badger Minerals project he said it gave him flashbacks to the proposed mining plan in the Town of Lynne two years ago. 

"Oh my gosh, here we go again. And that was on county forest land, this is on private land which is going to be a different situation," said Mott. 

In Nov. 2018, 62% of people in Oneida County voted against mining on county forest land in Lynne. In Oct. 2019, the county board voted down a resolution that would have disallowed mining on all county forest land. Mott was among the dissenters. 

"I voted against that restriction county-wide because that wasn't what [the referendum] talked about. If it was talking about Lynne in particular I would have voted for it."

Now, Mott said he plans to put forward an ordinance to increase environmental protections in the Schopke-area although the Badger Minerals project is on private land.

"To make sure that one it's done properly so the environment isn't harmed and two that the citizens of the area aren't harmed by the process itself," said Mott.

That ordinance could be presented as early as March and Mott said similar measures have been adopted in Minocqua and Hazelhurst. 

"It goes a long way to talking about how that overburden is handled, it talks about roads and the impact on roads, talks about air and water quality, talks about noise and hours of operation, that type of thing," said Mott. "Of course we're a long way from that and the exploratory phase won't have any of those concerns."

Badger Minerals does have plans in place for reclamation but the DNR said additional permits and approvals may be necessary to protect the project area. 

According to Badger Minerals, a similar exploration was conducted in the 1970s where 30 holes were drilled.  


Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
| Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

MADISON - The Wisconsin Capitol building will not reopen next week, as had been planned, and state employees will have to wear masks whenever they're working indoors to help slow the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Tony Evers' administration announced Wednesday.

+ Read More

Play Video

TOMAHAWK -
Not many entrepreneurs chose to start a new business during the current pandemic, but Up North Nutrition in Tomahawk did because of COVID-19.

Owner Katelyn Hammerbeck says with all three of those-- each combo is 200 calories and gives all the nutrients that you would get from one meal.


"The nutrients you are getting is actually the equivalency of 1500 calories worth of balanced grocery store food in 200 calories," Hammerbeck said.

+ Read More

MINOCQUA - Among all other fish you can catch, walleyes are especially popular in the Northwoods.

30 years ago, the Minocqua chain of lakes had a sustainable population of walleyes; people could fish freely.

But when the population started to fall in the mid-1990's, artificial management became the only option to help restore the numbers.

Oneida County Fisheries Management Biologist Zach Woiak remembers the time when the walleye's population was all due to their natural way of life.

"Historically the Minocqua chain has had a very good walleye fishery that was all based on natural reproduction, so there was no stocking needed," said Woiak.

A local group of stakeholders, including representatives from the DNR, Walleyes for Tomorrow, and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission came together back in the early 2000's.

The group developed a plan while gathering public input

Woiak says the majority of anglers sided with the stakeholders.

"They were on board with it. We had a lot of public meetings and got a lot of public input. We made sure that all the stakeholders were on board. It's been pretty good," he said.

+ Read More

MADISON - University of Wisconsin System interim president Tommy Thompson said Thursday that he has requested $110 million from Democratic Gov. Tony Evers to pay for COVID-19 tests, contact tracing and personal protective equipment so campuses can safely reopen this fall amid the coronavirus pandemic.

+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin health officials confirmed about 750 more cases of COVID-19 in the state Thursday.

+ Read More

NORTHWOODS - Ascension Wisconsin Spirit Medical Transport announced adjustments to its air medical transport operations in northern Wisconsin. 

According to Ascension, Spirit 2 helicopter at the Howard Young Medical Center in Woodruff, will discontinue its service at the end of this year.

Spirit 3, a fixed wing aircraft stationed in Arbor Vitae, will stop operating at the end of August.

Dr. Stewart Watson of Ascension says that a review showed that their air medical transport needs would be best met with a single helicopter, strategically placed at the Central Wisconsin Airport in Mosinee.



+ Read More

WEST POINT - Governor Evers announced Thursday the official application and selection process for The People's Maps Commission, the nonpartisan redistricting commission to draw fair, impartial maps following the 2020 U.S. Census.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: