Loading
Search
NEWS STORIES

DNR licenses Oneida Co. mineral drilling exploration; forthcoming ordinance could increase environmental protectionsSubmitted: 02/12/2020
Stephen Goin
Stephen Goin
Reporter/Anchor
sgoin@wjfw.com

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

GREEN BAY - The daughter of a Wisconsin state lawmaker has been sentenced to 13 years in prison for providing drugs that killed a pregnant woman. 

Thirty-year-old Cassie Nygren was sentenced Thursday after she was found guilty in the June 2017 death of 31-year-old Jennifer Skeen. 

Skeen was six months pregnant when she overdosed on heroin laced with fentanyl. 

WLUK-TV reports Nygren also was sentenced to 17 years of extended supervision. 

Nygren told the judge heroin was at the root of her choices. 

Nygren is the daughter of Rep. John Nygren of Marinette, who has been public about his daughter's struggle with drugs.


+ Read More

STEVENS POINT - Volunteers in Stevens Point hope to pack 100,000 meals this weekend for kids in need across the globe.

Friday and Saturday, nearly 500 people will pour into an empty airplane hangar at the Stevens Point airport for the Feed my Starving Children mobile packing event.

University of Wisconsin Stevens Point senior Christian Kamrath helped recruit volunteers for the event through UWSP's Health Care Organization.

He says it's a rewarding experience and he loves coming back every year. 

"I could be at home sitting on the couch watching TV but instead we're changing lives," said Kamrath. "You see not only the new members that say this is my first time, but it's so cool to see all the people who say this is my second, third time."

In two-hour shifts throughout the day, volunteers filled meal packs with rice, soy, dried vegetables and mineral powder. The packs will ultimately be shipped to over 70 countries around the world. Each pack holds six meals and costs as little as 88 cents to produce.

"The volunteer aspect is important to us as an organization," said Maddy Mowrey with Feed my Starving Children. "It's important for us to be able to work with the community and encourage their spirits as well as feed hungry bodies."

The organization is still aiming meet its more than $26,000 fundraising goal.

To donate to Feed My Starving Children, visit the following website

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - When the snow melts, it has to go somewhere. That has "National Weather Service" meteorologists and dam operators concerned.

"Last year was actually the wettest year on record for us and the data we got going back to 1890," said Wisconsin Valley Improvement Company Vice President of Operations Peter Hansen. "So we knew that this winter that we got quite a bite of snow would be a concern in the spring."

The Northwoods hasn't hit that melting phase yet, but officials are paying close attention.

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - According to the DNR, nearly a quarter of those involved in a hunting-related accidents last year had not completed a hunter safety education course. 

+ Read More

MILWAUKEE - A former Franklin business owner has been sentenced to 72 years in prison for killing his two employees and burning their bodies. 

Forty-four-year-old Matthew Neumann maintained his innocence at his sentencing Thursday. 

Neumann denied responsibility for the deaths of 40-year-old Robert Hajduk of Racine and 35-year-old Richard Conklin of Milwaukee. Conklin's remains have not been positively identified. 

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports the judge told Neumann that the character he's shown in the case "is not human." 

Neumann was convicted in December of two counts each of first-degree reckless homicide and hiding a corpse. 

The victims worked at Neumann's commercial cleaning business and disappeared in January 2019.


+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A new lawsuit against the Madison Metropolitan School District says it "seeks to vindicate parents' fundamental and constitutional right to direct the upbringing of their children."

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - People love rewarding their pets with treats. However, local animal experts warn too much of this kind of praise can actually be a bad thing.

Americans spent more money on their pets in 2018 than any previous year, at more than $72 billion. Doctor Alison French from French's Homestead Veterinary in Rhinelander said medical costs only take up a small portion of that sum.

"Most of it is probably in food and treats and toys," said French. "Medical bills, if you look at the breakdowns, don't seem to be the highest."

Feeding your pets too much can lead to some serious health risks.

"They don't eat like humans," said French.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: