Wisconsin tribe sues to block Michigan gold mine
A Wisconsin tribe is suing the federal government in hopes of blocking a proposed gold mine in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. Aquila Resources Inc. wants to dig the so-called Back Forty mine on the Menomonee River but needs a state permit to fill wetlands. The river is a key part of Wisconsin's Menominee Indians' culture. The tribe filed a federal lawsuit Monday alleging Michigan lacks proper jurisdiction to issue such a permit.
The tribe contends that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency improperly granted the state jurisdiction over the Menomonee River and adjacent wetlands in 1984. The tribe argues the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has rightful jurisdiction because the river and its wetlands are interstate waters. A voicemail left at Aquila's Michigan office wasn't immediately returned.