An Open Letter To Dr. Susan Hedman – EPA Region 5 Administrator

  • Northern Wisconsin lake

Dr. Susan Hedman
EPA Region 5 Administrator
Environmental Protection Agency
77 West Jackson Boulevard
Chicago, IL 60604-3507

Dear Dr. Hedman:

In support of the formal request to you on May 27, 2014 from the Six Bands of the Anishinaabeg Territory Watersheds and Waters of Lake Superior:  Bad River Band of Lake Superior, Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior, Lac du Flambeau Band, Lac Courtes Oreilles Band, St. Croix Band, Sokoagon Band I request that the Environmental Protection Agency initiate a public process under Section 404c of the Clean Water Act to protect treaty rights, aquatic resources, fisheries, wildlife, subsistence and public uses in the Bad River Watershed and western Lake Superior Basin from metallic mining including a potential Gogebic Taconite mine proposed to be located in the Penokee Range, headwaters of the Bad River Watershed.

Northern Wisconsin SunsetAs a youngster growing up in pristine Northern Wisconsin, I swam in the frigid, clear waters of Lake Superior, The Gem of the Earth.  I soaked up the sun and basked in the beauty as I sat on the beach. I
thanked my wise Creator for blessing us with clean lakes and rivers.

I roamed the hills and forests exploring the wonders of nature. Chick-a-dees serenaded me; a mama deer with her fawns surprised me as they darted across the trail; the spring beauties delighted me as
they poked their heads through the fresh, damp soil.  The solitude restored my soul as I connected to Mother Earth.

My classmates and I from a small rural school spent the field-trip days climbing the ledges and hills surrounding Copper Falls.  We chased the butterflies and swam in the coppery river.  We had so much

I need the quiet and solitude of northern Wisconsin to restore my soul–always have and always will.  To this day when I am troubled, I head to the pristine beauty of northern Wisconsin, wade in the frigid water of Lake Superior, and soak up the sun.

Please initiate a public process under 404c to protect:

  • what the Creator in his/her wisdom has created,
  • the Treaty Rights of the six Sovereign Nations,
  • the clean lakes, rivers, and watersheds for fishing and traditional rice gathering,
  • the drinking water from wells.  The vast majority of people in rural northern Wisconsin rely on pure drinking water from wells’
  • the pristine beauty of northern Wisconsin to bring tourists to the area,
  • our way of life.

We choose to live in northern Wisconsin because of the benefits it offers us.  We choose to live here because we love it.

Joyce Luedke
Hayward, WI