Menominee River | Photo by Bob Wick, BLM
Menominee River | Photo by Bob Wick, BLM

#6: Menominee River, MI & WI

Threat: Mining

Back Forty risks drinking water and sacred sites

Menominee River | Photo by Tim Landwehr

Tight lines fly fishing | Photo by Tim Landwehr

An important tributary to Lake Michigan, the Menominee River is a vital source of drinking water, is central to the history and culture of the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin, and provides treasured fishing, paddling and hiking opportunities. The river is at risk from a proposed metallic sulfide mine—the Back Forty—which could threaten drinking water for millions in the Upper Midwest and demolish the tribe’s sacred sites. The proposed mining process uses cyanide and a risky upstream tailings dam that could send toxic waste into the Menominee River. Michigan’s Environment, Great Lakes and Energy agency must deny the dam safety permit for this mining project to protect local communities and the cultural significance of the Menominee River.

American Rivers appreciates the collaboration and efforts of our partners:

  • Coalition to Save the Menominee River, Inc.
  • River Alliance of WI
  • Wisconsin Resources Protection Council