Wisconsin's Big Jobs Project Blocked By Tribe
By TODD RICHMOND
ODANAH, Wis. (AP) â¿¿ For generations the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa has quietly carved out a hardscrabble existence in the evergreen forests and sloughs along what people here call the Big Water, living off wild rice, fish and game.
Little has changed over the decades. They grapple with poverty every day. Their casino is tiny, their homes aging and weather-beaten. But they have their land and their water and that's always been enough.
Now, though, tribal members find themselves in the path of a major effort to create new jobs in Wisconsin. Their lifestyle may turn out to be the most formidable obstacle yet for a Republican governor determined to show that he can ramp up the state's economy.Gov. Scott Walker and the Republican-controlled Legislature are pushing to bring a huge iron mine to the Bad River's doorstep and revive an industry that has been dormant for nearly 50 years. Conservationists fear the mine would pollute the area, but supporters disagree and are fast-tracking a bill to clear the way.Â In his two years in office, Walker has rolled over his Democratic adversaries and beaten a recall attempt, but he now faces a different kind of opponent. Though only 1,000 members live on the reservation, the tribe has legal status as a sovereign nation and could tie up the project in court, depriving Walker of his signature job creation achievement as he prepares for re-election. "We're not going to let it happen," tribal elder Joe Rose Sr. said. "The (Chippewa) tradition is to look seven generations ahead. We ask ourselves what we're leaving for those unborn. Will there be clean water and air? Will there be any pristine wilderness left?" The issue has inflamed the tension between the state's beloved outdoor traditions and the need for paychecks. Many residents of the surrounding counties, where unemployment ranges up to 12 percent, have latched onto promises of hundreds of jobs on-site; backers say there would be thousands more for heavy equipment manufacturers and suppliers across the state.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV