Ashland and the Penokee Hills

One of my favorite things about Trout Unlimited is that I get to travel all over our state to visit new places, learn about the local challenges to water quality, and even catch a few cuties (the fish, of course!).
Our fall meeting was up in Ashland, Wisconsin. It was a chilly weekend, and rained a bit on Saturday. It even snowed on the drive home!
We stayed at the Hotel Chequamegon, and it has a beautiful view! It’s too bad that I didn’t have time to hang out and enjoy that view… We had work to do!

The meeting was productive, as always, and it was so nice to see all my TU friends. 🙂


After the meeting, my friend Bill Heart took some of us on a tour of the Penokee Hills, near the mine site. The area is beautiful, and it breaks my heart to imagine those hills basically inverted for a taconite mine. There are beautiful streams running through there!





Bill also took us over to a Native American (Lac Courte Oreilles) camp that had been set up in the area- they used to call it Penokee Harvest camp, but now it is the HELP Project. HELP stands for Harvest Educational Learning Project. It was an amazing experience- we were welcomed right in and they showed us all around. Mel was a particularly helpful tribal member- he gave us the grand tour.





Wild rice!

Mel specifically pointed out this rock…

At first glance, it looks like any other kind of rock, but up close, you can see little spiderweb-like structures inside.

Do you know what that is? Asbestos. That might be exactly what environmentally-concerned citizens need to prevent this mine from going in- breaking up those rocks in the mining process would release asbestos into the air. It’s every bit as dangerous as it sounds, and it’s very difficult to mine in areas with asbestos without endangering the people who live there.
Thanks, Bill… You’ve opened my eyes once again. I love my TU friends.


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  1. Pingback: When was the last time you thought about Mesothelioma? | artistandathlete

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