FOLK report is not unbiased

To the editor:

A quote from a 7/25/2013 Gazette article on Metal Mining. “FOLK doesn’t have a position on mining”. Give me a break! They have solicited an anti-mining paper and placed it on their website. No position? Where is their pro-mining paper? They are definitely anti-mining and disingenuous enough to try and disguise the fact.

FOLK likes the idea of “economic gardening,” but they consider metal mining a “weed” that has no place in the garden they envision.

metal mining will not exist to the exclusion of all the other types of economic activities as they suggest, but assume a place among them. It won’t provide a lot of jobs, but lets face facts. Even a few more good-paying jobs will be welcomed here by a majority. The demand for copper is not going away and we still have a lot of it. Lets go get it, but do it in a responsible manner.

FOLK alludes to the copper mining activities of 100 years ago and raises the specter of stamp mills, smelters and other decaying reminders of that era and tries to lead us to believe that mining is still done the same way it was then. That is “scare tactics” and not the truth.

Those whose families have lived here generations know that our major export is our children, forced to leave their families in search of jobs elsewhere. Let’s face it, if you live here and do not work for Michigan Tech, the State of Michigan, Copper Country Mental Health or the federal government you are struggling to make ends meet. Yes, this area is beautiful. It is essentially treated as a “playground” for many of the “good job” holders just mentioned, “carpetbaggers” with cottages lived in one to two months a year and environmentalist-types who subsist on tofu and teaching tourists how to use a kayak. The rest of us are seemingly a nuisance to be tolerated so long as we go along.

Another quote. “It’s not a choice between the environment and the economy…it’s the economy and the environment working together…” Sounds nice, but when is the last time the environment did any work for you? It hasn’t. It is all about the economy, growing it while being good care-takers of where you work and play. Done right, there is no need to limit business activity as FOLK would like.

Patrick Thornton