On March 11, 2013, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker signed legislation that rewrote the state’s iron mining laws, paving the way for Gogebic Taconite (GTAC) to dig a 4-mile open-pit iron mine in the pristine woods of the Penokee mountain range. The plan provoked a standoff between GTAC and its supporters seeking mining jobs, and the residents, Native American tribes and political leaders intent on protecting their communities and water from contamination.
This half-hour documentary tells the story of how GTAC and its allies wielded money and power to influence the law, and goes behind the scenes with the burgeoning movement to resist the mine. It explores the potential harms the mine might bring, from asbestos exposure to acid runoff into the waterways in the area. Our correspondent, Josh Rushing, speaks directly with locals on both sides of the issue in this thoughtful investigation.
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production team & partners
For 371 Productions
Director: Brad Lichtenstein; Senior Producer: Brad Lichtenstein; Principal Photography: Jason Longo, Brad Lichtenstein, Margaret Byrne; Producers: Devon Cupery, Colin Sytsma; Additional Photography: Spencer Chumbley, Robb Fischer, Colin Sytsma; Sound: Colin Sytsma, Jacob Fatke; Editor: Joe Winston; Written by: Brad Lichtenstein; Research: Devon Cupery, Colin Sytsma; Production Assistance: Gregory Bishop, Paul Kjelland, Antonio Vargas; Archival Footage: Arthur Kohl-riggs, Leslie Kolesar, Patty Loew, Dick and Wendy Thiede, Dean Vogtman, Wisconsin Historical Society
For Fault Lines
Executive Producer: Mathieu Skene; Correspondent: Josh Rushing; Commissioning Producer: Lucy Kennedy; Senior Producer: Carrie Lozano; Senior Digital Producer: Kristen Taylor; Digital Producer: Nikhil Swaminathan
The Joy Cardin Show, WPR – Mining Documentary Touring Wisconsin, July 29, 2014
WXPR Public Radio – Investigative Film on Penokee Mine Comes to Northern Wisconsin, July 24, 2014
Center for Media and Democracy’s PR Watch – New Film on Controversial Wisconsin Mine to Tour State, July 22, 2014
The Capitol Times – Film on Gogebic Taconite mine to air on Al Jazeera America, June 13, 2014
89.7 WUWM Milwaukee Public Radio – Documentary Explores Volatile Issues Around Proposed Iron Mine in Northern Wisconsin, June 13, 2014
Express Milwaukee – Northern Wisconsin Iron Mine Documentary Will Air Saturday, June 13, 2014
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel TAP – Battle over Wisconsin mining focus of Al Jazeera documentary, June 13, 2014
Milwaukee Record – Investigative piece on Wisconsin iron mine to air on Al Jazeera America, June 12, 2013
Great Lakes Echo – Television show examines Wisconsin mine proposal, June 10, 2014
WXPR Public Radio – Al Jazeera America To Air Film on Penokee Mine, June 8, 2014