There are about 60 mines in operation in the state of Wisconsin. Currently 26 of those permitted mines are in Trempealeau County. Ten are operational and the rest in development. Twelve of the 26 mines are located in the Town of Arcadia. Blair being the next highest number of sand mines with 7 sand mines in their township. There are 4,864.41 acres permitted to the mining companies, 2,105.41 of those acres being in the Town of Arcadia. That is 43% of all the Trempealeau. County permitted mines that are located in one township – OUR TOWNSHIP! That is a scary number that needs to be stopped, at least temporarily, until people can understand the effects of these mines in our community.
We keep being told that these mines are bringing in jobs, but how many “new” jobs have we actually seen. Also it is fact that the more heavily dependent a community is on mining for employment, these communities tend to experience greater negative impacts after the mines close than positive impacts while the mines are in operation. Mining has rarely laid the basis for sustained prosperity. Often, as in Appalachia or the Ozarks or the Upper Peninsula of Michigan or the Iron Range of Minnesota, mining has been synonymous with economic depression, high rates of unemployment and poverty, or simply “ghost towns.” Is that what we want for our community?
Mining is also very landscape intensive and has often been associated with significant air and water pollution. That environmental degradation makes mining districts unattractive locations for both homes and non-mining businesses. Mining in a variety of ways can discourage or displace other economic activities. In that sense, the economic stimulus provided by the mine is offset by the economic losses also associated with the mine. There has also not been any testing done to see the long term affects of the sand mining on our community, on our water (which Arcadia has won 1st place for the best tasting water in WI), or our air. We can put a halt to these sand mines until we can determine what these long term effects will be – please sign and support our fight for the longevity of our community!