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Presentations to Examine Penokee Wetlands

Two presentations this week will focus on the wetlands around the Penokee Hills. 

Tracy Hames, Executive Director of Wisconsin Wetlands Association, will be giving a talk in Mercer on Thursday, and Hazelhurst on Friday.

Hames says his group has been researching the hydrology of the Penokee Hills, in hopes of understanding the possible impacts of an iron mine proposed for the area. 

“So a lot of the work we’re doing is trying to understand what happens when you remove the wetlands in the top part of the watershed, what are the implications downstream, not just to the wetlands themselves, but how the water flows all the way down to Lake Superior and the rice beds on the Bad River reservation.”

Hames says he wanted to find out firsthand how the wetlands near the Penokees are doing.   The research has involved significant time spent in the area.   

“Literally me and my staff have spent hundreds of hours up in the hills, out in the wetlands, exploring them, understanding them, getting to know how they work, how they’re regulating water.”

Hames says he was surprised by how pristine and well functioning the wetlands are. 

One presentation is Thursday night at the Mercer Public Library.  The second is Friday night at 7 pm at Yawkey Hall in Hazelhurst.

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