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Ernest Monias of the Pimicikamac Cree Nation

Contact Wis. Governor Jim Doyle and have him stop the proposed 345,000 volt transmission line that would cross 250 miles of Wisconsin, running through Chippewa Ceded Territory and over 10,000 farmers and other private property owners.
( Gov. Doyle, Room 115 East, Sate Capitol, Madison,WI 53702 phone 608 266 1212 )

SOUL POWER, information about a giant transmission line threatening our way of life

The route of the 250 mile long power line makes 53 crossings of rivers, wetlands, hiking trails, forests, farm lands and people's lives with 1,500 steel towers 15 to 17 stories tall, from Duluth to its endpoint outside of Wausau.

Carrying 345,000 volts, the power line is the largest that can be built under state law.

For several months earlier this year, the utilities flooded northern Wisconsin’s airwaves with a series of radio ads promoting their power line proposal. Unmentioned during the ad campaign was the supplier of the electricity for their new transmission line – the Canadian utility Manitoba Hydro.

While many people see hydro power as clean and cheap, that’s not the view of the Pimicikamak Cree Nation of northern Manitoba. Vast areas of Cree Indian land have been submerged for hydro power development along the Nelson River system.

Ernest Monias, a member of the Pimicikamak Cree: “We are trying to get our story told south of the border. Our traditional navigation, fishing, and hunting grounds are being destroyed.”

Unlike the deep canyon lands or valleys in this country that have typically been dammed and flooded for hydro power, the Cree’s lands are mostly flat, forested expanses. Lacking natural dikes and geologic barriers, the dams built on the Nelson River have flooded inordinately huge tracts of wooded back country.

The Cross Lake, Manitoba community, where Monias lives, finds itself gripped in cultural and emotional despair. He says the unemployment rate in Cross Lake is 85%. Many Cree are unable to engage in traditional hunting and fishing practices because of the vastly altered landscape. During the past year, a wave of suicides has swept across Cross Lake with more than 100 attempts in this community of 6000.

Rita Monias is a member of the Pimicikamak Cree’s women’s council, she says “we’d like to get a message across to the people that hydro dams destroy the land.” It’s been 23 years since the first dams were built on the Nelson River, notes Monias, and she says the Pimicikamak know from direct experience “how devastating it is on the environment, on the land, on the animals, and on the people.”

The decision on the 345,000 volt transmission line project rests with the three state PSC Commissioners. The decision to cross the Namekagon River lies with the National Parks Service. To view photo graphs of
Gaylord Nelson's visit and honor ceremony with the Lac Courte Oreilles Anishinaabe on the banks of the Namekagon River, and to view more information about the devastation of Cree lands by Manitoba Hydro vist of sister site at Just Energy. Please return to our site by using the "back" button. The Namekagon River is part of the St. Croix Riverway, a federally protected riverway. The National Parks Service has the power to accept or deny a permit to cross the Namekagon.

Please share information with every list you have interested in energy issues and human rights.

This is an action alert about the first "private-for-profit" high voltage bulk transfer electric line in the US. This type of line can and will be built in anyone's "backyard" if this line is allowed to be built.

The formal hearings on the Arrowhead "bulk transfer" 345,000 volt electric transmission line have started. The public will have it's turn Oct. 1 in Solon Springs, Oct 2nd in Ladysmith, and Oct. 3rd in Wausau.

SOUL, the grassroots resistance along the 250 mile long route in NW Wisconsin's forests and farmlands, just received the information on the TRUE SIZE of the line. It's unbelievable! They NEVER told anyone this information before.
Please, please do whatever you can to get this information around to people (whether they are on the line route or not). This line is the first "private -for-profit" line to be built in the country. People only have a few days to respond.

Please understand that the blackout on August 14th was NOT due to not having enough transmission lines. The blackout had everything to do with deregulation and the energy plan Bush/Cheney are pushing right now. The Pioneer Press just ran a story about Xcel Energy shutting off a power plant on the hottest day of the year, the day of the blackout (possibly to drive up demand, thus price?) and it may have helped to trip the whole system. The situation is under investigation. *

*Pioneer Press
Just hours before the nation's worst blackout last month, an official overseeing the Midwest's electric transmission grid expressed concerns that Xcel Energy might try to drive up the price of its electricity by limiting output at its biggest power plant, according to transcripts of telephone conversations released this week. Minnesota regulators said Thursday they have launched an inquiry into the comments. They want to know whether Xcel reduced production at its Sherco plant
Published on September 12, 2003, Page C1, Saint Paul Pioneer Press

And BushCheney is right now stumping for removal of PUHCA the Public Utilities Holding Companies Act, the last protection of landowners and rate payers. If you need detail go to and read the information. For further detail and scary stuff read up on energy deregulation in Greg Palast's "The Best Democracy Money Can Buy"

Now for the horror story:
Just in case anyone is wondering what the real size and scope of the 220 mile Wisconsin part of the Arrowhead-Weston transmission line will mean for beautiful Northwestern Wisconsin, here are the actual specifications of the line from the testimony by ATC just released!!

1,501 total self-supporting steel poles
822 would be up to 145 feet high (15-stories tall)
679 would be up to 170 feet high (17 stories tall)
Cement foundations would be up to 14 feet wide and up to 50 feet deep 224 poles would be planted in wetlands 36 miles of new off right-of-way temporary access roads would be built to reach inaccessible wetlands The poles will cross 12 airports, 176 streams and 7 rivers The poles would require 1400 ball markers and 7,320 bird flight diverters While the line is estimated at $500 million, landowners are budgeted at only $2,500/acre compensation (average). *not for "the whole farm", just the strip of land for the towers.

Please get this information around to everyone you can.
Tell them to write to their local newspapers and give their comments about the line. Keep it simple.

Tell the newspapers that you will not sell your land for that price, but, you will resist selling and will force the company to condemn your land (thus, an additional expense). Tell them a personal story. Tell them a $500 million investment in fuel cells and solar and wind will carry our state and country farther than an extension cord from Manitoba Hydro's flooded Cree lands.

Tell them you do not support a private-for-profit utility having the power to condemn land (this proposed ATC line is the first "private-for-profit" extremely high voltage line in the country to be built by a private for profit "transmission line only" utility) and rate payers should not have to pay for "bulk transfer lines" used to wheel electricity, for profit making by a private company!

In other words, they decide they need (want) lines, they decide where they go, they pressure the public and commission and then they try to use the power they think they have to condemn your land along whatever route they choose.

Is this still the United States of America?

Tell the governor he's crazy if he allows this line to go through.

Gov. Jim Doyle
State Capitol Building
Madison, WI 53701

Finally, support a movement to remove the power of eminent domain by these "private-for-profit" transmission line utilities.

Remember, if these companies get their way, not only will we have more blackouts and the federal government seizing our lands, but, we will also be at high risk for a more economic depression. (remember the movie "Seabiscuit") . In 1929 the Stock Market Crash caused 53 utilities to fold, because they were overextended, Enron-style, the way they are now. When they too crashed, it caused the Great Depression to last 5 years longer.

The Public Utilities Holding Company Act is what helped pull back the crash.
Read it and then contact your Congressman and Senator immediately.

Want to help us to continue to alert others to this debacle:
1) pass this message on to others
2) send a tax deductible donation of support to SOUL Box 175, Glen Flora, WI 54526
3) Learn more about energy issues and how they affect each and every one of us, regardless of location. This is a time of the earth in crisis. At this rate we will not make it through this generation, much less seven generations from now.

4) share this web site page with everyone who can make a difference.

5) replace the dim bulb in the White House