"It's not a huge hole in the ground, it's a tourist attraction!" | WisCommunity

"It's not a huge hole in the ground, it's a tourist attraction!"

[img_assist|nid=88914|title=Big hole|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=189|height=189]Another blogger elsewhere recently wondered aloud how the Republican push for mining deregulation in Wisconsin squared with the governor's call for more tourism jobs. I forget the blogger's name, but he or she pointed out that tourism in Wisconsin's pristine, sparkling waterways and forests obviously conflicts with a strip mine that might be 12 miles long and deeper than all but the state's tallest mountain.

But I think I've had an epiphany. I suspect the way Gov. Scott Walker, his legislative minions and the mining industry would like state residents to see open-pit mines in Ashland County or elsewhere is through the eyes of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. To wit:

PLAN YOUR GETAWAY!

Wisconsin's very own Grand Canyon Lite!

It's long!

It's deep!

It's dangerous!

And we made it exactly to specifications for maximum enjoyment!

See: Taconite tailings! [Disclaimer: That's rock, not a bird species]

See: Dead wildlife!

See: Copper-colored waters and drinking fountain streams!

See: Money and mineral wealth leaving the state forever!

See: Gigantic "Bob the Builder" style diesel shovels ripping through the landscape like a scene from a "Transformers" movie!

See: Cheesy amusement attractions along the pit wall, courtesy of Wisconsin Dells North!

See: Scads of happy workers, drawing their paychecks until the mine is closed and there's just a big, nasty, chemically fouled crater that looks like it belongs on the moon, or in West Virginia!

There's a hole! There's a hole! There's a hole in the bottom of the state!

Come for the hole ... stay for the cheese!

Escape to Wisconsin! Then escape with your lives! The rest of us? We're pretty much stuck here!

 Just remember: If you build it, they will come!

Published

October 27, 2011 - 11:37am

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