Laura Gauger, pictured here with the late Roscoe Churchill, believes protecting the water protects everything we love … including bluegills!
Laura Gauger manages the Flambeau Mine Exposed website. She became interested in following developments at the Flambeau Mine in 1997, when she first met Roscoe Churchill of Ladysmith, Wisconsin at an environmental meeting. Roscoe had served eight terms on the Rusk County Board during the time period that Flambeau Mining Company was trying to secure its mine permits and was a member of the local committee that evaluated the mine proposal. He fast became Laura’s mentor, and the two worked closely together on mining-related issues for nearly ten years, until Roscoe’s death in February 2007.
During the course of their time together, Laura and Roscoe collaborated to write a book about the Flambeau Mine that discusses the evolution of Wisconsin’s mining laws, the politics involved in bringing the mine to Ladysmith, the economics of the project, and environmental concerns. The two drew heavily on mining-related documents researched and written by Roscoe’s late wife, Evelyn. They also did numerous open records requests of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) to gain access to groundwater and surface water monitoring data for the mine and assembled that data into tables and graphs for ease in review. The book, released in 2007 and entitled The Buzzards Have Landed! – The Real Story of the Flambeau Mine (Roscoe Churchill and Laura Furtman, Deer Tail Press, Duluth, MN), also includes a CD-ROM that contains WDNR documents, mining company reports, legal briefs and correspondence so you can “read for yourself.” In April 2013 the book was republished in electronic format, including live links to the CD-ROM references cited in the text.
While Laura is quick to say that she is “certainly no Roscoe Churchill,” she adds that it is important to her to do what she can “to help protect the waters of the Great Lakes region from the mining industry’s grasp.”
Laura Gauger is a Wisconsin native who presently resides in Duluth, MN. For a number of years she published under the name Laura Furtman but resumed the use of her maiden name (Gauger) in 2010. Laura is a registered pharmacist by trade, having received her Pharmacy Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1979. For a brief biography, please click HERE.
To see a few more photos of Roscoe, Evelyn and Laura, please click on the below links:
- Roscoe and Evelyn Churchill, March 1991
- Just Grass Over a Grave, November 2004 (Roscoe’s commentary on Flambeau Mining Company’s reclamation of the Flambeau Mine site)
- Laura Speaking at Rally against the proposed Crandon mine, April 2000
- Evelyn Churchill working at the kitchen table, circa 1990
- Roscoe being interviewed by the press, circa 2002
- Roscoe and Laura at Protect the Earth Rally in Madison, WI, June 1998
- Laura Paddling the Flambeau River, October 2011
- Rocking Away in the Churchill Kitchen, circa 2005
- Roscoe and Laura fishing for bluegills, circa 2004
- Laura at Churchill farm house, 2001
- Laura at Wisconsin State Capitol during debate on the 2012 Iron Mining Bill, January 25, 2012
- Roscoe with his horses, 2000