Even as the Eagle Mine in Marquette County approaches the point at which it can begin operation, legal maneuvers to shut it down continue. Oral arguments will be heard at 10:00 this morning in the Michigan Court of Appeals in Lansing in an appeal filed by several groups that oppose the mine. The National Wildlife Federation, The Keweenaw Bay Indian Community, the YellowDog Watershed Preserve, and the Huron Mountain Club maintain that the state’s permitting process was flawed, and the permits granted to operate the mine back in 2007 should be revoked. Last November, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula Manderfield ruled that the permits are valid. She also refused their request for an injunction halting development of the mine while an appeal was filed. Since that time, digging at the mine has proceeded. A letter posted by the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community on its Facebook signed by Tribal Council Chairman Donald Shalifoe and Treasurer Eddy Edwards describes today’s hearing as a showdown with the State of Michigan over clean water and the Tribe’s sacred sites… and offers to pay $500 to any KBIC member who travels to Lansing to attend the hearing.