By Gregory Gailen, Grand Marais
Warm greetings to citizens of Worthington, southwestern Minnesota, and all Globe readers. This is a call for help.
Living up here in the opposite corner of our state, I need to direct your attention to what is happening up here on your wildlands in the Arrowhead. Our congressman here in the 8th District, Rick Nolan, is currently doing everything he can to shut the public out of their rightful place in regard to deciding whether or not sulfide-ore
copper mining should be allowed in an area where it will do permanent damage to your Boundary Waters area and surrounding wildlands.
Congressman Nolan has already decided and acted. He's doing everything he can to force an irresponsible and destructive foreign copper mining industry on Minnesotans while also working to halt the environmental study that would be used to expose this foolish proposal. At the same time, he is pushing a bill (HR3115) intended to thwart litigation and due process in order to grant a sweetheart deal to Big Copper.
Remember, insofar as your public wildlands up here are concerned, all Minnesotans and all Americans are owners and stakeholders with a full say over what happens upon those lands. Radical copper mining has no practical place up here, where our water is so highly vulnerable to the kind of acid drainage that typifies copper mining. There's a fat list of heavy damages that would occur, and a list of strong possibilities and bad accidents that could happen - accidents that have often happened in the past - but one of the most important things to know is that copper mining has never been undertaken in a place like northern Minnesota without incurring severe, sometimes catastrophic damages to the land, water and surrounding areas.
Please write and call your legislators, and submit your comments to the Bureau of Land Management and the Forest Service. Please also consider attending the public comment meeting on July 25 in Virginia. Thank you.