Two federal agencies recently announced proposals that will have devastating economic impacts on Minnesota’s mining industry, communities and working families throughout northeast Minnesota. These actions are contrary to the established process and are based on hypothetical fears of negative environmental impact, not science. These proposals can be defeated through strong action by citizens throughout Minnesota and the nation.
If enacted, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) proposals to withdraw 235,000 acres of federal lands and minerals in northeastern Minnesota from future leasing, exploration and potential development will cause the state to lose thousands of potential jobs that would result from future mining projects, billions of dollars in future investment in northeast Minnesota, and billions in potential revenues that support the state’s K-12 education system.
On January 13, 2017, the USFS issued its intent to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on the withdrawal proposal and formally started a public comment period.
Now is the time for Minnesotans to tell the USFS and the BLM that pursuing mineral withdrawal will cause irreversible damage to the citizens, communities and economies of the region.
We encourage everyone who supports the Twin Metals Project and the future of mining in northeast Minnesota to voice their opposition to the withdrawal proposal by providing public comments to the USFS by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or use the prepared statement and form below to provide comment directly to the USFS:
TO: U.S. Forest Service, Superior National Forest
RE: Reverse Action to Pursue Widespread Mineral Withdrawal
I oppose the U.S. Forest Service taking any action to pursue the withdrawal of lands and minerals in northeastern Minnesota from future leasing, exploration and potential development. This action ignores the established and rigorous environmental review process for mining projects.
If enacted, the withdrawal proposal will cause the state of Minnesota to lose thousands of potential jobs that would result from future mining projects, billions of dollars in future investment in northeast Minnesota, and billions in potential revenues supporting the state’s K-12 education system.
The targeted federal lands are in an area of historic mining activity where mining is currently allowed and encouraged by federal and state law. The withdrawal would provide no additional environmental protections than those that currently exist under state and federal law and established environmental standards including the National Environmental Policy Act.
I urge the U.S. Forest Service to reject this decision and its devastating impact on the future well-being of Minnesota citizens and communities.
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