St. Paul, Minn. (Jan. 26, 2018) – Jobs for Minnesotans today released the following statement in response to the U.S. Forest Service announcement that the agency will prepare an environmental assessment to study the effects of a proposed mineral withdrawal in northern Minnesota.
“Today’s U.S. Forest Service announcement that the agency will pursue an Environmental Assessment instead of an Environmental Impact Statement to study the effects of the proposed mineral withdrawal in northern Minnesota is a step in the right direction but a far cry from rescinding the proposal. While we celebrate that the Forest Service is acknowledging what multiple studies have already shown – that there is no significant impact on the environment from withdrawal or exploration – the fact remains that the proposed mineral withdrawal would devastate the socio-economic well-being of our entire region and prohibit access to exploring critical mineral resources for our economy.
Several companies have already invested millions of dollars in our region through responsible exploration activities and if the proposed withdrawal is not rescinded, we risk those companies taking their investments elsewhere. This is about a region standing up for a way of life and the right to build a sustainable economic future for generations to come.
Our position remains the same. We urge the Forest Service to respect the established process of evaluating specific mining projects after they have been formally proposed and rescind the mineral withdrawal proposal.”
About Jobs for Minnesotans
Jobs for Minnesotans, a coalition representing business, labor and communities, supports statewide opportunities for prosperity and middle-class jobs from sustainable natural resource development in Minnesota. The organization is committed to the principle that our state can preserve both job opportunities and the environment for future generations. Jobs for Minnesotans was co-founded in 2012 by the Minnesota Building and Construction Trades Council representing 55,000 workers and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce representing 2,300 companies and 500,000 employees. For more information, visit jobsforminnesotans.org, follow @JobsforMN on Twitter and find the coalition on Facebook.com/Jobs4MN.
Media Contact: Nancy Norr, Chair