Two federal agencies have taken politically motivated actions that jeopardize the future of statewide benefits from Minnesota’s mining industry and ignore established regulatory and environmental review processes. These actions will have a devastating impact on the creation of thousands of jobs in northeast Minnesota and the region’s communities, economy and mining industry.
Recently, the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced a proposal to withdraw 225,000 acres of federally owned land and minerals in northeast Minnesota from future leasing, exploration and potential development. At risk is the potential for thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in wages, regional economic investment and revenues for Minnesota schools. On October 21, 2021, the USFS formally started a 90-day public comment period to gather public input on the proposed request for withdrawal.
If you support job creation and the future of mining in Minnesota, take action now!
Make your voice heard by providing public comments to the federal agencies. Email your comment and register to participate in one of three virtual public meetings – space is limited, register ASAP:
- Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 1 to 4 p.m. CST – Register here
- Saturday, January 15, 2022, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. CST – Register here
- Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 5 to 8 p.m. CST – Register here
Public comments should be directed to the USFS and BLM at BLM_ES_Lands@blm.gov or mail to: F. David Radford, Deputy State Director of Geospatial Services, BLM Eastern States Office, 5275 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church, Virginia 22041.
Please use (copy and paste) the below sample message as your comment’s starting point, amend as you see fit:
Subject: Superior National Forest Withdrawal Application
I oppose the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management taking any action to pursue the withdrawal of lands and minerals in northeast 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.
The proposed withdrawal will also shut out the domestic source of raw minerals needed to combat the climate crisis. Minerals that the U.S. is currently reliant on foreign sources.
I urge the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management to reject this decision and its devastating impact on the future well-being of Minnesota citizens and communities.