The following op-ed by MN BHA Board Member, David Lien was originally published in the Duluth News Tribune, February 1, 2014.
PolyMet is one of several companies considering mining operations in Northeastern Minnesota to extract sulfide metals from the so-calledDuluth Complex of rock. During a recent public meeting in Duluth on the NorthMet/PolyMet Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement, an estimated 1,300 people packed the room.
Although pro-sulfide-mining interests reportedly sent seven busloads of sulfide-mining supporters, apparently to make a show of force, about two-thirds of the testimony was from mine opponents. Hunters and anglers are particularly concerned about the impacts of sulfide mining. “I’m an outdoorsman, and I’m concerned about water quality,” said Jim Juntti of Barnum, according to the News Tribune’s coverage. “I asked them what the plan is if something happens and that (tailings basin) opens up and things go bad … They didn’t really have an answer for me.”
That’s because sulfide-mining companies are bending over to gloss over (or to cover up) the fact that the generation of acid mine drainage will continue as long as sulfides, water and air mix. No new technologies have emerged that can stop the chemical reaction once it begins.
Minnesota BHA held its first annual Rendezvous during September 6-8. A group of a dozen attendees from around the state set camp in northern Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest. About half of the 1.6 million acres within the boundaries of the Chippewa are water, including 1,300 lakes, almost a thousand miles of streams, and many wetlands. Camp was located at Darrell Spencer’s cabin on Third River just south of Dixon Lake, not far from the 7,000-acre North Winnie Semi Primitive Non-Motorized Area.
The weekend fell on Youth Waterfowl Day (September 7), and we feasted on fresh duck cooked over a campfire Saturday evening along with elk backstrap and tenderloin compliments of renowned elk hunter (and Colorado BHA founder) David “Elkheart” Petersen. Here’s a short video (The Outdoor Report: “Waterfowling Adventure”) featuring Darrell Spencer jump-shooting ducks in vicinity of his Third River cabin.
“Challenge by Choice” by MN BHA Co-Chair David Lien. Legendary Whitetails Blog: 7/11/13 http://community.deergear.com/Article/ChallengebyChoice
“Bronson's argument for Pittman-Roberts funding has a a lot of merit, but we should also be willing to consider other funding sources. A dedicated fee on our hunting licenses could also accomplish this, I would certainly be willing to pay it. However it is funded, the future of hunting and shooting sports in MN depends on range access in the metro.”
Backcountry Hunters & Anglers seeks to ensure North America's outdoor heritage of hunting and fishing in a natural setting, through education and work on behalf of wild public lands and waters.