Duluth News Tribune 7/13/2012
Excerpt: “The U.S. House on Thursday moved to speed up the environmental process for mining projects and to apply those new rules to projects already in the works, such as the PolyMet copper mine proposed near Hoyt Lakes.
The legislation is aimed at strategic mineral projects on federal lands, limiting the review time, public input and legal challenges. “Strategic” is defined as having value for national defense, energy, economic security, trade balance and domestic manufacturing.
The bill, HR 4402, sponsored by Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., passed the House by a 256-160 margin. ….”
Read entire article at http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/236802/
Rochester Post Bulletin 6/19/2012
Excerpt: ” MINNEAPOLIS — Managers made all the right decisions as they battled a forest fire that blackened 145 square miles of northeastern Minnesota last year, according to three reports the National Forest Service released Monday.
The reports reviewed the overall management of the Pagami Creek Wildfire, which started in mid-August with a lightning strike in a bog in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness near Ely. It remained relatively small until Sept. 12, when it grew rapidly in a matter of hours due to an explosive combination of high winds and warm, dry conditions. Then, just as suddenly, it largely stopped in its tracks until it was declared controlled Nov. 28.
The Forest Service said it found that “all actions and decisions” made in managing the fire “were consistent with laws, regulations, and policy,” and the reports found little if any fault among anyone involved in the firefighting effort. …..”
Read entire article at http://postbulletin.com/news/stories/display.php?id=1500115
Minneapolis Star Tribune 3/23/2012
Excerpt: ” In a rare public dispute, federal land managers say Minnesota state officials are being too lenient with polluters causing atmospheric haze over northern parks and wilderness lands.
The U.S. Forest Service and the National Park Service have objected to how Minnesota plans to deal with a long-unenforced part of the federal Clean Air Act that aims for pristine air in places like Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA).
“We work with the state agencies on a daily basis,” said Tim Dabney, acting supervisor of the Superior National Forest, which includes the BWCA, a federal wilderness area. “In almost all cases we are in lockstep with them.”
But not on haze. ……”
Read entire story at http://www.startribune.com/business/143912646.html
Minnesota Public Radio; 12/30/2011
Excerpt: “Duluth, Minn. — After 15 years of being a calm presence at the center of some of northern Minnesota’s most fractious environmental battles, Superior National Forest Supervisor Jim Sanders retires today.
He leaves a legacy of strong stewardship of three million acres of land that every American owns — an area that people are incredibly passionate about, even though many likely have different ideas on what should be done with it.
From logging fights to this summer’s controversy over management of the Pagami Creek wildfire in the Boundary Waters, Sanders has won the respect of people on all sides.
Read more at http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2011/12/30/jim-sanders-retires/
Duluth News Tribune 11/6/2011
Excerpt: “A deal is close that could end a decades-long dispute over state land within the federal Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
An advisory committee of state and federal officials, environmental groups, logging and mining interests and local government land officials has met quietly several times in the past year to forge a compromise on a combination land trade and purchase.
They’ll meet again in Sandstone on Wednesday as they near agreement on how to handle nearly 87,000 acres of state land locked inside the 1.1 million-acre BWCAW.
Under the deal, the state would trade about 43,000 acres inside the BWCAW for Superior National Forest federal land outside the wilderness….”
Read more at http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/213974/
Duluth News Tribune; 9/23/2011
Excerpt: “ELY — If not for five hours on Sept. 12, the name Pagami Creek fire might have faded forever into the spruce bogs and jackpine forests of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness — just another in the string of 435 lightning fires recorded in the wilderness since 1987.
It was during those five hours — after weeks of drought, under 80-degree sunshine and fanned by 30-mph winds — when the fire morphed from a slow-moving, wilderness-renewing “management” tool into a rolling conflagration that threatened campers, homes, resorts and residents….”
Read more at http://www.duluthnewstribune.com/event/article/id/210082/