Take Action – Stop the Land Swap!

Temperance River
photo by Superior National Forest on Flickr

On Friday, members of the U.S. House Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands will consider a bill that would risk the loss of more than 86,000 acres of Minnesota’s Superior National Forest.

H.R. 5544, recently introduced by Congressman Chip Cravaack, would require the U.S. Forest Service to offer tens of thousands of acres of protected National Forest land to be exchanged with the state of Minnesota. The ultimate result of this bill? Tens of thousands of acres of forests, wetlands and wildlife habitat would be destroyed for new sulfide mining projects and other development.

Federal ownership of National Forest Land carries with it a variety of critical legal protections, including:

  • The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) provides a process for public input by affected citizens and environmental review to evaluate and determine whether an action is in the public interest
  • The Weeks Act protects National Forest lands against surface land destruction (i.e. strip mining) and protects the headwaters of rivers and watersheds in perpetuity.
  • Section 7 of the Endangered Species Act (ESA) requires the Fish and Wildlife Service to consult with proposed projects on National Forest land to ensure ESA compliance
  • The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978 specifically requires that the BWCA be protected from the environmental impacts associated with mineral development “to the maximum extent possible”

All of these important safeguards would be lost on any National Forest land included in this exchange.

Unfortunately, Congressman Cravaack’s bill goes even further by bypassing environmental review and public involvement in order to complete the exchange. Make no mistake, HR5544 would require the US Forest Service to trade away 86,000 acres without even allowing a process for considering potential impacts on the water, habitat and wild lands of Minnesota’s Arrowhead.

This is simply unacceptable. Please take a moment today to take action and tell Congress to stand up for Minnesota’s lakes, forests and natural legacy by opposing H.R. 5544!

Advertisements

2 responses to “Take Action – Stop the Land Swap!

  1. Hands off the Boundary Waters!!!It belongs to posterity!Mining is dirty, noisy,polluting, and so damaging to the earth and surrounding communities.It is not sustainable, just a temporary souce of income.It is not the future, it is the past!Let’s think and plan for 7 generations like Native Americans do!

    Like

  2. Leave my Boundary Waters alone! I strenuously object to this activity which will jeopardize the safety and beauty of the Minnesota wilderness.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s