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Reader's View: Copper could mean fiery end for Ely

For the most part, the majority of support for copper sulfate mining seems to be coming from the Iron Range, historically an area where booms come from mining.

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Denfeld’s 1947 boys basketball team is the only Denfeld basketball team to win a state title. The team’s head coach was Lloyd Holm. Team members were Rudy Monson, Larry Tessier, Paul Nace, Kenneth Sunnarborg, Eugene Norlander, Howard Tucker, Tony Skull, Jerry Walczak, Bruce Budge, Keith Stolen and student manager Bob Scott.

For the most part, the majority of support for copper sulfate mining seems to be coming from the Iron Range, historically an area where booms come from mining.

It seems logical people from the Iron Range would side with the year-round economic boom that copper sulfate mining would bring. In the short term, the economy would grow, including more jobs and new business in the Arrowhead Region.

Contradictory to the short-term economic benefits, the long-term outlook looks bleak. Sulfate mining, if mismanaged, could result in the destruction of the enormous watersheds in the Arrowhead. An environmental disaster would not only poison the watersheds but the area's strong economy. Without steady streams of tourists visiting outdoor-oriented areas, unique programs and small businesses would suffer greatly.

Small towns on the Iron Range, like Ely, have impressive numbers of start-up businesses, local shops, and art festivals, all contributing to a multicultural feel. Without the clean economic engine behind Ely, small business would have to downsize. Many would disappear.

This loss would be much greater than just business. The Ely music scene slowly would disappear without its strong tourist backing, causing the loss of a unique sound that the town now possesses.

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Losing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, for a town like Ely, would be like removing the engine from a flying plane. They may stay in the air for a while, but a fiery future lies dead ahead.

Aidan Ripp

Cloquet

Related Topics: IRON RANGEELY
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