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Reader's View: Renewing Twin Metals' leases was proper

After reading the Jan. 22 letter, "Don't stand for putting BWCAW at risk," I offer this reminder: In 1974, the state of Minnesota put a moratorium on copper-nickel mining, which resulted in a comprehensive regional environmental impact statement ...

After reading the Jan. 22 letter, "Don't stand for putting BWCAW at risk," I offer this reminder: In 1974, the state of Minnesota put a moratorium on copper-nickel mining, which resulted in a comprehensive regional environmental impact statement on the issue. The study was completed and published in 1979 and resulted in a report that encompassed five volumes and 36 chapters; it contained more than 180 technical reports and cost $4.3 million (more than $2 billion today). The report analyzed environmental, social, and economic impacts, and researchers surmised that copper-nickel mining would not necessarily devastate any of the lands or communities involved, and they said they expected that new technologies in the future would be able to mitigate any environmental impacts from mining activities.

In 2012, The U.S. Forest Service conducted yet another study and concluded that mining was a desirable use of the forest.

In the final days of the last presidential administration, the decision that mining was a desirable condition was overturned, without any study.

In looking at the decision letter from environmentalist Timothy Treadwell and, more importantly, the bibliography attached to the letter, it was clear the moratorium was not based on any scientific evidence, but rather was based on extensive lobbying by groups opposed to mining and and the process on which such a decision should depend.

Those of us who live in Northeastern Minnesota can deal with the winters that we go through. But we can't deal with made up "facts."

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Renewing the mineral leases that were yanked away from Twin Metals at the last hour was the right thing to do ("Twin Metals gets mining leases back," Dec. 23). To say the decision to renew the leases somehow lacks "transparency" is laughable. To claim that the federal government has been "studying" anything related to this issue in the last year is bunk.

Mary Tome

Fall Lake Township, Minn.

The writer is a board supervisor for Fall Lake Township, just east of Ely, and is a past board member for the grassroots group Conservationists with Common Sense. She has been following and researching matters related to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for more than 40 years.

Related Topics: TWIN METALS
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