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Sulfide Mining Threat :

PolyMet Duluth Hearing February 8, at the DECC

Protect water, stop Polymet! Come to the hearing in Duluth!

The Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources of The Cloquet Valley State Forest and promotes responsible enjoyment of this unique treasure.

Polymet Duluth Hearing February 8, at the DECC

Protect water, stop Polymet! Come to the hearing in Duluth!

Caucuses for many political parties are being held on Feb 6, if you seek a resolution regarding sulfide mining, here is one :

Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest RESOLUTION On SULFIDE MINING

Our organization finds that copper-nickel sulfide ore mining has unacceptable environmental impacts and should not be allowed in Minnesota, until such time as it is proven that similar mines in the US or Canada have operated for at least 10 years and been closed for at least 10 years in a water-rich environment without resulting in acid mine drainage or pollution of surface water or ground water. The reasoning behind this resolution is

1. Copper-nickel sulfide ore mining in Minnesota would result in polluted runoff from mine pits and mine wastes for at least 500 years, if not forever. Sulfide ore mining has never been done in a water rich environment without polluting surface and/or groundwater.

2. Sulfide ore mining has created billions of dollars of taxpayer liabilities across the country when mining companies go bankrupt, leaving pollution behind.

3. Copper-nickel sulfide ore mining proposed in northeast Minnesota by huge multinational companies would weaken local, long-term and sustainable economies. Destruction of wild rice, fish habitats, wetlands and forests, along with increased mercury contamination of fish resulting from copper-nickel sulfide ore mining would disproportionately burden low-income and indigenous communities and harm the developing brains of fetuses, infants and children.

4. This resolution reflects the concern expressed by thousands of Minnesotans that the risks posed by mining minerals that are bound to or mixed with sulfide are too great in a state where our water is our greatest resource. It reflects resolutions passed Organizations across Minnesota in 2016, included many in the Arrowhead including organizations in St. Louis County, Lake County, Cook County, Aitkin. Regional residents have informed themselves and are deeply concerned about the risks posed.

5. A bill with similar clauses to this resolution has been put forward by Rep. Alice Hausman in the MN House in the past several times and is likely to be introduced again. &session_number=0 is





The lands, lakes rivers and streams of Northern Minnesota which lay north of Duluth in the Clouqet Valley Sate Forest and in the Arrowhead are home to many people, plants and animals and serve the world in many ways. Exploring, protecting and learning about the Cloquet Valley State Forest and the Arrowhead is a wonderful pursuit. We hope you enjoy it.


MN Eco library

FriendsCVSF Video Links

Enter the old site here : Enter Site HERE

Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest



"That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.”Aldo Leopold



The St. Louis River

A forum regarding the St. Louis River was held last fall. Video of that forum is here:

Video : Citizen's Forum on Mercury in the St. Louis River

David Bowman has done amazing photographic work on the St. Louis River and the threat it facess

Check out his work here :

His St. Louis River Project is here : St Louis River and the Freshwater Sea

The Cloquet River flows into the St. Louis River, and its headwaters are part of the headwaters of the St. Louis River. The St. Louis River

Wild Ricing

Wild Rice :

The essence of what's proposed is that the MPCA has decided each body of wild rice water needs to be assessed separately. They assert "Some variables, especially iron and organic carbon in the sediment, affect the amount of sulfide produced from sulfate. So while sulfate may negatively affect wild rice, no single level of sulfate can be protective of wild rice in all water bodies. Sulfate is converted to sulfide in each water body differently depending on the concentrations of iron and organic carbon."

They've come up with an equation to figure out how much sulfide should be allowed in each water body. "An equation that accounts for the iron and organic carbon variability in sediment among water bodies can calculate a protective sulfate concentration for a water body that allows wild rice growth and self-perpetuation. The equation to calculate the proper sulfate concentration:
Sulfate = 0.0000136 x Organic Carbon-1.410 x Iron1.956"

They assert that " Wild rice waters: The standard will apply in lakes, streams, and wetlands that are wild rice waters. MPCA has compiled a draft list of wild rice waters, along with a process to add waters to the list over time. The agency proposes that a sulfate standard is not needed to protect commercial rice paddies."

Problems that have been pointed out are that there is scant or no peer reviewed research that backs up the assertions, that the time till planned implementation leaves the waters unprotected and mines not held accountable, that water flows and as such what impacts one area in one way will impact another area differently.

There seems to be little doubt that there is inordinate pressure on the agency to make it possible for the mining companies to do what they want to. The regulations seem as if they will be very difficult to enforce.


Governor Dayton on the Proposal

Aaron Brown on the MPCA Proposal

Wild Rice Draft Plan Summary

Wild Rice Draft Plan (detailed) from MPCA Released

Duluth Reader Iron not a Panacea

Great Lakes Mining Pollution cost to society

MPCA Press Release

Excel List of Wild Rice Waters


© 2014 Friends of the Cloquet Valley State Forest