BWCA Land Swap: Update

Ferns 2012

A couple of days ago the Republican controlled House voted in favor of turning over 86,000 acres the federally protected Boundry Waters Canoe Area to state control so that the land can be cut down and mined. I guess it is no surprise that Republicans would destroy the environment in the name of some misguided idea of progress, but the idea also has support from Democratic U.S. senators, Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken (though they are supposedly working on their own version of the bill). The current bill, created by first-term Republican Congressman Chip Cravaack, attempts to generate revenue for MN public schools because, apparently, the only way to pay for education in Northern Minnnesota, is through the mining and logging industry. It is ironic, though, that these counties are so desparate for money because the mining and logging industry had always promised prosperity and jobs to these northern towns. These have been the major industries in the area for over a hundred years. Where is the prosperity? Based on past promises, these towns should not have the need to rape our beautiful forests to pay for something as basic as childhood education. So, we choose to fall into the same trap as before, believing that these companies will fix everything. They are companies! Their profit margins are more important than your hopes! We are going to ruin these lands for ourselves, future generations, and the tens of thousands of species living on them, simply because we can’t find a responsible way to pay for education in the northern counties today. Unbelievable.

NPR has written a piece on it:

http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/09/13/environment/land-swap-bill/

MinnPost has also written a piece which includes a link to write all of your federally legislators:

http://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2012/09/proposed-bwca-land-exchange-bad-deal

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