To make sure things are see things their way, timber interests, developers and the fossil fuel crowd have been winning-over Minnesota’s state legislators with incentives – guess what that might be
The U.S. Forest Service proposes to turn over 30,000 acres of Superior National Forest land to the State of Minnesota in exchange for state land in the Boundary Waters. If approved, the Superior National Forest would shrink by 47 square miles, and land currently used for recreation could be off limits.
The best course of action
The federal government should purchase the state land in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA).but as is, the proposal does nothing to advance a purchase of state land in the BWCA.
The lands proposed for exchange are inappropriate. 7,800 acres of the Superior National Forest land proposed for the exchange are currently managed to provide recreational opportunities. Over 6,000 acres of land have “high” or “outstanding” biological diversity.
If this exchange is approved, these lands would be managed by the State of Minnesota to maximize economic return, not to protect natural resources or recreational opportunities
Or, as State Rep. David Dill stated in 2012, “we should mine, log, and lease the hell out of (exchanged land).”
Ask the Superior National Forest to go back to the drawing board, and come back with a plan that funds a federal purchase of state land in the Boundary Waters.