Local musher delivers sulfide mining petition to Governor

Grand Marais musher and former state lawmaker Frank Moe delivered petitions against sulfide mining to Governor Mark Dayton on Thursday.

Moe's 360 mile journey began in Grand Marais on March 1.

The petitions contain the names of people who are asking lawmakers to deny any permits for copper nickel mining in the Northland.

Folk singer and activist Larry Long was performing his song, “Generations 2 Come” for an inter-racial crowd of sulfide mining protesters. He recalled the scene outside the Capitol:

“Some danced, others sang, others clapped, affirmative, joyous - - and right on the last chorus “To be respected, To be protected, For generations to come,” the dogs came down from the side of the Capitol and around the grassy mall.

“As they turned and came up towards us, the drum (members from the Rosebud and Red Lake reservations) came right of our song and the dogs and Frank Moe arrived at the Capitol steps with an honor song.”

Later, Moe said Dayton accepted the petition, which contained almost 13,000 signatures, and asked several questions about it.

Government agencies on all levels are in the process of preparing an environmental review of a proposed PolyMet mining project.

Environmental groups are concerned the process will pollute the watersheds leading to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness as well as Lake Superior.

But supporters of PolyMet's proposal argue that safeguards can be added, allowing crucial jobs to be created in that area.