July 17, 2018

Comments due on Minneapolis 2040 Draft Comprehensive Plan by July 22, 2018

The city of Minneapolis has a current population of 416,000 which is predicted to grow to 465,000 by 2040 and so created a draft policy plan called Minneapolis 2040 to address the issues of this increase in population by developing a long range strategy.  Until July 22, 2018 they are asking for comments on the draft at their website: minneapolis2040.com.  You will find the menus, draft plan use and built form maps at this address, links to various sections with an opportunity to comment etc.

I have made a few comments, by no means adequate for the challenges we have ahead; but perhaps our contributions will steer a course we can be proud of in the years ahead.

Please post your comments at the above website for the Minneapolis 2040 Draft Plan.

 

On Land Use

There needs to be a designation of areas that have high water tables such as parts of Linden Hills and a corresponding modification of building codes to prevent the drainage of these freshwater aquifers into storm sewers, sidewalks, streets and other drainage areas throughout the summer and sometimes into the winter months.  The codes, as they stand now, allow for the building of basements into water tables and underground running streams, in areas which were historically part of Bde Maka Ska for example.

The depletion of these water reserves will affect the health of avian populations, canopy, local climate and the health of our lakes.

 

On Urban Environments

The development and conservation of our canopy cannot be overstated.  It is priceless:  worth a lot and should not be for sale.  In other words, we need to preserve sooner than replace, if at all possible.

Too many old trees are being cut down at the prospect of any threat, when maintenance, especially good hydration might save them.  An old tree can stand the threats of global warming much better than a sapling and it will take more than a 100 years to replace some of the elms and ash that are being taken now for lumber and chip wood under the threat of Dutch elm disease or Emerald ash borer.

Trees, such as these, standing over 70 to 100 feet high harbor species of all sorts, sometimes over 200 different kinds.  How long will it take a sapling planted today to replace a towering old tree, as the earth becomes more and more hostile to every living thing?  Not only this, what of the difference an old tree can make of the climate under its boughs?  The temperature difference can be 10 degrees or more and the air quality is phenomenal.  Anyone who has stood under an ancient white pine can testify to the difference.

I hope the city of Minneapolis protects the canopy we already have as they build for a better future.

 

On transportation

Concerning transportation equity, a big issue, it would make sense to make this available to all, paid for through taxes.  No one should be denied a ride and the options should be many.  In fact, we need to make it so easy and so much better than driving that everyone will opt for public transportation.

As it stands now, the buses are uncomfortable, jerky and can be extremely unpredictable depending on the route.  The light rail from and to St Paul takes, practically speaking, as long as the bus ride.  If one bus is missed or doesn’t arrive, there may not be another for an hour, leaving one with no option but to get to work late and possibly lose a job.  Some people are handicapped, or carrying groceries or children, infirm or unprepared.

What would all-around premier public transportation look like to address all kinds of passengers?  What would the transports look like that everyone would want to take and no one would be denied, rich or poor? Wouldn’t it serve us in the long term to make this happen sooner than later by starting to divert highway funds in increments to make public transportation the priority with low carbon, no carbon systems the goal?

 

On the Arts

Guaranteed income for everyone.  This will allow the time for creative talents of all our community members to be focused individually and uniquely, often to society’s benefit, without being overly concerned about making money.  Where there’s time and freedom, there is creativity.

On Homelessness

In order to prevent homelessness we need good education for all, opportunity for all and equity in housing and the job market; but it all starts with a good equitable education.  Taxes for public education should be divided equally throughout the city so that no one needs to be bused to another neighborhood in order to have a good fighting chance. There should be no “best schools”.  All schools should be the best we can make them.

Counselors should be available that recognize difficulties early on in a child’s life so that help can be given. We need experienced teachers who are respected and allowed to do their best, not trained to tests and dogmatic views, teachers who are well versed in interpersonal relations as well as good academic skills with respect for diverse opinions and equity.

Funds should be available for adequate resources at the most vulnerable and impressionable time in a person’s life, childhood.  Teachers should not have to buy supplies for their students.  Texts should be available for every child.  We will get more from each dollar by spending the bulk of these dollars when the potential for benefit is greatest.

When our communities are diverse and equitable, our schools will be diverse and equitable and vice versa.  When this happens, there will be less risk of homelessness and greater potential that communities will work together in solidarity for the betterment of those in the communities they love, making homes where homes are needed.

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July 17, 2018

For all those who care about clean water and the BWCA

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness has released a report (click on link below for full pdf):

‘The State of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness’ for 2018.

 

July 10, 2018

July Flowers

July 10, 2018

Siberian Tiger Drawing (Arterutan Works)

Siberian Tiger drawing on paper 12 X 16 inches

July 3, 2018

Old Crabapple in Summer

July 3, 2018

Water Lilies

June 29, 2018

Old Bones

June 29, 2018

Rose Blooming

June 29, 2018

Pond Cypress

May 23, 2018

Timber Wolf and Coneflowers

As is so often the case, I cover one painting over with another, neither better or worse … just different.  As an artist who has been painting for a good part of my life of almost 70 years, art has always been a form of experimentation and an exploration of the world and our environment, a search to understand what is seen and sometimes unseen.  The material form of that experiment has never seemed that important once the search has ended and the painting completed; and so’ I have always agreed with the da Vinci on the matter of science in art and art in science.  It all seems related.  He said:

“To develop a complete mind: Study the science of art; Study the art of science. Learn how to see. Realize that everything connects to everything else.”

― Leonardo da Vinci

In my study of the north country of Minnesota and the threat to our wilderness, it was natural that I should want to paint a timber wolf.  Having only seen a wolf in captivity and in photographs of others I felt the need to make one of my own that captured the feelings I have for this endangered species.

I painted one that seemed a bit unrealistic to me and after finishing Timber Wolf and Coneflowers , I decided to paint over it to make my most recent portrait of a Minnesota Timber Wolf.  Forgotten and yet not lost because I had made a digital copy of the first version, I still regret that I had not just started another painting on a separate board.  As I look at these two now, they are both so different in mood and message.  What is better, what is worse?  The journey is better for both to enable us to be better prepared for our next painting, our next chapter.

It’s is only recently that I have begun to realize when to quit one painting and move on to another.  It’s a lesson that we could all learn well in life.

May 23, 2018

Union Depot, St Paul

A visit to the Union Depot in St Paul brought to mind the Great Northern Depot built in 1913 on Hennepin Avenue, which was demolished in 1978, along with the Berman Buckskin building and the Chicago Great Western railway freight warehouse, to make room for development in Minneapolis, where the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis stands today.

Amtrak began running out of the Great Northern Depot in 1971 after I moved to Minneapolis in the late 1960’s; and this was the station from which I took one of Amtrak’s last trips to Duluth from this location. The Great Northern Depot was a huge, stately building built on the designs of architect, Charles Frost, who went on to design St Paul’s Union Depot, which is a wonder to see.

A picture taken on my trip to the Depot in St Paul yielded material for my latest painting.

 

May 17, 2018

How does cult mythology inform modern day social media?

There is a wave of change occurring, not only in technology, but in the way we deal with our humanity.  Cults are not new and all cults prey upon an individual’s need to be recognized and to feel a sense of belonging, in other words, to be loved.  What social media does today, cults of old have done since humans started interacting.

With an echo, we belong.  We say hello and someone smiles or returns our greeting.  We dance, sing, play an instrument and others join.  We join in social groups, whether on the internet or elsewhere to be part of a society, part of a whole; and, in turn, the journey is not so lonely.  Life, to be life, needs an echo.  These echoes run the gamut and can create or destroy depending on the source, depending on the group.  Which brings into play a question.  What does it mean to live authentically?

Though it takes courage to run outside the boundaries of the so-called “norm” or the group you associate with, what is normal? Diversity in opinion, physical traits, lifestyles and so on define us as a species and so it should be a given to be who you are, to be authentic and comfortable with yourself.  Beyond a simple admiration for others and their actions, cult-like devotion can rob one of their own identity and society loses by being deprived of that individual’s innate gifts, which might have been developed otherwise.  A lack of self-esteem is at the heart of one who gives up their own talents to the group.

Name your cult.  There’s one for every one, and an endless list of differences that we could turn into another cult with countless followers, alienating “the other”, the one outside of our particular group.  The problem manifests itself in destruction; and the narrowness of the band width cheats civilization of its greater potential.

When we take the time to know another, “the other” no longer stands outside of our sphere, and compassion becomes possible.  Is the internet facilitating this essential quality?  Can one be real on the internet?  To love, which is a verb, means to have one as a friend.  How does one act on the internet?  Doesn’t friendship require being there, holding someone’s hand, perhaps, listening, showing appreciation … laughing together, wiping a tear or two, sharing a meal and a good conversation?  How does one do this on the internet?

In a world of so-called friends that one may never meet, what becomes of our humanity when the masses define their lives by these kinds of contacts?  What becomes of life?  Will the echo we find be a set of characters on the screen, with no substance in a tangible world? The internet, relatively new, has changed our world dramatically in a short time; and the time to actually do and be and love has all been sacrificed to the pace of what is essentially “virtual reality”.

What will become of the human species as long as we continue to believe that love is irrational?  We are all moved by our experiences; and our emotions are the litmus test that we use to decide when logic does not give us the answers.  Emotions that are based on solid experiences that taught us well and worked to make our lives better are the most reliable tools we have.  What could be more rational than love?  These kinds of emotions go deeper into the subconscious and  act quicker than any form of logic.  What will happen to humanity when hands-on experiences have become all too few and most of our time is relegated to the internet?  What will we call love then?  Giving up our individuality to a group which acts like a cult to narrow our horizons, at the expense of what is real and life-affirming, by any name, is not love.

May 8, 2018

Two Sculptures at the Minnesota Arboretum

May 8, 2018

Cafesjian’s Carousel / Como Park Zoo

 

May 8, 2018

The Indian Hunter and His Dog 1926 by Paul Manship

As photographed in Como Park before renovation and return to Cochran Park

May 1, 2018

Olympic National Park Beach

May 1, 2018

Little Red Tree

Little Red Tree North Shore MN

May 1, 2018

Duluth in the 1970’s

May 1, 2018

Minnesota Gothic 1985

April 30, 2018

Will respect for women come when mothers have opportunity enough to respect themselves?

As a woman and a mother I’ve made my mistakes and I have blamed myself perpetually for these and more as a result of some early training.  It had always been my duty to know better, to do better, to be there and to take whatever came without expecting much appreciation, affection or attention. Through much protest, not a willing candidate, I was responsible, nevertheless, without the experience or understanding, as an eldest child of four girls.  The details of this kind of training vary with the multitude of situations women find themselves in; but the result seems to be the same, a lack of self worth, though we all manage this reality in different ways.

Our environments, those in our family, school, social groups, worship … echo the whole of a societal belief system and cannot be missed, no matter how we try to ignore the messaging.  If you hold your head a little too high wearing the wrong sex or skin color, speaking a foreign language, dressing “inappropriately” … there’s a punishment to suit each infraction.  It takes an “elephant hide” to bear the burden of living independently and well.  What courage and what truths must be spoken to get us past the petty charade we live today, where race, sex and origin of birth dehumanize those no less human than the rest?

On this journey as a woman, my biggest  blunder was not showing respect for myself in front of my own children.  I talked about respect, love and kindness, fought for my rights and then just as quickly disregarded my own best interests. How does a daughter learn to respect herself if her own mother failed in that aspect?  How does a son fully realize his own potential for love when his mother failed in hers?

Our environments are what we make them, it is said; but which comes first, the chicken or the egg?  How do we create better environments unless we are willing to change ourselves?  My revelations came much too late.  My children have managed; but not as well as they might have with a mother aware of her own potential, not as a woman but as an individual.

When will we stop categorizing and cataloging people by the color of their skin, their sex, their body type, their socio-economic status, and start looking at each one as an individual with his or her own set of potentials.  What might we discover?  How much better to have all working together pushing and pulling this taffy of a world to better shape it for the future?  When will we stop trying to sterilize and restrict what creation has given as a challenge?  Why do we seem set on tweaking the rules to suit a handful of people who are not up to the whole of it?

A woman should have as much to say in her environment as any, given that creation has chosen her to carry the next generation.  What kind of a world might we have when each and every mother has opportunity enough to demonstrate a healthy respect for herself in the life she shares with her children?

Perhaps this is just a beautiful dream; but I cannot help but wonder.

 

 

 

 

 

April 25, 2018

Is there no better way to fund our schools?

School Trust Lands in BWCA, over 83,000 acres of state-owned land, have been kept from earning money due to the fact that the land is protected as wilderness.  According to the Associated Press in an article April 18, 2018, $4,000,000 from the government funding bill, recently passed in Congress, will allow officials to move forward with a 2012 plan to make lands available for use in a three way exchange.

In preparation for this resolution to the decades long dispute, The Conservation Fund has bought 8,000 acres of prime private forest lands in NE MN which will be used in the exchange for the school trust fund lands, lands which will then be owned by the U S Forest Service.

School Trust Land Exchange Scoping SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST March 2015

Since the U S Forest Service has just exchanged lands so that Polymet can mine next to the BWCAW as soon as the DNR permits, I wonder.  How will this work out for the BWCAW if/when copper mining reaches its tentacles into the area surrounding Babbitt particularly to the North and Northeast?  Can we expect the US Forest Service to stand down when mining interests request another trade?

Just a thought.

MINERAL CHARACTER DETERMINATION For Minnesota State School Trust Land Exchange – Case #4558 Nonfederal Land and Mineral Ownership Information

The question arises, as well, why is funding of our schools linked to exploitation of our lands and waters? Perhaps there is a better way.

 

 

 

 

 

April 25, 2018

A garden to remember

April 19, 2018

Hallowed Halls

 

April 17, 2018

With small steps we change

The Vietnam war was raging and boys were being drafted into a war that was, for the first time, coming into the living rooms of Americans via television.  So many men who fought have come home from wars in the past wondering if the war portrayed in the media was the same war they knew.  This was said after WWII and so many before; but Vietnam was different … different because our eyes beheld in real time what our hearts knew to be the awful truth.  The draft forced a moral imperative on so many, for survival.

From 1967 to 1968, I worked as a VISTA volunteer in South Dakota, after one year in college.  That year  saw the assassinations of both Bobby Kennedy and Martin Luther King while President Lyndon Johnson’s escalation of the war provoked more  and more protests.  There was a great deal of hope that these protests would change the course of the war, that love would rule and the world would be better for it.

I found a place helping establish resources in poor communities around Rapid City, Head Start and the like.  There was a sense that with the necessary information and with good will anything could be accomplished.  It seemed obvious to me that kindness and a willingness to see beyond our own immediate dilemmas, not war, would yield better societies.  Was I naive?  Were we?

After all the protests and the dreams, the broken promises and the lies, we have more wars, more weapons, more death and destruction at a time of major scientific achievement.  We claim to have a democracy when money buys our politicians and the will of the people waits a beggar at the door.  Major climactic events destroy our coastlines and inner sanctuaries, flooding islands and threatening our homes and our ways of living.  Even so, moneyed interests trump all else.

It doesn’t seem to matter to the power elite that the pollution of our water, our air, our land will eventually affect us all for generations to come.  The rich and the poor are born of the same well.  Whispers in the corridors and between the lines seem to point to the “must never say” problem of too many people.

Reproduction, after all, is a necessity for survival of the species; and the healthiest among us, rich or poor, smart or not, know the playbook well.  The only problem with the prospect of limiting our numbers is that no one knows the magic bullet.  Blind with our own tribalistic views we cannot seem to see beyond ourselves to a greater view.   Our solutions often seem nihilistic and narrow or much too broad to be practical.

So much to do and so little time.  In spite of this, panic is not an option.  We need to think meditatively and peacefully to awaken a sense of pragmatism and one that will bridge the divide between our tribal natures and the unlimited well of our conscious and subconscious minds.  Where to start?  It seems that baby steps might be the wisest as we move fluidly into our best solution.

I remember the New Orleans teacher who told our class that Kenner Park would soon be integrated.  He was denegrating the whole proposal and blacks to boot as he swung his richly, black leathered-feet back and forth with his every word.   I could look no higher than his shoes out of disgust.  It was obvious that the opportunities were unequal, every lunch period when I would sit on the curb across from the one room bungalow that served black children through many grades. The crisis that was integration raged on for a while in New Orleans for quite some time.

It was not the first time I saw the injustice as a child.  In Caracas and in Maracaibo, Venezuela had its share of poverty and racial disparity.  While the rich lived behind barred windows and doors, the poor lived in barios and on the streets with little to eat and even less opportunity.  Education was always a tool to raise the few up over the many and the price too dear for the many poor.  Children with swollen bellies too often looking in on our play through cyclone fences and barbed wire.  Old men eating out of cans for their meals.  Meat hanging from hooks surrounded with flies and dogs running wild in the streets only to be killed for a meal.

Even today as I look on schools in our richer areas of Minneapolis, I see the disparity still after over six decades of integration and almost that many of busing.  White children given the opportunity in the best public schools over the poorer schools, reserved for people of color and the poor.  Education it seems is still too dear for the many poor and the power elite have yet to understand that what we do to these our poorest we do to ourselves.  We are all family and the human species will be the worse for this kind of shortsightedness.

How many of these young people have the potential to find a solution that others might miss?  How much better a world of diversity?  What would we be without it?  I, for one, would be bored to tears.

With small steps we change and with small steps we will be more able to see the potential before us.  Giving every child the opportunity to thrive and to grow in awareness one by one, we make a species that is more resilient to change and more conducive to sustainable communities; and war, no longer the tool it has become.

 

April 17, 2018

Milkweed

April 17, 2018

Still Life Peony

April 15, 2018

The Gunning and the Gyve

April 15, 2018

Hawk

April 10, 2018

A Winter’s Walk

winters_walk

March 31, 2018

Gardens of Trees

 

March 31, 2018

What was the full text of the original Bill of Rights?


 The following text is a transcription of the first ten amendments to the Constitution in their original form. These amendments were ratified December 15, 1791 and known as the Bill of Rights, written by the Congress of the United States, New York, New York on March 4, 1789.

AMENDMENT I

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. 

AMENDMENT II

 A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

AMENDMENT III

 No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law. 

AMENDMENT IV

 The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

 AMENDMENT V

 No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

 AMENDMENT VI

 In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.

 AMENDMENT VII

 In Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.

AMENDMENT VIII

 Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

 AMENDMENT IX

 The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

AMENDMENT X

 The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

 

 

 


 

 

March 31, 2018

A Family of Penguins

March 31, 2018

Sentry

March 31, 2018

Snow Monkeys

March 31, 2018

Mountain Gorillas

 

March 31, 2018

Sea Creatures

March 31, 2018

Prairie Dogs

March 31, 2018

Cousin

March 31, 2018

Ostrich Smile

March 15, 2018

Comment on NorthMet Draft Air Permit due March 16, 2018

The NorthMet Project has been in process of application for many years now, because the project will cause unusual problems, and because it will imperil wilderness lands, waters, air, wildlife and the economies that depend upon clean air, water and healthy ecosystems. Permitting a copper mine will set precedent and change the land use forever.
Since the copper deposits in Minnesota are of low grade, the process will naturally require removal of more rock than copper. By Polymet’s own estimate the NorthMet ore body comprises 275 million tons of Proven and Probable reserves grading 0.28 percent copper with Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources of 694 million tons grading 0.27 percent copper and 0.08 percent nickel. Since Polymet intends to mine and process 32,000 tons of ore per day (11,680,000 tons of ore per year) what does this mean for the air quality surrounding the Project?
According to the reports put forth for this permit, the NorthMet project will require ammonium nitrate and fuel oil for blasting every two to three days. Large excavator shovels with up to 30-cubic-yard-capacity and large front-end loaders will then load the ore into diesel-powered haul trucks, each having the capacity to carry 240 tons of material in a single load, all loaded onto 100-ton side dumping railcars. Sixteen-car trains pulled by locomotives will then transport the ore approximately six miles to the processing facility 20 times each day. In all, PolyMet plans to mine approximately 225 million tons of ore over a 20-year mine life. This plan can be revised at any time as long as notice is given and approved by our regulators. No mine has ever been shut down by regulators once begun in Minnesota.
According to the relevant reports, processing starts once the ore is transported to the LTV site where it will be offloaded into the Coarse Crusher Building. A series of crushers then reduce the ore to approximately 2.5 inches diameter feeding these particles by conveyor to the coarse ore bin located in the Fine Crusher Building. From the Fine Crusher Building, the ore will be conveyed to the Concentrator Building used since the 1950s to process taconite. There, the ore will be reduced into particles about the diameter of a human hair before being transported by chute to other buildings where impurities will be removed using chemicals and large quantities of water. Imagine this fine dust in transport.
As documented in this permit, this facility, then, will require a number of filtrations systems including HEPA, cartridge and fiber, all of which will be expected to comply with standards within each building and require their own handling. Outside of these buildings where there are no filters, fugitive emissions are even more difficult to control.
Fugitive source emissions from mining operations stem from the blasting of rock and the debris that these operations create, loading and unloading of rock, truck traffic, preparation, crushing and screening activities and excavating. Traffic, road building and repair will contribute naturally and this will exceed the boundaries of the NorthMet Project site where no truly effective organic and sustainable control is possible in most situations, physics the determining factor.
Fugitive sources of emissions at the processing plant can be found during construction activities, crushing and screening, along with wind erosion during flotation tailings basin operation, miscellaneous truck traffic, and SAG and ball mill grinding of the ore. The list of unusual problems and effects goes on in the permit reports, unintentionally illustrating why copper sulfide mining would be a major contributor to air pollution in this wilderness, and all the while presuming to make a case for protection.
How much of the regulation in place on spot filtration systems and their filters will be effective? How much of the fugitive emissions and noise will cause untenable situations for wilderness tourism, which is the backbone of this country? Only time will tell after all. If experience has taught us anything, these systems will fail or be neglected in time while the mining effects will continue into perpetuity.
Just a list of the vehicles required in this operation will tell us enough about the effects: 2300HP mine haul trucks run on 25.4 gallons of fuel/hour. 1550HP diesel drills, 19.8 gallons/hour, and 646HP truck dozer graders, 31.2 gallons/hr. And then there will be excavators, rubber tire dozers, transfer loaders, backhoes with hammers, water/sand trucks, and integrated handlers with their own fuel usage and emissions not to mention the noise that will be a daily experience for all within earshot.
Besides vehicles, there will be a great need for space heaters, too many to count for this comment, feed chutes, conveyors, mills, grinders, crushers, rail cars and locomotives, mix tanks and dewatering stations, a lube house, direct and indirect heating equipment using electric, natural gas and propane, degasifiers, a (huge) gasoline tank, bentonite (fine clay dust) handling, and miscellaneous buildings.
There will be a fence patrolled to keep the public out. Polymet will monitor itself. There is no restriction on hours of operation for portable crushing spread operations May to October and other operations are given the time needed to process almost 12,000,000 tons of ore each year. Much of the monitoring is not enforceable in this permit or on a practical level. So where are the real safeguards? The winds will blow, the climate will do its thing and Polymet will be forgiven in a force majeure situation.
We are told that this ore will be processed in an environmentally sound manner. We are told that if limits are exceeded, they will be remedied by the miner except in the case of unforeseeable circumstances that prevent them from fulfilling their contract. Will they monitor and police themselves without regard to profits? If fugitive emissions are found to degrade the environment outside of the parameters of their fence line, will this too be remedied? What will the meaning of going up North hold for citizens once this mine starts construction?
Wetlands abound along this copper deposit, with thousands of flora and fauna, many rare and uncommon all depending on clean air and water, in a wilderness of outstanding quality. There are orchard orioles, killdeer, snow geese, loons, woodcocks, purple finch, mink, great blue heron, broad-winged hawks, eagles, partridge, beaver, wolves, moose, bear, Canadian lynx, coyotes, blue bills, mallards, night hawks, snowy owls, white-throated sparrows, deer, blueberries, bearberry, rock ferns, caribou moss, and so many other species of plants and animals. What is the potential harm to these populations if the fragile balance of this ecosystem is destroyed, an ecosystem so interconnected with the health of its waters and its air?
Do we sell or do we protect? This is what this decision concerning the NorthMet Project comes down to, essentially. There are no guarantees that Polymet or theirs will be around to pay for the damage that acid rain and other hazards of mining for decades in this area will cause. They are a corporation, after all, developed to limit liability. Ongoing treatment, passive or aggressive, will never return this region to its original state. Observe ongoing pollution witnessed from mining in the area already. What financial or political assurances would suffice in a tragedy of the scale that sulfide mining would unleash?
We have waste on this earth that could be recycled without destroying our environment, our home. Have we come to a crossroads in our handling of this planet, an ecosystem that we so dearly need for our survival? Isn’t this priceless wilderness more important than any profit we can make from mining? Once understood that we cannot mine in this area without devastating results, perhaps we will favor sane and ecologically sound solutions to those challenges that engage us?
We could speak of the beauty, the wild, the spirit of something greater than ourselves, the sustenance we all gain from these masterpieces. Such is the Arrowhead of Minnesota. What profit is there if not life itself? It is undeniable that people in the area need jobs … although, who of these long term residents came with the intent to mine this jewel? If given the opportunity to work in a sustainable activity, who would not choose to do so? What kind of opportunities could be created with a mindset that encourages positive long term results over short term gains and financial profiteering? Don’t we owe it to ourselves and life itself to make the effort?
For the reasons outlined in this comment, I request that the Draft Air Permit for the NorthMet Project be denied.

March 14, 2018

PolyMet draft 401 Certification comments due March 16, 2018

The headwaters of the St Louis watershed detailed for this certification are designated Outstanding Resource Value Waters (ORVWs).  Lake Superior downstream is a restricted Outstanding International Resource Water (OIRW).  As such, changes in water quality are regulated and, according to EPA Region 8 guidance in temporary situations, water quality should return to levels prior to the activity that caused the degradation.  How should a long term project in these waters require any less?

The potential of accurately being able to determine the extent, degree and location of wetlands impacted from drawdown from this Project prior to construction are very low.  Even after the project is authorized and the mine built, these impacts will have to be determined through various types of monitoring during several growing seasons.  The impacts could vary from small changes to complete loss of wetland hydrology. In other words, complete loss of wetland(s).

The knowns are that this copper sulfide mine will result in direct and indirect impacts to 127 wetlands covering approximately 939 acres; and that it may also cause indirect wetland impacts due to potential change in wetland watershed areas, stream flow, groundwater drawdown, wetland fragmentation, or wetland water quality related to dust or rail car spillages.  The NorthMet project, then, has the potential of indirectly impacting more than the 7,350 acres of wetlands predicted.

Temporary activities in ORVWs do not have provisions in Minnesota Rule 7050.0180 placed upon them; but there are still expectations.  Temporary activities should not lower water quality to the extent that existing uses are degraded or removed.  These activities should not result in more than a 5 percent change in ambient concentrations of pollutants or result in a significant long-term increase in the frequency and duration of bacteriological pollution.  Long term water quality and wetland degradation of the kind that the NorthMet Project proposes should require, at minimum, these expectations.

Would NorthMet create no truly unusual problems?  The project itself is unusual; and this certification has not addressed the effects of introducing Acidithiobacillus ferrooxidans, a bacteria that thrives in a sulfide rich mining environment, a bacteria that copper mining relies upon to break down the copper, creating sulfuric acid and eventually introducing bio-available mercury downstream and into the wetlands.

The hazards cannot be overstated and have not been fully addressed in this permitting process.  I therefore, ask that this 401 certification not be granted to Polymet for the proposed NorthMet copper sulfide mine.

March 14, 2018

Comment to the MPCA on NorthMet Water Quality Permit -comments due March 16, 2018

PolyMet draft water quality permit comment
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
520 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

This permit proposes to monitor discharges in the Laurentian area from this project’s copper-sulfide mining of low grade ore in an extremely water-dependent area of the world at the headwaters of the Great Lakes and the St Lawrence Seaway.
Infrastructure including rails and roads will be required. Among the facilities referenced in this draft, the following:

  • A beneficiation plant
  • A hydrometallurgical plant
  • A flotation tailings basin (FTB) including Seepage Capture Systems
  • A hydrometallurgical residue facility (HRF)
  • A waste water treatment system (WWTS) – discharge of which will be routed through pipes to maintain flows in Trimble Creek, Second Creek, and Unnamed Creek, with some being recycled directly to FTB pond.
  • Other ancillary facilities (eg Colby Lake water pipeline) including:
    • Mine water filtration train
    • Tailings basin seepage treatment train
    • Wastewater treatment of solids/byproducts: from the tailings basin seepage treatment train including waste from filters and membrane cleaning and concentrate, which will be routed to FTB pond and mine water chemical precipitation treatment train.

 

Can we rely on a for-profit corporation to monitor itself? The permittee, Polymet, is expected to report all data from the required monitoring stations, whether favorable or not. If reported accurately and standards are not met, then Polymet will be required to monitor again until standards are met. What worthy and worthwhile actions will be taken at the “end of the day?”

If the unfathomable number of reports (essentially required just to monitor the discharge from this mining operation) are maintained accurately with regularity, consistency and competency, what truly effective actions can be taken when standards are exceeded? What of the monitoring stations that have no set standards as guidelines? What of those that are not enforceable? What actions are possible that will return the water to its base levels when the degradation becomes apparent to us all? What amount of money in the form of fees or financial guarantees can reclaim what is lost?

In addition, there is little that anyone can do to prevent natural processes and disasters from occurring, or human error whether knowingly or not; and so, by any standard, this mine will degrade our water resources in Minnesota and beyond. Can any permit for such a mine adequately address these issues?

Once copper mining has run its course in the Arrowhead by setting precedent with Polymet, the first of many to come, what will remain and what can truly be reclaimed? “Downstream,” the St Louis River estuary and Lake Superior, the largest body of fresh water in the world? “Downstream,” the BWCA, and the Rainy River Watershed, the Superior National Forest and Voyageurs, the most pristine wilderness areas on the planet? Can we afford this mine?

There are hundreds of pages listed (in this water permit draft and other permits) of essential equipment and gauges required just to monitor pollution from the proposed NorthMet Project (copper mine) on a continuing basis daily, monthly and/or annually through the life of this mine and beyond. This alone speaks for itself and cannot be reconciled with the safety of our greatest natural resource.

I respectfully request that MPCA deny this permit to pollute our waters.

 

March 3, 2018

Comment on Polymet’s Permit to Mine in NE MN

 

Witch Tree in NE MN on Lake Superior

Creative expression is an essential ingredient in all of our lives and it stems from a love of beauty in all its forms.  Without this where are we? Is artistic expression something we do when other “more important” things are accomplished? Or is it, like the song of a sparrow, the rush of a spring, essential to our survival?

 

Sigurd Olson remarked that everyone needs to find their “spot of blue”.  Over the years, his reference developed from a “spot of blue” in his search for water on a portage in northeastern Minnesota in the BWCAW and in the Quetico of Ontario, the sense of adventure and discovery on that quest, to a metaphor encompassing a search for knowledge and spiritual meaning.

 

Humans have evolved into super predators through the use of tools and weapons.  Once our dominance over the animal and plant kingdoms was assured we turned these weapons on ourselves.  As a consequence, it becomes even more essential that we find our “spot of blue” and a place where we can meditate on our existence and the paths each one of us needs to take for the sake of our species and life on earth.

 

When there is no wilderness, places where we can find solitude, no respite from the drum of so-called progress, nothing but the steady beat of production at all costs and money our god, what then?  Where will we find the space and the time to appreciate the beauty and find our spot of blue?  Our survival as a human species may depend upon it.

 

I respectfully request that Polymet’s Permit to Mine in NE Minnesota at the headwaters of the St Louis River watershed be denied.

 

Anita S Dedman-Tillemans

February 8, 2018

NorthMet permits update

Information on comments and the process for Polymet’s NorthMet mining permits is located at the MPCA and DNR links below:

MPCA’s NorthMet Project Webpage

DNR’s NorthMet Comment Portal

Links to four permits open to comment and deadlines for comments:

DNR Permit to Mine … open until March 6, 2018

MPCA NorthMet Air Quality Permit … open until March 16, 2018

MPCA NorthMet Water Quality Permit … open until March 16, 2018

MPCA NorthMet Draft 401 Certification (wetlands) … open until March 16, 2018

 

As I posted on August 20, 2017:

“A copper sulfide mine in the Arrowhead of Minnesota will change the meaning of “north woods” as we know it.”

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Over a century’s toll of mining iron ore in the uplands of the Laurentian Divide:

For the sake of our waters and the northern ecology of this priceless watershed, please send your comments.

January 18, 2018

Commonality between miners and wilderness advocates?

A nuanced and thought-provoking article by Reid Forgrave in the New York Times, In Northern Minnesota. “Two Economies Square Off: Mining Vs Wilderness” helped to make clear, in my view, what lies at the heart of this debate and our true commonality.

On the one hand we have miners that have grown up in families that depended on mining and whose ancestors relied on mining during its over 100 year history in the Arrowhead.  Though this is a fairly short term in comparison to the indigenous peoples who have lived off these same wilderness resources sustainably for thousands of years, it is no less palpable for the miners when food needs to be put on the table and they have grown accustomed to the job of a miner.  As it is with most of us, the familiar holds sway over the unknown when choices must be made.

On the other hand, we have the advocates for wilderness who, for generations, have lived off the land supporting wilderness tourism, or providing businesses that offered services to a diverse group of people on both sides of the debate.  In many cases these are people who have lived side by side for generations with miners, whose children grew up together and shared a love of this wilderness alongside each other. In these experiences, and not a job description, lies true meaning.

We all need meaning in our lives and not just a way to make a living.  At one time, there was honor on the range, in providing for one’s family and supplying the world with metals that were needed and that guaranteed schools and a thriving community.  These same families felt that the wilderness would always be there, that mining was essential to their survival and that these apparently existed in balance. We know better now.

Times have changed and, with awareness, mining jobs have taken on a different meaning in the Arrowhead.  More is understood now about the complexity of the substrata in NE MN and the water-dependent nature of its ecosystem.  At the source of the Mississippi River Watershed, the St Lawrence Seaway, through the Great Lakes, and the Hudson Bay drainage system, through the Rainy River Watershed … combined freshwater resources that are the greatest in the world, sourced in the Arrowhead and now under threat from one of the dirtiest mining operations known, that of copper sulfide mining.

We have commonality in our need for water, our love of wilderness, our caring for one another in a search for meaning in our lives; and this is particularly true of those who have spent their lives in the North Country of Minnesota where this debate between mining and wilderness rages; and for what?  The mining families of NE MN and wilderness advocates want the same things essentially.  It is the corporations that seek to profit off of resources in the Arrowhead of Minnesota that would have us believe otherwise.

One of the primary indications of a land rich in water is wilderness; and NE Minnesota has this in abundance.  The citizens of Minnesota share this commonality. If a copper sulfide mine is permitted in the North Country, we will all share in the result.

January 16, 2018

Footprints

Our steps take us many places in our short, fairly eventful lives.  We brave the elements and the various courses essentially as though we have a choice.

I have spent most of my life believing that I had a choice, that each course before me was created anew by that choice and my will to make it happen.  I never gave much credence to some grand plan or destiny,  ordained by the stars, by God, by a greater power.  Life seemed a grand frontier, an open plain waiting for each one of us, depending upon our will.

Silly me.  We can see but not understand.  We can be made to look away or excuse what we see.  The truth is often hidden from our innocent eyes.  In my young life, there was poverty before me, all around in the city streets of New Orleans, Maracaibo, Caracas, South Dakota, Houston, and in towns around California, especially visible closer to the border … and now in Minneapolis, where I have spent almost fifty years.

What happens to young children when they have only their wills to get them through a life of poverty, a life without good education or opportunities to lift up and broaden their perspectives, their choices?  What is the greater part of society missing when this happens?  We all suffer.

Does a child in this kind of situation have a choice?  Do any of us have a choice?  Our environments set our choices for us much of our lives.  It is easy for a man or woman of means to say we have choices.  It seems so obvious to someone who has options, opportunities and a hand up in life, all of one’s life … someone with money, with time and people who love and support them.  It’s not a given to those without.

The will to survive is a powerful and necessary ingredient in our lives.  It can make us saints or criminals, and most often it makes us products of our environment.  What else could be expected?

When women and men enter lives of prostitution, for instance, are they not products of their environment?  Why does anyone enter “the life” selling that most precious of commodities, their spirit, their bodies to be used and abused by others?  What has been done to a man who would buy or sell another human for profit or pleasure?  What kind of choice is this?  It is not the person, but the environment, that needs profound change.

I finally understood that so much in our lives is determined for us by our environments, and that understanding is necessary to change society for the better.  We need to understand that many people have few options and therefore enter lives that they would rather not, if only they were given a better playing field.  Treating the symptoms will never cure the dis-ease.

I found that my own choices were determined not only by my own potential, but initially and essentially by my environment.  I was lucky in many ways, had the education, the mother and father who loved me so perfectly imperfectly, the experiences that broadened my perspectives and gave me an understanding of the life before me.

How many children are we losing every day, how many lost opportunities for a better world?  How many beauties are being lost to a world with no vision?  When will this change?  When will we open our eyes wide open and understand that every child deserves to be loved; and put that understanding in action providing the best educational opportunities we can give them and lives with options.

Things need to change holistically.  Love needs to be our profound all-encompassing business for the betterment of all society and the love of beauty as we take our steps through this life.

January 10, 2018

What would be a particularly bad place for a highly toxic copper sulfide mine?

If we were to search the entire globe for a place that would result in more devastation to the natural world and to world class water systems, we might be hard pressed to find a more damaging prospect than the Arrowhead of Minnesota.  This region is located:

  1. At a recharge area in a diverse and complex geological formation where toxins from a mine could discharge at unknown places anywhere from a mile to 100 miles from the source in any direction.
  2.  In an aquifer that feeds one of three of the greatest river systems on the North American continent at the extreme headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway.
  3.  On the doorstep of the world’s most pristine wildernesses, the combined lands and waters of the BWCA and Quetico in the heart of the Rainy River Watershed.
  4. In a community where tourism depends on wilderness.
  5. Upstream from communities that depend upon wild rice, game and recreation, which are all dependent upon clean water, air and an ecosystem without precedent.
  6.  In one of the richest and most ecologically diverse areas in the world.
  7.  At the heart of the Arrowhead in Minnesota’s Great Lakes and Mississippi River flyways where thousands of migrating birds depend annually on the area’s wilderness waters and lands.

In spite of these attributes and many others, this is exactly where the DNR proposes to permit a copper sulfide mine, a mine, which will leave pollution for a minimum of 500 years and may reach the dimensions of the Hull Rust Mine in Hibbing if precedent follows.

Could dimensions of copper-sulfide mining reach the proportions of the Hull Rust Mine in Hibbing Minnesota? Babbitt, a doorway to the BWCA at Birch Lake and the location of the proposed NorthMet copper mine, is located in the Laurentian Uplands, a recharge area for three of the greatest river systems in North America.

The guarantees are many:

  • We need water to survive in its natural state for maximum health .
  • The NorthMet Project and copper mining will pollute the water and land.
  • Filters used in the mining process will change the water’s composition and these filters will also need disposal.
  • Tailings will be stored in an aging earthen “containment” pond, which leaks and leaches and will continue to do so.
  • Waste piles will leach and leak, as well, into the unforeseeable future.
  • Release of toxins into the environment is inevitable through natural processes and accidents.
  • Waste piles and ponds are subject to natural disasters, which cannot be planned for and which have not been fully accounted for in the permitting process.
  • Wetlands will be destroyed through mining processes directly and indirectly.
  • Habitat for wildlife will be degraded.
  • Transportation corridors will spread the toxic effects beyond the mine’s footprint.
  • As water seeks its level, pits will fill with water continuously as long as the pits are in use, thereby mining water as well as rock.
  • Since mining will occur in the Laurentian Highlands, a recharge area for three major watersheds on the North American continent, the risk of water pollution, the risk of damage to artesian wells (contained aquifers) through depressurization, and the risk to more than one watershed is possible.
  • Because the area has multiple substrata at complex, varying depths with bedrock fractures and diverse materials, unknown factors will ultimately determine pathways for copper sulfide mining pollution and these could appear in unexpected places.

  • Damage to these waters will reach in and out of state, and in and out of this country.
  •  The profits will move out of state and out of this country.
  • The jobs will last a relatively short time compared to the 500 years of pollution left behind.
  • As the wilderness goes, so will the wilderness tourism.
  • The responsibility for clean-up will most likely remain in Minnesota as a burden to the taxpayer when the mine is closed and the company dissolved.  Since no corporation can guarantee solvency for 500 years or stay in business for long on charity, what other outcome could be expected?
  • In spite of any guarantees to the contrary, no amount of money will return this unique wilderness to the citizens of Minnesota.
  • The meaning of North Country will be changed forever.

For all of these reasons and more, I object to the NorthMet Project and a copper mine in the Arrowhead of Minnesota.

 

The comment portal is open on Polymet’s permit to mine application until March 6, 2018 at:

https://survey.mn.gov/s.asp?k=151336679796

Text links to the draft permit and outlines as well as information on how to make comments and submissions are located at:

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/polymet/permitting/ptm.html

 Please make your comments or objections by March 6, 2018.

For the sake of our wilderness and our water.  Anita

 

 

January 3, 2018

Doing Business

What does it mean to “do business”?  Do we plan for all outcomes to our best ability and consider the quality of air, water, the health of our planet, beforehand, as the bottom line and love the ultimate business of all?

In a world where success is measured by the size of a bank account, living becomes a battle between the richest and the rest, where profits determine long term outcomes in a destructive race to exploit our natural resources for short term gain.  This current measure of success is a fool’s game in opposition to the health of this planet .

As harsh as it may seem, our leaders, in essence, are the face of our own choices.  In a democracy, we can change the status quo in our own day to day business by making choices that are true to our better selves.  When we support those enterprises that act on healthy instincts, instincts based on love, we increase the wealth for all.  When the leaders of business choose based on love for the health and well-being of their own children, grandchildren, they will naturally choose to act in ways that will be more beneficial to all.

There are over 170 million pieces of debris in orbit around the Earth, with over 8,500 known items in low Earth orbit accounting for more than 5,500 tons in 2008.  According to a 2011 report by the US National Research Council, the amount of debris had reached a critical level.

This, a present day conundrum, since the rush to launch various products into orbit has failed to address the necessity for eventual safe disposal, as we so utterly failed in the nuclear industry. Leaving the orbits around Earth with enough waste to look like the rings of Saturn, resultant waste endangers further launches and those of us on the ground with potential out-of-control collisions in orbit and an average of 200-400 hunks of metal waste falling to Earth every year.

Will robots, further technology, promised solutions be enough to remove the pollution in space, our air, on the ground, and in our waters before the progress we hold so dear destroys any chance of renewal?  The solutions we seek require nothing less than a whole-hearted change in the way we do business and this means every one of us.

There will be changes no matter what we do now; but without the love that comes from a respect for the natural world, for the health of this planet and the well being of our progeny, those changes might not be what we want. Out of necessity, though, they will be what nature requires.

January 3, 2018

God Bless Us, Every One

Mother Child

December 19, 2017

Recalling Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Things do not seem to be getting any better for the environment since my first trip to the Keweenaw Peninsula in 2003. The night before that trip, snowfall set leaves changing in the Porcupines morphing from a few muted colors to the most beautiful hues of reds and yellow; and as we ventured to Lake of the Clouds for what was to be one of my most memorable trips to Lake Superior, I believed that beauties like these would surely remain protected for as long as there were people to see.  With the upcoming tax bill, I wonder.

In the morning of our trip to Pictured Rocks out of Munising all was clear and calm on Lake Superior. It was not until we were almost half way into our boat tour of the shore that the lake turned from a glassy surface to a churning tub of foamy water as my friend and I continued to take photos of the shore. Sensibly, the rest of the passengers sat below with the captain and his crew.  It may not have been wise, but we were lost in the moment and the beauty.

Tonight, the Senate will vote on a tax bill that will transfer dollars in the trillions from the poorest of us to the richest of us.  It will also open up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to exploitation, endanger the support we have in this country for mothers, children, the working middle class and especially those with children and who are too poor to itemize.

They say that when the rich people and corporations, who will benefit most, get their tax breaks, this will cause them to become the most charitable of sorts.  They say that these corporations will throw caution to the wind and let their money trickle down out of their hands into better paying jobs and more of them, bigger benefits for the poor and more and better opportunities for all in essence.  These poor over-taxed corporations will now have extra money to do good it seems.

Not too surprisingly, most of us won’t be waiting for this to happen. It seems, jaded from past tax breaks that never loosened the grip of these sorts before, we will probably be busy just trying to decide where to spend the few dollars that remain split between food, medical and various frivolous expenditures like transportation and child care, education and, if we are very lucky, a few trips to see such places as our National Parks, that is, before they too, belong to only the richest of us.

Looking into the cold waters of Lake Superior in an approaching gale did not elicit the same fear I have today on the eve of this impending disaster.

May we find wiser men and women to steer our course in the elections ahead.

December 3, 2017

Role call on a vote to suspend rules and pass the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act

HR 3115 Roll Call votes 11/28/2017-7:07pm

 

How are we to reconcile the pollution of our waters with clean energy requirements?

Representative Nolan tells us that copper mining in the Arrowhead will be good for jobs and good for the environment.  Two arguments, it seems, that have weight in a society that values money above all else and gives short shrift to the fact that there are unresolved issues even with green technology, as with all new technologies.  The byproducts of our decisions today will remain after the jobs are gone.

Will we make the same mistakes that we made with the promise of nuclear energy?  Will we fail to manage the byproducts and waste any better?  Will we discount the dangers while we struggle to advance the benefits at all costs?  Fossil fuel as the primary source of energy is on the wane, for good reason; and alternative energy and its components are becoming profitable.  Will we give up the promise of green technology by ignoring the problems for the sake of profit and a quick fix?

An accounting is best made now, before we dive into making poor choices with utterly tragic consequences.  What more important than water?  We can live without the new technologies from precious metals and mining.  Can we live without potable water, jobs or no jobs?

The paths to new energy sources are being made now.  Will we fix a course that will eventually lead to a dead end as it has with nuclear energy?  Consider the disposal of batteries and the pollution from mining of “precious” metals for these technologies that will make “clean” energy a joke if it is not handled with care?

Avoiding these discussions by praising job creation and claiming that a mine in one of the most water dependent regions in the world will be good for the environment does not cut the mustard.  Passing a bill like HR 3115 will not make for a better world.

There are solutions in the making and possible solutions given time.  Consider recycling of metals already above ground, passive remedies, more efficient modes of use and reuse ….  Some of these solutions are not as profitable in the beginning, but may be far more in the end.  Consider those who will pay for poor decisions made today.

Will our best shot be to trade the vitality of our waters and our wilderness for short term profit?  Or will we finally take money out of the mix in order to make our best most important decisions.  Is this possible?

November 18, 2017

Tundra Swan (Whistler) Migration

November 18, 2017

The Color Was Pink

pink_rose_1937b

November 18, 2017

Yellow Rose

November 14, 2017

Fall Color in Minnesota

November 2, 2017

An Open Letter to Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton

The watersheds of the Mississippi, the Rainy River and the Great Lakes have their source in northern Minnesota, particularly in the Laurentian highlands of the Arrowhead, a wilderness that knows few equals in this regard.  Minnesota citizens, then, have a global responsibility to preserve this vital, rare and important aquifer from exploitation.

For over one hundred years, the state of Minnesota has condoned mining in the Laurentian Divide.  For over one hundred years the Missississippi and the St Louis Rivers, the Great Lakes and the Rainy River watershed have suffered from our failure to see the significance of these waters.  Elevated levels of lead and mercury … not including acid rain from the coal-fired plants supporting mining operations, smelters and other correlated equipment have done their part to interfere with vital natural processes.  Have we learned from our past mistakes?

In spite of this over one-hundred year history of mining in Minnesota and the correlated air and water pollution, failed infrastructure and inadequate protections, the state continues to promote mining activity.  Desperate measures to sustain an industry that will fail, that will pollute vital water reserves, where there can be no adequate protections in this water rich area, in an ecology that has no precedent on Earth, will serve no one in the long term.

Copper mining will destroy our water resources and our one of a kind wilderness in Northern Minnesota.  I was disappointed to have read that you support the NorthMet Project.

Sincerely,

Anita Suzanne Tillemans

 

aquifers surrounding the Babbitt area where Poymet wants to build a copper mine

aquifers surrounding the Babbitt area where Poymet wants to build a copper mine

November 1, 2017

What price wilderness? Ask your reps to vote no on HR 3115.

Superior National Forest’s land exchange with Polymet effectively trades wilderness mandated for protection into the hands of the copper mining industry, one of the most polluting industries known to man.  The question comes up:

What price this northeastern Minnesota wilderness at the headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway, the Great Lakes and at the heart of three of the greatest waterways in the North American continent?

The proponents of this bad deal will tell you that these wilderness lands are not “productive” and that this exchange will benefit the school children in the trade or some such …. that there will be hundreds of jobs, that the lands received by the NSFS in the swap are much more contiguous and will allow better management of forest resources, give greater access, more financial benefit and so on ….

Will any greater access, the amount of jobs from mining and “productivity” pay for the pollution of this valuable resource, our waters, for hundreds of years?  Since one of the insidious products of copper sulfide mining is bio-available mercury, how will school children profit from this; and how does one” clean up” the damage?

I wonder.  Is money and profitability the only statistic of prime importance on a balance sheet?  If so, then what of clean water, clean air, the health of our plant and animal life, the mitochondria, the fungus and the insects and birds?  Let’s consider the health of our children if not our own.  What is the price of a child’s life, the price of wilderness?  We are not only trading lands in this swap.  It is much deeper and much more damning than this.

Money will not give us the things we need in the long haul … and our children will benefit far better from clean water.  Wilderness is our filter, it is literally our blood and our bone, it is our base.  Whatever benefits wilderness benefits us.  Copper sulfide mining is not one of these.

https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/3115/text

 

October 30, 2017

Governor Dayton approves of copper sulfide mine, the NorthMet Project ….

Will this be Governor Dayton’s legacy?

http://queticosuperior.org/blog/minnesota-governor-announces-support-polymet-mine-proposal

to be continued.

October 16, 2017

A Touch of Red

October 16, 2017

What would Sigurd say?

 

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Sigurd F Olson believed that beauty could be destroyed by a sound or a thought.  He spent his life championing protection of all wilderness, in particular the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area.  He lived in Ely, Minnesota and built a cabin on Burntside Lake where he meditated and found peace.  He knew that the appreciation of beauty was love at its essence, a profound appreciation of wilderness; and beauty, a necessity for our survival.

In northern Minnesota spans the wilderness he held so dear; and he lived his life in appreciation of wilderness through his writings and his advocacy.  He helped spare the BWCA from an onslaught of interests that would have destroyed it through the construction of roads, permits for motor boats, planes and eventual development. Would he have failed to stand up to copper mining interests?

As Minnesotans and stewards of the Arrowhead, at heart of three of the greatest river systems in North America, we are on a precipice.  What greater security is there than wilderness, clean water and air, the beauty and the silence of untouched wild areas?  International interests, determined to mine copper in the big Stoney, the great Minnesota Arrowhead, seek permission to do so.  Should we open this Pandora’s Box at any price?

Once copper sulfide mining has begun, the entire region, by precedent, will succumb to other like-mines in and surrounding the BWCAW, which lies on this prospect, that of the Duluth Gabbro Complex or the big Stoney.  There are already over a thousand prospecting holes, which have been drilled at the boundary of the BWCAW and along Kawishiwi River and Birch Lake to date.

Estimations through computer modeling have determined that 20 years of the proposed Polymet mine would destroy at minimum 912.5 acres of irreplaceable wetlands at the mining site alone, and as a consequence flora and fauna dependent on these waters, leaving a toxic environment for hundreds of years, perhaps into perpetuity.  The boundaries unknown.

Consider that the St Louis watershed consists of 3,696 square miles of mostly open wetlands and high quality habitat for plants and animals… including, as an example, the home of “100 Mile Swamp” between the two watersheds of Embarrass and Partridge rivers .  St Louis River’s headwaters are located at Seven Beavers Lake near the proposed Hoyt Lakes processing plant and a few miles south of the mining site in corporate Babbitt.  It’s headwaters flow for 179 miles before becoming a 12,000-acre freshwater estuary near Lake Superior, where it enters the body of the Great Lakes.

The mine site will be located in Babbitt, which hosts both the St Louis River watershed and the Rainy River watershed.  Can we be assured that the water in contact with waste rock there and therefore, discharge of sulfuric acid and other contaminants will not be shed into the Rainy River Basin which contains the BWCAW, Voyageurs National Park, Vermilion Lake and River, Crane Lake and others?

The processing center, also, is located in a complicated geological area of the Laurentian Divide at Hoyt Lakes.  The Embarrass River and the Partridge River on either side of this Divide will be affected.  In addition, the Vermilion River watershed is adjacent to the Embarrass River watershed on the north.  What long term effects will be seen here as well?  This is one of many unknowns.

I feel certain that Sigurd Olson would have stood up to copper mining interests.  He would have stood up to interests that threaten to destroy the wilderness of northern Minnesota.  He spoke plainly and with an understanding that the battle goes on forever and that we must all have a hand in protecting wilderness.

Through blasting, transportation corridors, energy needs like the coal fired plant in Silver Bay, water pollution, air pollution, noise pollution … what will be left of this wilderness that we now know as the north woods of Minnesota?  The smallest creatures, insects, fungus, flora, fauna will be poisoned by these mines and this will affect the larger creatures that depend upon them, like birds, deer, wolves, lynx, creatures great and small.

Polymet alone will be applying for over 20 permits.  Included in these are “water appropriation permits”, which is a benign way of saying water mining permits, dam safety permitting, permits for taking endangered species and others needed to make this mine palatable.

For our national security, for the health of this planet, big Stoney of the “mother of waters”, Lake Superior, should be considered of far greater importance than any short term gains that may be had through mining this precious and priceless natural resource.  Please let the National Forest Service, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, and the Bureau of Land Management know that you do not want the St Louis River watershed and the Great Lakes to serve as a conduit for wastewater from a copper sulfide mine in the Arrowhead.

There are no guarantees but this, that water will find its way to the sea through our Great Lakes from these proposed mining operations.  Are we prepared for the consequences? The health of this planet may be determined by our will to continue the fight.

 

 

 

 

October 12, 2017

Comment on dam safety permit applications for Polymet by October 16, 2017

Dear Commissioner Landwehr:

Re: NorthMet Dam Safety

I am writing to express my concerns about the recently released dam safety permits for the PolyMet Mine. There are insurmountable problems associated with these permits and the proposals made by Polymet, a company that has never operated a mine before and will not use the newest technology recommended by your agency’s contractors.

It is common knowledge that these earthen dams are unsafe and cannot, in all truth, be guaranteed to hold up over time, especially the hundreds of years that they will be expected to endure.  They will eventually fail and release toxic sludge and pollution into the watershed below, a watershed without precedent, affecting communities and structures downstream to the Lake Superior basin and possibly into the Rainy River watershed.

The DNR is tasked to protect our resources for the benefit of Minnesotans.  Does the DNR do this by permitting a private for-profit copper sulfide mine, the NorthMet project, to use a dam for its storage of toxic sludge and tailings that has weakened over the 40+ years of its life already, known to leak into the aquifer sending toxic waste downstream and into wetlands surrounding the area?  What can be expected after 500 years?

Please say no to these dam safety permits and send an undeniable message to Minnesotans, who by the majority of comments do not want this toxic and hazardous project polluting our northern waters and ecosystem.

 

Sincerely,

Anita Suzanne Dedman-Tillemans

October 12, 2017

October 12, 2017

Do not allow the EPA to withdraw the proposed 404(c) protections for Bristol Bay … Please make your comments by October 17, 2017

Comment submitted October 12, 2017:

Like a beacon, under scrutiny for mining of copper resources, stands the Bristol Bay area.  For thousands of years, supporting the long term health of communities, this area has been and continues to be a rich natural resource for fish and wildlife, including one of the richest salmon spawning grounds in the world.  This proposal will remove the Proposed Determination of the US Environmental Protection Agency Region 10 Pursuant to Section 404(c) of the Clean Water Act Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska (July 2014), which would have served to protect this watershed from exploitation and destructive practices; while the Pebble Limited Partnership, seeking private profit in a relatively short term, tells us that the area is depressed and people need jobs.  This, they tell us, even though the jobs will be gone when the boom is over and the lands and waters fouled forever.

The associated earthen dam alone, which will be expected to hold toxic sludge and tailings byproducts from copper sulfide mining, into perpetuity, could not stand the test of time in this ecologically fragile area located in an earthquake zone.   In addition, repercussions from an onslaught of torrential rains and weather conditions over time associated with a changing climate can be guaranteed.  A failed dam would be tragic enough, but this does not preclude ongoing degradation during construction, operation and maintenance from blasting, transportation corridors, dewatering, dispersal of contaminants into the watershed, noise pollution and air pollution in the midst of a pristine invaluable natural environment.  Fifteen years of research and study into a copper sulfide mine’s possible effects in this sensitive area have only made the proposed mine more toxic.

Copper-sulfide mining in the Bristol Bay watershed would be devastating on our fresh water resources, the health of communities who depend on this watershed, the flora, fauna, unspoiled lakes like Lake Iliamna, the long term profitability and viability of world class salmon and sports fishing, tourism and natural habitats.  As if these things were not enough, how does monetary profit compare to true wealth?  Do we choose short term boom and bust economies over the health of our planet?  What is true wealth but an environment like that in the Bristol Bay watershed; and who in their right mind would give this up for any amount of financial gain?  This watershed would be changed forever by permitting any copper sulfide mine to operate within its boundaries.

I formally and respectfully request that the proposal herewith to withdraw proposed 404(c) protections for the Bristol Bay area be denied.  The withdrawal legalese found under the name “Proposed Determination to Restrict Use of Area as Disposal Site: Pebble Deposit Area, Southwest Alaska; Proposed Withdrawal” will allow the permitting process for this mine to begin, an outcome that we cannot sanction for the sake of future generations who depend upon decisions we make today.

 

Anita Suzanne Dedman-Tillemans

October 12, 2017

October 9, 2017

When Predators Rule

We are in a world of illusion in which words have become an important path by which the powerful rule.  These words should surprise no one … and yet, truth be told, most of us want to believe that our particular truth or illusion isthe truth” and so, believe what suits us.  As someone close to me once said, to paraphrase, “truth is relative.”  With this view, as the old saying goes, we will fall for anything.  Is this a problem or a necessity?

Is this what the cycle of life demands since everything, eventually, falls apart? Doing what seems to come naturally when predators rule may be impossible to avoid, the fear and ignorance that keeps us from seeing beyond the surface.  In order to survive, though, isn’t it necessary that we conquer those fears that keep us in the dark?

Creative to a point, we may find solutions to immediate needs; but do we see beyond to a broader and more enduring perspective? Do we need to?  Will we be capable of going beyond our own immediate, visceral needs to a higher and more meaningful way of living?  Time it seems will tell.

I wonder what lies below the surface of our present dilemmas and apparent societal quandries? What might be possible if we stop believing, out of convenience, that truth is relative?

September 24, 2017

Butterfly

September 24, 2017

on Beauty …

We see beauty for good reason – not simply as an abstract, but because it is a beacon so essential to life.  With appreciation, we become stewards, moving in harmony with the seasons, accepting the nature of things, rather than seeking dominion. Through awareness, comes a morality that sustains us.

What is morality but good stewardship, a system that sustains and supports all life without judgment?  When we are lost, beauty in many guises stands above all else to light our way.  In the darkest of times, it is our appreciation that gives us strength and understanding. Where our paths will lead we cannot know, nor do we need to know.  We see beauty, we know joy, and our lives are made whole.

The happiest people know this.  They are ever-present and realize that the substance of their lives lies in the beauty of the spheres, moment to moment.

September 20, 2017

On equality …

Black lives matter, of course, but we need action… and words can segregate us.

Language is a problem because when we claim one thing, then the opposite seems just as likely.  Hard to fight the repercussions that come from these kind of statements.  For instance, one might ask, if black lives matter then how about mine?  I am a different color, not black.  Does my life matter too? Why wasn’t my particular color, creed, gender … mentioned?

Of course, we know in retrospect what is meant and why it’s being said. Our hearts go out to all those who have suffered from prejudice and tyranny especially black lives in this country; that is, anyone with a heart feels the shame and the sadness.

Women have suffered, immigrants are suffering now in this country, children go to bed hungry at night, the poor, always, and this knows no boundaries, however defined. When will we learn as a community in mass that this kind of segregation happens not only in practice, but first in words.

(to be continued)

September 11, 2017

Will we trade the infinite for private profit?

hull_rust_mine

Could dimensions of copper-sulfide mining reach the proportions of the Hull Rust Mine in Hibbing Minnesota? Babbitt, a doorway to the BWCA at Birch Lake and the location of the proposed NorthMet copper mine, is located in the Laurentian Uplands, a recharge area for three of the greatest river systems in North America.

Comments submitted to the DNR on September 7, 2017

RE: “NorthMet Water Appropriation”

The guarantees are clear.  The proposed North Met Project will mine tens of millions to over a billion gallons of water every year sent downstream, 10 percent of this untreated, to the Lake Superior Basin.  This permit will allow the mine to pump billions of gallons of water from its site into streams in the St Louis watershed at the extreme headwaters of the St Lawrence Seaway in the Lake Superior Basin.

Even after closure, for an undetermined amount of time, the amount of water released from the mine naturally and otherwise will be in the millions of gallons annually, treated and untreated. Filters from “treated” water will be concentrated into a toxic sludge left behind in tailings ponds; and the water from this proposed copper-sulfide mine will need ongoing treatment perhaps forever.  Effects from this toxic pollution will span centuries if not thousands of years.

Average annual water required for mine operations has been estimated at 275 gpm, or between 20-810 gpm (SDEIS report), which translates from 10,512,000 gallons of water per year to as much as 425,736,000 annually.  This has been revised into the billions since then, for this permit. Greater than 90% of this water would be captured and treated using reverse osmosis, a process that poses its own risks, including demineralization (2006 by the World Health Organization’s report in Geneva, Nutrients in Drinking Water, Chapter 12), leaving anywhere from 1,0512,000 gallons to over 42.5 million gallons of untreated water that will be sent downstream from the plant (each year).  This water appropriation permit will allow even more.

The Uplands in the Arrowhead of Northern Minnesota include varied and complex aquifers connected along pathways underground that have not been charted and cannot be known.  This fact, coupled with the extreme weather variables of our times, should give anyone pause.  For instance, there can be no guarantee that the earthen tailings ponds holding toxic waste sludge from Polymet’s proposed copper mine could withstand a 1000-year flood of the sort that inundated Houston Texas this year, in August 2017.

What cleanup would be possible of toxic buildup in streambeds and the inevitable contamination of flora, fauna and fungus over hundreds of years resulting from copper mining in this water-dependent, varied and complex ecosystem of the Arrowhead?  The St Louis watershed is uniquely positioned and vulnerable to the toxic effects of a copper sulfide mine.

Water, one of the greatest solvents, can be guaranteed to seek its level through paths of least resistance, many unknown. The water in the St Louis watershed of the Laurentian Divide has been seeking its level over tens of thousands of years to the Hudson Bay Basin, the Mississippi River Basin and the Lake Superior Basin of the Great Lakes, through glacial waters of Lake Agassiz, other glacial lakes and the Laurentide Ice Shield.  Just as naturally, the waste rock and toxic waste ponds from this proposed open pit mine will leach into the ground water; and through rains, ground water seepage, and faults in the bedrock find its way downstream, a guaranteed outcome that cannot be controlled or predicted accurately.

Polymet, admittedly, needs a water permit in order to pollute and mine these vital waters; but loss and degradation of these waters will only be the beginning.  Since the proposed mine site is an important and complex recharge area, artesian wells could be depressurized and other ground water resources diverted or diminished unexpectedly.  Tourism will suffer from the related activities of a large mining operation near the BWCA in Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes where blasting, processing, transportation of products and supplies, road construction and repair will be ongoing while the mine operates.  Wetlands like the 100-Mile Swamp between Babbitt and Hoyt Lakes will ultimately be lost.

A copper mine, then, will change the surrounding landscape, since mining activities know no boundaries.  The dimensions of this mine could change as deposits are discovered and, through precedent, threaten one of the most pristine water-dependent ecosystems, one of the wildest and most beautiful places in the world, the BWCA. There will be no end, once begun, and this will change the meaning of “north woods” as we know it. The Rainy River Watershed and throughout the big stony of the Arrowhead, where copper leases abound, the whole of St Louis, Cook and Lake counties could essentially be affected.

On a balance sheet, what is the price of real wealth, clean water, air, naturally fertile soil, insects, birds, mammals and all manner of life that support the health of this planet?  What price freshwater? Are there truly any acceptable limits to the pollution and draining of the St Louis watershed?

Who, essentially, will profit in the long term by putting these freshwater resources at risk in order to permit this private for-profit enterprise, the NorthMet Project?  It will certainly not be the air quality and the peace, environmental health, the integrity of this wilderness.  What will be left if we allow any and all lands, no matter the cost, to be developed for the profit of a finite term at the degradation of the infinite?

I close here with my formal objection to this water appropriation permit.  I make this objection on the grounds that this permit will allow mining operations in a water-dependent ecosystem that knows no equal, a wilderness that will be changed forever by copper mining. Mining and pollution of millions of gallons of water each year is not in the best interest of those who live in NE MN, those who live downstream, or those who depend on potable water, the wilderness, for its beauty, its wildlife, flora and fauna, its sustenance.  We will all be less for having lost this gem by defaulting on our responsibility to raise the standards of protection for our freshwater.

Anita Suzanne Tillemans

Information concerning the NorthMet project

 

 

August 30, 2017

There should be no “best schools”

Natural systems favor those who are the most well-adapted to their environment; while money ensures a limited pool through the implementation of an educational hierarchy.

Why is it so often true that the worst of us run the rest of us, causing the suffering of so many?  Many of these leaders, as Benjamin Franklin put it in his famous oration of 1787 on “Dangers of a Salaried Bureaucracy,” are “the bold and the violent, the men of strong passions and indefatigable activity in their selfish pursuits.”

In the beginning it is said, there was the Word; and human civilization, since, has been built on propaganda that favors the rich and powerful … language, then, the tool of those in power, ultimately determines the appropriation of quality educational resources as a result.

For a society to flourish, it is essential that all children have access to an equal education.  It is particularly harmful to communities when women are denied this opportunity; because they are ultimately the ones tasked to raise, protect and educate their children, children who are more likely to suffer a harder life if she fails.

One of the most important choices a woman can make, then, one that determines her quality of existence, is the choice of a mate … better made with a sound foundation and education at the heart.  With knowledge, she is more likely to choose a partner rather than a ruler; and as a result, she will, then, be more likely to build self esteem in her children.

As a consequence, there can be no better way to improve the condition of society than improving educational opportunity for women and girls.  For, when a woman benefits, the whole of society benefits.  Seeing to it that there are no “best schools”… all schools offering the best tools possible for everyone who enters in, boy or girl, man or woman, creates better odds that our leaders will be fit and that society will thrive.

Manipulated by propaganda that tells us self-worth is in our wallet, we lose a natural propensity for good sense.  As my father said to me once:  “The rich put their pants on one leg at a time too.”  We know the truth but too often are swayed by the flashing lights.

Money will not make America great again … it’s the character of our citizens that will do this.  We had a courageous leader in George Washington who believed that we must: Vindicate our rights with firmness and cultivate peace with sincerity.  It will take courage  to stand up to the powerful interests that prevail today; and to understand that power, to be respected, must have a base in truth and respect for all life.  When we develop a society with equity in education, and dare to get money out of the political arena, perhaps we will have leadership that speaks to these values as well.

August 20, 2017

A copper sulfide mine in the Arrowhead of Minnesota will change the meaning of “north woods” as we know it.

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Over a century’s toll of mining iron ore in the uplands of the Laurentian Divide:

For the sake of our waters and the northern ecology of this priceless watershed, please send your comments:

MPCA’s NorthMet Project Webpage

DNR’s NorthMet Comment Portal

August 18, 2017

Coneflowers

August 17, 2017

On perfection …

If the garden of Eden was perfect in its realization, why was anything forbidden?

anonymous

August 17, 2017

Comment period on Polymet water permit opened August 11, 2017

The 30-day comment period for Polymet’s permit to mine and pollute the headwaters of the Great Lakes’ St Louis watershed, was opened on August 11, 2017.  If entirely permitted, this privately owned company will be allowed to construct an open pit copper sulfide mine for profit in the Arrowhead of Minnesota leaving the necessity to treat and protect this vital aquifer for centuries.

Polymet claims that it will do the clean-up and protect our waters.  What company can make this promise in truth anywhere, especially in this complex geological aquifer?

Please send your comments by September 12, 2017

http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/polymet/permitting/water_app.html#plymtwap

August 6, 2017

The difference between “endangered” and “threatened” can make all the difference …. to a mine.

Timber wolves have long shared the wilderness with mankind and so it is in Northern Minnesota.  If Polymet builds a copper mine in the Arrowhead of Minnesota, and sets the precedent for other companies to do the same, it becomes obvious, then, why the removal of wolves and others from the “endangered species” list has been such a persistent issue.   In order to mine, the taking of endangered species becomes an added cost, since a permit must be issued for the taking.

Among the animals that have been taken from “endangered” to “threatened” are the gray wolf and the Canada lynx.  I include just one link below.

https://www.fws.gov/midwest/endangered/lists/minnesot-spp.html

Our water will be more than “threatened” by a mine in this wilderness, and so will the lives of all species in the area, whether “endangered”, “threatened” or not.  A rose by any other name is still a rose.

May 4, 2017

About

wabasha

As I have been all my life, in a query about the working of the world through art, writing, studies, observations … wondering just how far we will go, how far we can go in our quest to develop past a state of survival.  With ever increasing populations and an insatiable desire to dominate the natural world out of fear, we seem destined to repeat the same mistakes … destroying the very thing that sustains us and nurtures us.

Will we continue to foul our water and air and destroy our canopy? Will we curb our population growth with respect so that we can sustain a life worth living for all species on this planet, through planning and wise management?   What is life without the beauty that comes with diversity?  What is life without kindness?  What is life without truth? What is life when it comes so cheap with no respect?  Will we eventually move toward stewardship not dominion?  Sometimes I question whether we have any choice in our lives but the attitude we choose.

Life is a bed of roses, truly, but with thorns; and so it seems that the appreciation of beauty is, not only, as Thoreau believed, a “moral test” but essential to life.  We all have trials, moments where the corruption in our justice system, political and social systems, or injustices and misfortunes on a more personal level seem to far outweigh the good in life … tests that promote a sort of pessimism and a cynicism that keeps us from appreciating the good that comes our way in each passing moment.

Anita S. TILLEMANS, Relator, v. PIERCE COMPANY OF MINNEAPOLIS, INC., and Mutual Insurance Corporation, n/k/a APCapitol, Respondents

(The above case was fought four long years and I include my comments at the above link.)

I truly believe that it is wise to find joy, no matter what may come your way; and that the greatest joys are shared.  It seems also true that beauty as it is, in the eye of the beholder, comes in many guises and needs an open mind and eyes wide open to see the truth.

Anita

My drawings, paintings and other work will be posted at: Arterutan Works

 

 

April 24, 2017

Clearing the land

April 24, 2017

International Falls Eagle Mural

April 24, 2017

Old Cabin

April 24, 2017

Swan and Mallards

April 24, 2017

Mille Lacs

April 23, 2017

Archived Work 2017

 

April 21, 2017

Some See Rainbows

some_see_rainbows_painting

Some See Rainbows    Acrylic on board    24″ X 48″      Anita S Tillemans

April 19, 2017

What harm could mining do in the watershed of the BWCA and headwaters of the Mississippi River?

In light of the ongoing process to permit the Polymet to mine copper in Babbitt with a processing center in Hoyt Lakes, I am reposting my article first published in November, 2012:

A view of Northern Minnesota as the battle rages for copper, sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area.

 

April 15, 2017

Vermilion Falls

April 15, 2017

Crab Apple Tree in Bloom

April 15, 2017

Big Tree

April 15, 2017

Picnic

April 15, 2017

Little Tree

April 15, 2017

Old Barn