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

Lake Saganaga

saganagaw_mn_side

The deepest and largest lake in Minnesota’s BWCA, Lake Saganaga, lies on the Canadian border and is protected by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota, Quetico Provincial Park and Verendrye Provincial Park in Ontario.  At a depth of 280 feet with a surface area of 13,832 acres, this lake lies in Cook County of the Rainy River Watershed and the Hudson Bay Drainage Basin.

The highly sensitive environments of both this drainage basin in the watershed of the Rainy River and the Lake Superior Drainage basin in the watershed of the St Louis River are under threat of copper mining. Deposits lie along the boundary of the BWCA and in the area of Babbitt where Polymet proposes its NorthMet Project (copper mine).

Exploratory drill sites are already in operation along the southern boundary of the BWCA, in Birch Lake, and surrounding Birch Lake and the Kawishiwi River.  These waterways are part of the Rainy River Watershed and share their waters with the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area.

For more information:

Friends of the Boundary Wates on sulfide mining

Watersheds-in-NE-Mining-Footprint-March-2011