Carron forgets his history in complaint over land exchange

July 24, 1980. Judge Miles Lord has ruled on three cases that have come before him.

Plaintiffs include the National Association of Property Owners, the Boundary Waters Alliance, the Ely Chamber of Commerce, the Lac La Croix Indian Band, Koochiching County, the State of Minnesota and others.

The defendants were the Secretary of Agriculture, the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, the Sierra Club, Izaak Walton League and others.

One of the cases asked if the federal government has the right to place regulations on property it does not own and also asks if the 1978 law violates the Webster-Ashburton Treaty of 1842. One case claimed that the law discriminates against disabled individuals. And the third case stated that the 1978 BWCAW law did not go through then National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) before the law was enacted.

Sitting in the court room as an attorney for the Sierra Club during the hearings were Reid Carron along with his wife Becky Rom.

Miles Lord ruled against the plaintiffs in all three cases, stating in the third case that “First, the Secretary’s function as the Administrator of the Act and the actions which his Department engages in through the implementation of the new Act are not “major federal actions” within the meaning of § 102(2)(C).” And even if it were “the court noted that the main purpose of an EIS is to help the federal agency involved to make an appropriate decision on an agency project. In the BWCAW Act case, the Congress wrote and passed the Act congressionally—it was not an agency decision. Therefore, while the Secretary must enforce the congressional Act, he had no ability to change it. As a result, preparation of an EIS was not applicable.”

Fast forward 32 years to 2012. Now Mr. Carron is crying foul because HR 5544 does not use NEPA for this proposed land exchange. Well, HR 5544 is not a Department of Agriculture decision, it is a congressional act and Reid should know this considering his involvement in the 1980 court cases.

In fact, HR 5544 specifically states that this act “is not a major federal action,” thereby covering any possible lawsuits which might come about due to this law passing.

Reid goes on to complain that the counties lose money under the Thye-Blatnink Act. Thye-Blatnik payments are based on an appraisal of the lands in the wilderness, yet the USFS testified in the Natural Resources Committee hearing that it would take up to four years to appraise the state land. So how have the counties actually been compensated for the last 34 years?

Carron also claims that this bill is not about the kids. If this bill is not about the kids, then why did Grace Keliher of the Minnesota School Board Assoc. testify in favor of it? She testified because she was part of the working group (including Betsy Daub of the “Friends”) that sought to work out an exchange with the USFS and after two years she “grew to believe it was virtually impossible.”

In September of 2010, the Superior National Forest exchanged 3,619 acres of Forest Service land outside of the BWCAW for 2,854 acres of Lake County land that was locked up in the wilderness area. Where was the uproar??? Reid and his “friends” did not even comment on the Rifle Land Exchange.

The School Trust Fund lands were created to generate revenue for our schools. This was not actually a giveaway by the federal government, as the states had to give up the right to tax federal lands in exchange for these acres. Now it is the federal government that has locked up Minnesota lands so that they cannot generate revenue for the school trust as they were intended to do.

Tom Rukavina outed Reid Carron’s true reason for opposing HR 5544 and now Carron calls it “yelling.” Really? Guess the truth hurts. Reid and his “friends” have had a hay day over the years suing the feds over snowmobile trails, timber sales, roads, portages, and a cell tower. Anything that might benefit the “sherpas” of NE Minnesota has been opposed by Reid and his “friends.” They can’t do that with state lands and that’s the real reason for the opposition.

Reid and his “friends” have a need to stir up controversy regarding the BWCAW because without that controversy, there would be no reason for their organizations to exist. And by the way, sherpas are the ones who carry the heavy equipment up to the top of the mountain for the convenience of those climbers that get credit for the ascent. They are the ones who will carry a dead body down from the peak if it is a paying climber who has succumbed while having to leave fellow sherpa corpses on the mountain (Google “what does a Sherpa do?” and read the ABC interview of 2003 or the National Geographic article of May 2010). They may be noble people (and what human being isn’t), but the fact is that they are the forgotten when it comes to those with the funds to hire them.

Tommy wasn’t degrading hard work, he was just pointing out the fact that maybe those of us living in NE Minnesota would someday like to be the paying climber and that not all of us should be pouring coffee and folding t-shirts for the rest of our lives for tourists.

Finally, Reid, you’ve gotta stop relying on Wikipedia for your info. It’s not a reliable source (and we in NE Minnesota know that).

I urge all to contact our senators to get going on a companion bill for HR 5544.

Mary Tome

Fall Lake Township, Minn.

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15 comments on this item

I've already contacted Klobuchar's office in Virginia and advised the companion bill needs to be submitted using the identical language contained in the house bi-partisan bill. Each person contacting her office should use the same conditions. I'll let her try to hit the mule Al Franken between the eyes on this issue.

Mary, as long as you decided to give us all a history lesson according to the book of Tome why not include the most important piece of the school trust past, instead of conveniently ignoring it? There would be no controversy today and the School Trust Fund would have benefitted enormously years ago, plus the money it received would have been invested for the past fourteen years, if certain Iron Range politicians had not stopped a full buyout of BWCAW school trust lands in 1997. The buyout was essentially a done deal, supported by the entire federal ten member Minnesota Congressional Delegation. If this issue were about the children, the buy out would have happened in 1997. If this issue were about the children, a buy out would happen today, instead of speculating with our children’s future by advocating for a land exchange that would first and foremost benefit toxic sulfide mining. Corporations are using our children as bait, and you are helping them.

cama: You miss the point. We want the state land within the BWCA exhanged for federal land outside the BWCA that can provide revenue for the schools, while at the same time reducing the amount of land the feds control in northeastern Minnesota. Perhaps if you would agree to allowing snowmobiles and outboard motors back into the BWCA, we could work something out. But your objectives are clear...put more land into federal hands and in control of the anti-logging, anti-snowmobile, anti-outboard motors (Sierra Club and their umbrella of environmental wackos).

Corporations aren't a part of this equation. It's all about local people wanting more freedom to use their land without harassment by Sierra Club activists. The federal government does not need more land in northeastern Minnesota. In state hands, we stand a better chance of protecting our culture and way of life. And yes that includes education.

orrcountry: I do not belong to the Sierra Club. My objective is for the children of Minnesota to get as much money as possible for their School Trust Fund. A full buy out is the most lucrative, non-speculative, investment for our children. It will also not damage their health, as mining corporations are doing every day they do not meet air and water quality standards.

cama: If you oppose sulfide mining (copper-nickel mining), then do so. That is your right.

This issue is not about mining, it is a land exchange that should have been dealt with 34 years ago. Our position is clear...we do not want more federally controlled land in northeastern Minnesota. We have enough already. We do not want our money (and yours too) spent to acquire the state land in the BWCA. When some people in this country establish what I call fake wilderness areas owned by all of us, but limited to use by some of you (not us), I get passionate.

Tom Rukavina would never allow our waters to be spoiled. Ask any mining big shot who they fear the most as a legislator, and Tom Rukavina's name heads the top of the list. Cravaack and Rukavina working together on this measure just proves bi-partisanship is possible in this country.

orrcountry: If you were making a point by putting copper-nickel mining in parenthesis, I am aware that the industry uses the term copper-nickel, or the even more benign sounding non-ferrous mining. Sulfide mining is just as appropriate. The sulfide bearing rock of the Duluth Complex is problematic. Sulfide mining is not iron mining (that meets standards). Tom Rukavina has allowed our waters to be spoiled for decades. The taconite mines cannot or will not meet air and water quality standards. Sulfates from these mines are the trigger for methylmercury production that ultimately impacts our children. Rukavina wants the sulfate standard weakened so mines can meet it. There are water wells in (at least) one mining area that are contaminated with severely elevated levels of manganese. What do you think a neurotoxin does to children? In the quest to show the federal government or anyone else who is boss, our children are being sacrificed. School Trust and Health Trust. They both matter.

Cama, perhaps you miss the point. Orrcountry simply wants to go putt putting in the wilderness areas. Simple as that. Considers it to be his right ... which is kinda where the idea came from

jt: Cama can take up the issue with Ruk. Your reference to me singularly proves how infantile your line of thinking can be when you can't support your hypothesis in theory. Once again...and always I am sure.

I need only go a few steps above to prove it ... plus your comments on related articles. Or did you have something else in mind with "When some people in this country establish what I call fake wilderness areas owned by all of us, but limited to use by some of you (not us), I get passionate."

I am certain many senior citizens who had hoped they could enjoy their retirement fishing and berry picking in the BWCA, but have been disenfranchised by the wealthy Sierra Clubbers and equally insensitive persons like yourself, would have plenty to tell you in person. Most are not computer literate, but I'll be sure to share your thoughts with them for their consideration. You are shameless, jt.

Perhaps shameless ... but yet so accurate in my shots. Now you just relax as you fret over not being able to shamelessly (oh, that word again) go putt putting thru the infamous "fake" wilderness ... is this the same as the other fake situations that other folks who don't seem to like a situation identify?

Re-read Mary's letter. I only wish Marshall would have published Ruk's responses to Carron. Anyway, back to you. It's just like the bully you are to discriminate against and pick on vulnerable adults (senior citizens) many of which live on Lake Vermilion that had hoped once they retired, they could take their snowmobile and go up to Trout Lake to enjoy a day of trout fishing with their retired buddies and making coffee and boiling polish sausage over an open fire. Thanks for your care and concern for the elderly.

Where in the world do you come up with this tripe? I am a vulnerable adult ... I am a senior citizen. I do have property on Lake Vermilion. Not into snowmobiles, but enjoy fishing, including into wilderness areas.

But I would opt to do so based on the needs and rules of society ... not just because you want to wander up there with no limitations. What in the world of common sense did you think they intended when they made it a wilderness area ... a place for orrcountry to do whatever he pleased?

This elderly concerned citizen considers carefully the needs and wants not only of my fellow old timers, but all the citizenry ... not just one old coot. Maybe go sizzle your oolish sausage up by your namesake town or something.

(posted shamelessly by a retired, vulnerable, senior citizen ... shamelessly.)

Shucks. I thought I was talking like a liberal. Seems there is no language you can understand or agree with correctly. Piece of work!

"Agree with correctly"? Now there is a phrase for the ages (not to be confused with "the aged"). How does one "agree correctly" ... or incorrectly if that is the case?

Or is that the work of which you speak?

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