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Serving Northern St. Louis County, Minnesota

I can no longer trust Rick Nolan


As a life-long Democrat and one who has contributed to and voted for Congressman Nolan, it pains me to come to the conclusion that Nolan needs to go.  The issue has gone well beyond his all-out assault on the BWCA.  For those of us property owners who live in fear that constant mineral exploration in this region will destroy our property and all we care about, the debate over toxic mining is very real and critical to our wells, water, fishing spots, hunting shacks and way of life.  That being said,  the issue with Nolan has become as much about his lack of honesty and integrity.

 In his latest report to constituents, Nolan said:  “My Minnesota Republican colleague Tom Emmer and I also teamed up to pass an amendment to ensure the integrity of the environmental review process for any future mining projects that might take place in designated areas of Superior National Forest.”  The facts show that he has done the exact opposite of what he claims.  The truth is that Nolan collaborated with Emmer to defund the ongoing environmental review process of the effects of copper-nickel mining in the BWCA watershed so that it can proceed regardless of its effects on a national treasure.  His statement is deceptive at best, but more properly, a blatant lie.  All this despite his usual mantra: let science decide the issue of sulfide mining.

Further, Emmer, with whom Nolan has “collaborated,” has another bill that would force the government to renew mineral leases in the BWCA watershed.  It would also force the Forest Service to grant more mineral leases whenever requested on federal land and eliminate National Environmental Policy Act  review in the Superior and Chippewa national forests.  Emmer also wants to effectively eliminate the Antiquities Act, used since Teddy Roosevelt’s time to establish national monuments.  What this means is that mining, regardless of impact on  homes, lakes and rivers would be a matter of right on federal land anywhere; Lake Vermilion for example.  This is the environmental policy and “science” Nolan is so proud of.

 This was not news based on personal experience.  My wife attended a Nolan listening session, expressing concern about a mining exploration company trying to make a path over our property to gain access to state land to explore for hard minerals, despite being told they had no right to do so.  We own our mineral rights and do not want a toxic pit next to our farm.  After giving my wife industry lip service, Nolan’s representative proceeded to Orr, claiming, in front of people we know, that he had to deal with an organized protest in Cook, effectively calling my wife a liar.  When we called to ask about his collaboration with Emmer on various bills concerning the BWCA, his D.C. staff said he hadn’t seen the bill—the same bill he now touts as an accomplishment. 

 How can you trust anything from a person who purposefully deceives people on one issue so critical to this region?  This is something we should not tolerate regardless of political beliefs.

 If one is that uncomfortable with the truth, one needs to step aside for someone who will level with constituents rather than hang on for a paycheck and taxpayer-funded pension.  It is time for an independent progressive option to those who are not  beholden to big money.   

Kelly Dahl

Linden Grove Twp., Minn.


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  • Thank you, Mr. Dahl. Nolan is contemptuous of the constituents who actually sustain the life and economy of the Arrowhead. I first realized that Nolan was a hopeless mining industry shill In December 2014. I was one of about 50 people from Minnesota--mostly from the Arrowhead--who traveled to Washington DC to meet Amy and Dave Freeman when they finished their 101-day Paddle to DC (from the South Kawishiwi to the Potomac) to call attention to the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining in the Boundary Waters watershed. About 25 of us met with Nolan in his DC office. Arrowhead outfitters, guides, and resort owners told their personal stories and explained to Nolan the mortal danger to public lands and waters, and to their own businesses and livelihoods, if copper mining were allowed to proceed in the watershed. Nolan said nothing, except the usual pleasantries at the outset, during the entire 45 minutes or so he was with us--until the very end, after an aide stuck his head in the door and said that Nolan needed to go to another meeting. Instead of acknowledging the facts and concerns people presented to him, Nolan stood up, gave his best politician's phony smile, and said "I hope you will all support my efforts to get the Army out of the Middle East." Then he walked out the door.

    Friday, September 15, 2017 Report this

  • When a new mining proposal is put forth by either Twin Metals or another mining company in the Superior National Forest they will have to adhere to existing policies. The only thing Nolan and Emmers amendment will do is defund the preemptive and unwarranted study the Obama administration started. Nobody is being forced to grant more mineral leases. There is no EIS requested for the Chippewa National Forest for any current project. When talking about the Antiquities Act how about the fact that the elitist environmentalists wanted to use that to take away forever the Superior and Chippewa National Forests to any kind of development whether it be mining, logging etc. The Antiquities Act has been the most abused law as far as environmental reasons over the last 25 years. The law states to use the smallest acreage to preserve a monument. Taking millions of acres at a time does not meet that standard. Mineral leases would still be under control of either the state MNDNR or federal Govt. thru the BLM. Nobody would be forced to issue mineral leases.

    Saturday, September 16, 2017 Report this

  • Minnesota Miners (MM), whoever she/he/they are, should post under "Chilean Miners," because MM is nothing but a troll singing out of the Antofagasta hymnal. As far as I can tell, facts are things with which MM/Chilean Miners is entirely unacquainted. "Nobody is being forced to grant more mineral leases" is a hooter indeed. Antofagasta/Twin Metals has sued our federal government demanding precisely that--the issuance of mining leases for minerals owned by the people of the United States. The U.S. Department of Justice has pointed out that in the lawsuit Antofagasta claims a right to such leases in perpetuity--that is, forever. In addition to the Emmer/Nolan amendment that seeks to end the study and deprive the people of the United States of the right to have a say in what happens to the Boundary Waters and the rest of the SNF--which the people own--Emmer has introduced a bill that mandates issuance of mining leases to Antofagasta/Twin Metals and that removes the protections of several important federal laws from Minnesota's two National Forests. Really? Just give the shaft to the hunters, fishermen, hikers, berrypickers, and other National Forest users in Minnesota? As far as the claim that "elite environmentalists" wanted to use the Antiquities Act "to take away forever the Superior and Chippewa National Forests to any kind of development whether it be mining, logging etc.", I ask where's the evidence for that? I've been in the thick of the fight to protect the Boundary Waters since 2012 and I've never heard anyone make that proposal. Do you have names of those "elite environmentalists," MM/Chilean Miners? Who said it or wrote it? When? Where? The many people in the Arrowhead whose livelihoods depend on a healthy SNF and Boundary Waters, and the thousands of people whose real property values will go in the tank if copper mining happens in the Boundary Waters watershed, are either completely invisible to MM/Chilean Miners or are viewed by MM/Chilean Miners to be sacrificial and of no concern. These are real, identifiable people who contribute to the community consistently in one way or another--not some hypothetical person who may or may not get a job in a highly-automated, computer-controlled mine some untold number of years in the future.

    Saturday, September 16, 2017 Report this

  • You are correct that Twin Metals is trying to get their leases back in court. That is their right being that we do live in America. Its just like it is the right of the elitist preservationists to use the court system to throw every roadblock they can in the way of copper nickel mining in NE Minnesota. What about the little system that you use called sue and settle. Which is used to either get policy changed or money without even going to trial. So be careful about pointing your finger.

    In a email straight from the Friends of the Boundary Waters in a paragraph it states the intent to use the Antiquities Act to create national monuments out of both the Superior and Chippewa National Forests. Though you do state that is unlikely to happen with the current president. Rep. Emmer proposal puts the power of regulating withdrawals and national monuments in the hands of Congress where it should be. Congress is the voice of the people. That is why we elect them to represent us. This makes more sense than one person having control over federal lands. Email follows. I removed the recipients name.

    Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

    Dear ,

    We need your swift action today. Representative Tom Emmer is introducing a bill in Congress that:

    Reinstates the Twin Metals mineral leases on the edge of the Boundary Waters. The U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management denied the renewal of these leases because sulfide mining on the edge of the wilderness is too risky. The Emmer bill would reverse that decision.

    Does not allow a mineral withdrawal to protect the BWCA unless it is approved by Congress. The Secretary of the Interior has authority over mineral withdrawals and is currently considering one to protect the BWCA. Emmer's bill would take this authority away from the Secretary for the Superior and Chippewa National Forests.

    Rescinds the Antiquities Act (which allows the President to establish national monuments) for the Superior and Chippewa National Forests. Although the current president is unlikely to use this authority, the bill would rescind the authority for future presidents.

    Our federal representatives need to hear that this bill is unacceptable.

    Please take a moment to call your representative and ask him or her to actively oppose Tom Emmer's bill. (end email)

    Finally you have started showing your true colors as a progressive liberal. Instead of keeping this a respectful discussion about a topic that affects both of us you have resorted to childish name calling. It is hard to take someone serious when they bring themselves down to that level. I am sure that we are going to engage in further discussions next time don't stoop to juvenile name calling.

    Saturday, September 16, 2017 Report this

  • Let’s see . . .MM/Chilean Miners thinks it’s fine to resort to name-calling (“elitist preservationists” and “elitist environmentalists”) against those of us who seek to protect the Boundary Waters, but I’m supposedly guilty of “childish” and “juvenile name-calling” when I accurately describe MM/Chilean Miners as a “troll.” The Urban Dictionary notes that “Trolls spout gibberish in the hope that they’ll either bore or confuse to death those with whom they disagree.” That’s at least one way of looking at the consistent misrepresentations by MM/Chilean Miners and his/her/their complete ignorance or disregard of facts and his/her/their constant moving of the goalposts. Having written that “nobody is being forced to grant more mineral leases,” MM/Chilean Miners is now compelled to admit that Antofagasta is suing to force the government to grant mineral leases to it. Having written “that the elitist environmentalists wanted to use [the Antiquities Act] to take away forever the Superior and Chippewa National Forests to any kind of development whether it be mining, logging etc.,” MM/Chilean Miners attempts to justify its falsehood by quoting a letter that says no such thing—the letter from the Friends of the Boundary Waters (of which I am not a member and have not been a member for years) only accurately points out that Emmer’s bill would block a future president from creating a national monument in Minnesota’s National Forests. Those who claim that they want a respectful debate completely undermine the concept when their arguments consist of a steady stream of misrepresentation and dissembling.

    Sunday, September 17, 2017 Report this

  • Gee, Reid, what is it you have against the people of Chile? Your comments seem rather racist to me!

    Sunday, September 17, 2017 Report this

  • lakegma troll, do you have even the foggiest notion of the multiple ethnicities of the people of Chile? Race, ethnicity, and the like are irrelevant. Misrepresentation and other dishonesty are extremely relevant. Lying Minnesotans are as bad as lying Chileans. I can't fathom the nature of a person who anonymously accuses someone of racism. Why don't you have the courage and character to post under your own name?

    Sunday, September 17, 2017 Report this

  • Lee Peterson

    These folks or organizations who write most of the unsigned comments don't have enough pride in what they write to honor it with their own names. It shows a type of character, for sure.

    Tuesday, September 26, 2017 Report this