ST. PAUL, Minn – Senator David Tomassoni (DFL-Chisholm) issued a call for “Iron Rangers who support good jobs and our way of life,” to protest the U.S. Forest Service decision to withdraw hundreds of thousands of acres of land from mineral exploration. Sen. Tomassoni said, “A public meeting on Thursday, March 16, at 3:30-7:30 p.m. at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center will be our chance to show our communities are united and committed to creating new industries in a sustainable manner in Northeastern Minnesota.”
“Thursday’s meeting and planned rally is a signal to the U.S. Forest Service and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management that Iron Rangers won’t sit idly by as the federal government attempts to withdraw the lifeblood of the people of northern Minnesota. The proposal to withdraw this land from mineral exploration and mining development will kill off real economic development and the minerals our country needs for its economic growth and national defense,” Tomassoni said.
“Not only does this land have the potential to create thousands of jobs and opportunity for our citizens, it also encompasses 190,000 acres of state, county and private lands that contain billions of dollars of mineral royalties that belong to Minnesota residents. On top of that – 92,000 acres are state school trust lands that help provide critical funds to our K-12 school system. I urge the federal government to allow exploration to continue — please don’t withdraw this land, it’s essential for the continued strength of northern Minnesota communities and families,” said Tomassoni.
“Exploration and the scientific development of new technologies have always been part of the American way — it’s how our country has grown economically, and it’s how our country has developed the best environmental practices in the world while promoting good jobs for our people,” Tomassoni added. “The arbitrary withdrawal of hundreds of thousands of acres from exploration for no reasonable scientific reason is unfair to our people, our region, and America’s national interests.”
The rally to support this cause will be followed by a public meeting at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center on March 16; the events will run from 3:30-7:30 p.m. The public is invited to submit written and oral comments in opposition to the land withdrawal. Community leaders will expound on the importance of mining to the region and the premature actions of the Federal Forest Service.