My micro-mining argument in The Daily Yonder

Above pipestone falls, on Newton Lake,  in the BWCAW.

Above pipestone falls, on Newton Lake, in the BWCAW.

I’m in the Daily Yonder today talking about the microscopic realities of the mining debate in northern Minnesota.

Here’s a taste from my story “Tiny molecules, big fight over wild rice”:

The reason for all these emotions over tiny molecules isn’t because of numbers, or even, for most people, science: it’s a cultural battle. Will the Iron Range continue to be a mining region, or will it reckon with the fact it will need to become something else, some day?

We live in a world that needs metal and wild rice, for reasons both practical and spiritual. Where in this world do the people of the Iron Range fit in?

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow. Maybe iron. Maybe copper. But the “big ask” is coming. A huge push to relax the wild rice standard and increase the tiny amounts of sulfates in the water will come. We’re going to have to arrive at a number. And it would be reasonable to assume that most of the debate will be based on deeply held cultural, economic and emotional arguments, not science.

You can read the rest here. I’m honored to be an occasional contributor to the Daily Yonder, a national rural issues online publication based in Kentucky. You can read my other Daily Yonder pieces here.

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