Event seeks Range voices on sustainable future

Hill Annex State Park pit (PHOTO: McGhiever, Wikimedia Commons)

There aren’t many blogs about the Iron Range. You’re reading one of them. That means that if you google “Mesabi Iron Range” you find me.

With this cool but largely unprofitable fact comes great responsibility. For instance, people e-mail me and want to know why the Iron Range is the way it is, how it got that way and how it might be changing.

I tell them what I think. But I never feel I have all the answers. I can’t explain what everyone here thinks, or why they act the way they do. It’s just a story. We each have our own.

Truth is, I’m just easier to find online.

So with that, I had a conversation recently with Jamee Snyder, a graduate student at the University of Minnesota. She’s part of a cohort exploring sustainable development on the Iron Range.

This Wednesday, Dec. 5, from 1-3 p.m. this group will host a discussion at the Wilson Library Collaboration Space at the University of Minnesota. Entitled “Range Voices,” the program asks the question “What are the visions of the Iron Range?”

The agenda includes discussion of “the outlook on the Iron Range.” This includes, “The dynamics between livelihoods in the region and changing environmental policies leaving communities in transition.”

Several stakeholders will be in attendance on a panel. The group interviewed several people over the past few weeks and will share those thoughts. But they’re asking that anyone with Iron Range ties to come and take part in the talk as well.

So, if you’re a regular reader or just someone who found this place by accident, check it out.

If you want to go, RSVP to nurma009@umn.edu or call 612-618-0409.


  1. So they’re having a “Range Voices” event about the Iron Range’s future on a Wednesday afternoon in an obscure place in Minneapolis. What am I missing in this picture?

  2. Molly MacGregor says

    Right! I would definitely go to Hibbing, Eveleth or any place on the Iron Range! But middle of the day? Middle of the week? Organizer is clueless

    • It’s a grad school project. The public forum is part of their project, but it’s down there because they need their grad advisors to be there. They spent time up here gathering views. They can pay a small stipend for some of their interview subjects to come down. They asked if I would mention the event in hopes that someone would be down there, either for work or travel, or someone who moved down there. It’s not ideal, but they know that.

  3. The plans for the interstellar bypass that requires destroying Earth have been on public display for comment at the project office on Alpha Centauri 4 for three years. (Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy)

    I would think a public meeting here would be part of the project requirements. Who did they talk to, anyway?

    • I don’t know their list. They tried to get a cross-section of folks. The different “sides” of the mining debate along with just regular folks they could find in public places.

      • It’s important to note that this is not some decision making body, but rather a group of graduate students seeking to understand a place in the context of what they study in school. Participation benefits future decision makers in making informed decisions, that’s all.

  4. Jacob Knaffla says

    As someone who works and lives on the Iron Range I would love to be a part of future discussions, as this article was posted on Dec 3rd I am obviously unable to have my voice heard, in person at least. Please be more mindful in considering people’s schedules. Just because they are not a decision making body doesn’t mean what is discussed has no effect or is not passed on to governing bodies.

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