Petitions – delivered by dogsled

Frank Moe is on an Ely-to-Grand Marais-to St. Paul dog sled run to hand-deliver petitions in support of clean water to the Capitol.

I don’t usually write much about winter, although it really has become a favorite season after more than a decade in Duluth.

For the last week or so, though, it seems as though we’ve had an outbreak of “only in the Northland” stories. Today brought another one.

There’s been an ongoing dispute about opening copper-nickel mines in Northern Minnesota. On the one hand, they would bring needed jobs and income. On the other hand, the chemicals used in the new methods have the potential to bring about a lot of harm to the environment – and thus to the livelihood of lodge and tourist business owners.  There have been hearings and educational meetings, rallies and petitions.  All of that is politics-as-usual.

The groups opposing the sulfide-mining proposals had to get their thousands of petition signatures down to St. Paul, where the Legislature is now in session.  They could have hopped in a car, zipped down to Duluth and onto I-35 to get there in a few hours.  But they’re Northlanders, and outdoors-people at that.  Instead, they hopped on their dogsleds in various towns up North, mushed to Finland and the on to Duluth.  They set out again this morning, and will get to St. Paul later this week.

I don’t know if the guards will allow the sled dogs into the building, but I’m sure they’ll draw plenty of attention outside the Capitol – and people will definitely know that life really IS different up in the Northland.

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About Sister Edith

Benedictine sister of St. Scholastica Monastery, Duluth, Minnesota
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