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Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, May 6, 2003

Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

URGE REPS TO OPPOSE AUCTIONING BWCAW PARCELS

Last week, State Rep. David Dill offered an amendment to sell at public auction four, 40-acre parcels of state school trust land in the BWCAW. Although the amendment was withdrawn, it will likely be offered again on another bill.

It is essential that you contact your state representative today to ask him or her to oppose a dismantling of the wilderness by selling parcels at public auction. When contacting your state representative, use the following points:

1) The BWCAW is an internationally-renown wilderness treasure of immense value. More than 200,000 people visit the BWCAW each year; the majority of these visitors are Minnesotans who will not support this amendment.

2) Any land transaction with the federal government will require an appraisal that conforms to federal appraisal standards. Attempts to determine land value through a public auction process, rather than a federal appraisal process, do nothing to resolve the issue of the BWCAW school trust land.

3) A better option for dealing with the BWCAW school trust land is to identify a range of management options and to assess the costs and benefits of those options so that the State of Minnesota can act from an informed position. Such an analysis is supported by the Cook County School Board.

To find your state representative and his or her contact information, visit http://maps.commissions.leg.state.mn.us/website/districts/. You may also consider contacting Reps. Tom Huntley and Jim Abeler, both of whom offered counter amendments during last week’s debate and should be thanked for their leadership in protecting the integrity of the BWCAW.

 

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