Commentary on Robert DesJarlait's - Director, Protect Our Manoomin Letter To Rick Nolan

The primary concern of this letter would appear to be water quality in Minnesota and its potential affect on wild rice and gathering of it. Water quality is of importance and is being planned for with these mining projects. Mining by its nature uses a resource for the benefit of all of society. There are different strategies for maintaining water quality such as passive wetlands management with adequate sizing and active strategies such as reverse osmosis water treatment to meet wild rice water standards.

The GARD guide is a good reference for strategies.

Taken at face value this letter writer would appear to accept mining if water quality issues are addressed. One needs to read the letter more closely.

"They only understand value in a monetary sense." Does not mine supported educational funding for our school children and jobs for our citizens which provide a stable home environment and education for ALL of our children? I speak inclusively regarding tribal members who are employed in the mines and using resources in all of OUR(EVERYONE'S) schools to which we ALL attend and ALL pay. Education should be a priority to all and I promote this as much as anyone, white man or red man who all live in our collective community and attend collective schools.This is part of what goes to what is referred to in the letter as "whiteman's billing year".


Usufruct is a right of enjoyment, enabling a holder to derive profit or benefit from property that either is titled to another person or which is held in common ownership, as long as the property is not damaged or destroyed.

"However, the issue of ceded lands has been marginalized by the nonferrous mining corporations that seek to build mining districts within ceded lands."

Taken in another way, does not usufruct provide benefit to all with an improved economy, schools and jobs? It brings to mind the jobs which support the customers which visit the tribal casinos that provide more jobs. These benefits aren't money printed by the government or fall from the sky, they are mined to produce that benefit. If the water quality issues are met and addressed in the mine planning stage, will not wild rice harvesting and a way of life continue outside of these mining areas in the near term? Mining areas in the longer term can be reclaimed as evidenced by the Flambeau and other mining operations.

Fact Search Concerning The 1854 treaty on land use:

There is approximately 48,200 acreage of wild rice within the ceded lands of the 1854 and 1855 treaties.

The treaty ceded all of the Lake Superior Ojibwe lands to the United States in the Arrowhead Region of Northeastern Minnesota, in exchange for reservations for the Lake Superior Ojibwe in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. The signatory tribes retain hunting, fishing and gathering right within this region.

The PolyMet Project covers a total of 16,600 acres or 25.9 square miles comprising two areas: the NorthMet mine site totaling 4,200 acres or 6.5 square miles of leased mineral rights and the Erie plant site totaling 12,400 acres of freehold land located approximately six miles west of the mine site.

The Arrowhead Region is located in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of Minnesota, so called because of its pointed shape. The predominantly rural region encompasses 10,635.26 square miles (27,545.2 km2) of land area and comprises Carlton, Cook, Lake and Saint Louis Counties.

Total Arrowhead Region Acreage roughly covering the treaty area: 10635mi� = 6,806,400 acres

After all of that:

48,200 acres of wild rice producing area is 0.00705 per cent of this land total.

The Polymet Project will cover 16,600 acres which are 0.00243 of this land total.

The remainder of the Robert DesJarlait, Director, Protect Our Manoomin letter is a series of what ifs. Mining by its nature is a series of manageable risks. Potentially an asteroid could strike us tomorrow but the odds are pretty low. Anything could possibly happen, fortunately we can plan for mining possibilities with effective strategies.Environmental groups have concerns and that is a good thing. They serve a purpose as a watch dog of sorts. Where they are useful is in the planning stage of mining projects. The time of the 70's has passed for protests. Assuming that we have gotten better with environmental regulation and oversight and we have, the time has come to plan ahead. We all use the benefits of in today's society. To think otherwise is disregarding reality. He likely typed his letter on a computer derived from mining and precious metals. Good planning is where environmental efforts should be focused now instead of wishing they wouldn't happen. This nation has already voted for modern society with the products in which we purchase and use daily.

Looking at the remainder of the web site on which this is hosted reveals that it has a lot of information and some of it is very good and informational. It can be viewed here:

The links page has a very good listing of pro and anti mining websites. Other parts of the web site look like a copy and paste from your favorite environmental extremist site. The site visitor can determine their worth or lack thereof on their own. After reviewing the website, I think this gentleman has his mind made up that he is against mining of any kind. One can only hope for a balanced approach. Maybe this letter of his is a beginning towards a realization that we should work together if we hope to proceed effectively. Time will tell.