Editorial: First of three meetings on land withdrawal Wednesday

A 20-year ban on mineral leasing will be the topic Wednesday in the first of three online public meetings held by the Bureau of Land Management and United States Forest Service.
If approved the feds would withdraw 225,378 acres on the Superior National Forest from mineral exploration and mining development – proposals that could cripple the future economies and communities of northeast Minnesota.
Make no doubt about it, this is to kill projects like Twin Metals Minnesota is proposing and make sure there are no other projects or even exploration activities. It’s a harsh, draconian move that is only being considered because of who sits in the Oval Office.
A 90-day public comment period will end on Jan. 19. Those comments will be used as part of the the USFS environmental assessment.
Virtual public meetings will be held via Zoom on:
• Wednesday, January 12, 1-4 p.m.
• Saturday, January 15, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
• Tuesday, January 18, from 5-8 p.m.
You can find links to the Zoom meetings on the Superior National Forest website.
Make no doubt about it, this is a big deal. While the meetings themselves will likely be a rehash of past discussions, the idea of killing off mining for 20 years is no joke.
Now is the time to have your voice heard.