Economic study vs. mineral rights

The Gazette’s issue of April 18 has an interesting juxtaposition of articles: selling mineral rights of our/my public lands and the study of the economic value of tourism.

Do the “powers-that-be” get it? Dah! The economic article mentions as benefits: downhill skiing, dark skies, hiking, waterfalls, cross-country skiing, art, culture, history, daytrippers, overnight spending, jobs and tax revenue.

Not mentioned are trails: hiking, all-season biking, long-lasting snow for XC skiing, and water: our bubbling rivers, fishing, kayaking, canoeing, sailing and, importantly, access to the beaches and shoreline of our Superior Lake.

The article cites open-ended expressions for needs as being road quality, cell service, transportation and electric charges. Second to that was “…. ‘nothing’ from people who want to see the Keweenaw kept as it is.” The possibility of trails being blocked, of the Lake being poisoned and our public lands being torn up is totally opposite of what the study has shown as what our “economic benefits are.

Further, if we protect our lands and waters and use them well, they will last for generations; mining public lands is short-lived and ruinous.

Our Keweenaw history has shown us time and again that mining allows the corporations to take their money and run leaving the environmental damage for the rest of us to clean up.

The DNR and our corporations need to take heed of this economic study!

Janet Dalquist



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