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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Dale Lueck (R)

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Legislative report

Friday, July 26, 2019

Dear Neighbor,

On Tuesday the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area Advisory Council held its quarterly meeting. We received an update on the progress of requiring state park vehicle permits for use of the CCSRA.

Vehicle permits are standard practice for accessing state parks and rec areas. Over the years enforcement has not been a priority at CCSRA. Recently appropriate signage has been posted indicating that a vehicle permit or day pass is now required to access CCSRA via vehicle.

Over 200 state park permits were sold just over the 4th of July holiday. Vehicle permits can be purchased at the DNR office, online at this link or any of our six self-service kiosks. Locations for those kiosks that are now in place at the following locations:

  • Yawkey Unit Parking Lot
  • Portsmouth Campground       
  • Portsmouth Boat Access        
  • Miners Mountain Rally Center
  • Mahnomen Unit West, entrance off County Road 128
  • Sagamore Boat Access

The council also discussed the long term status of the Croft Historical Mine Park. The question as to whether it’s possible to transfer ownership of that site to another government entity came up. DNR staff will examine that question. The short answer is probably yes, the staff will report back to the council on the details.

The Croft Historical Park has had a variety of owners since its inception back in the 1970s. The IRRRB initially purchased the 18 acres site in 1978. A joint powers board operated the facility for some years, however that joint powers board no longer exists. The question today is, what is next for that facility?

Thursday,I visited the PolyMet copper-nickel mining project and Cleveland Cliffs Northshore Taconite Plant and Ore Dock at Silver Bay. Both DNR Commissioner Sara Strommen and MPCA Commissioner Laura Bishop, along with senior staff from both agencies were part of our group. We received status updates from the project managers at these two facilities.

This week an exclusively DFL group of metro legislators challenged the 14-year long permitting process in a letter to Gov. Walz. They asked Gov. Walz to take back or suspend the already approved permits. I joined a bipartisan group of northeastern Minnesota legislators that responded to the unfounded claims made by that group. The joint press release can be found here. The PolyMet project has met all the state and federal permitting requirements; it’s time to move forward.



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