This week the governor issued a new emergency order EO 2020-99 in view of the recent significant increase in COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths. Bars & restaurants are restricted to takeout and deliveries only, most indoor and outdoor entertainment and sports event venues are closed. Families are urged to significantly restrict holiday gathers. More details can be found here.
Whether we agree or disagree on the merits of the latest emergency order, it’s critical that we remain focused on defeating COVID-19. We each can help by taking appropriate precautions such as wearing a mask, social distancing, proper hand-washing and avoiding high risk situations.
With the potential for vaccinations on horizon, I liken the next four weeks to the final minutes of a hard-fought football game. We have been on the field with no substitutions, we are tired, bruised, battered, and have lost many senior teammates.
However, we still have the football. The challenge is to move that ball across the goal line without any further missteps, penalties, injuries, or loss of teammates.
In other news, the Iron Range Delegation sent a letter and participated in a conference call with DNR Commissioner Strommen. We urged the commissioner to aggressively defend their authority to regulate nonferrous mining against a lawsuit that seeks to ban all nonferrous mining in the Rainy River Watershed.
The suit is aimed at stopping a Twin Metals project to mine copper, nickel and other precious minerals. The project is located within the watershed, but well outside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA).
The suit if successful threatens - several billion dollars of copper-nickel mineral reserves on State School Trust Lands. That would deny our children and public education significant future funding. The incessant effort to prohibit nonferrous mining could also ultimately impact Talon’s Tamarack Project in our area. Click here for a brief video with more.
All mining projects must be judged individually based on if that project can be done safely. This lawsuit would prevent even asking the question “can it be done safely?”
Next week, most of us will be celebrating Thanksgiving. Please do your best to protect your loved ones and stay focused on beating this pandemic. And please do what you can to help support our local businesses as many face tough times. You can expect to hear from me again after we make it through this important holiday next week.