Frank Moe arrived at the steps of the State Capitol today after a 350-mile sled dog voyage that started in Grand Marais to raise awareness about sulfide mining pollution.
"Well, we did it. After eight days and 350 miles on the trail, I pulled up to the steps of the state capitol this morning just as Larry Long was playing his newest song, Generations 2 Come, which he wrote specifically about this issue and this trip. As a shameless plug for my good friend Larry, you can listen to the song on his website.
These multi-national mining corporations are preying on us in northern Minnesota because they know we are desperate for an economic kick start and more jobs. They were probably also hoping that a guy like me wouldn't hop on his dog sled and shine a spotlight on the strings that are attached to the proposals they are offering. In every other place that these companies have tried to do this sort of mining, they have done extensive harm to the environment, and without fail, they have snuck out of town before the bill arrives for the cleanup. They create shell corporations to run the mines, and conveniently go bankrupt before the state can recover any of the costs of cleanup. One of the companies with a proposal has hired the BP executive who was at the helm in 2010 when oil started spewing into the Gulf of Mexico to be their safety and environmental consultant. Another has hired the company charged with safety inspections on the 35W and Martin Sabo pedestrian bridges at the time of their collapse. It would be funny if it weren't so truly scary.
There were hundreds of people waiting and cheering on the capitol steps when I arrived, and from the podium, I renewed my promise to march inside to the Governor's office and personally deliver the petitions to Governor Dayton. As soon as I arrived, his staff offered to take the petitions to him, but I declined their kind offer, so that I could keep my promise to deliver them to the Governor myself. A short time later, the governor came out, warmly greeted me, and accepted the signatures of the 13,000 Minnesotans who joined our campaign against sulfide mining.
Our fight against sulfide mining can not end today. I plan to head back north this afternoon, and after a hot shower, a warm meal and a good night's sleep, I'm going to get back to work finding new and more ingenious ways to convince the state not to accept the terrible offer the mining companies are making to the residents of Minnesota.
Thanks to everyone who helped support this trip along the way. The dogs and I had an amazing time, and through all the public events, trailside chats and media attention, I know that our voice on this issue has been heard loud and clear. Now we need to make sure that our elected officials take our message to heart. Our future prosperity depends on it."
See more pictures from Frank's Trip on Conservation Minnesota's Facebook Page.