On a recent trip home to Minnesota to fish in the BWCA, I was heartened to see that little has changed in the wild northern lands where I hiked, hunted and fished when I was growing up. Somehow I hit the rare trifecta: few bugs, lots of sun, tons of fish!
Places like the Boundary Waters are what bring me back year after year. Unfortunately, if some have their way, such Minnesota gems may be ruined.
While much press has been given to the looming sulfide-mining proposals, alarmingly little attention has been given to an equally harmful proposal dubbed the "border bill" -- HR1505, which would give the Department of Homeland Security immunity to 36 federal environmental regulations ranging from the Wilderness Act to the Clean Water Act.
DHS would get authority to do virtually anything deemed necessary for national security on any federal land within 100 miles of the either federal border (nearly to Duluth). No one disputes the need to keep our borders safe. However, even DHS has argued that this proposal is unnecessary.
HR1505 threatens opportunities for truly wild northern Minnesotan hunting and fishing experiences, while stripping sportsmen of the right to speak up for many of the lands and waters on which they depend.
This Big Brother approach to "homeland security" seems more like an anti-conservation statement than a solution to a real problem.
TIM BRASS, BOULDER, COLO.
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