Public Scoping for Proposed Withdrawal of Federal Minerals in Rainy River Watershed

U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management will conduct

DULUTH, Minn. – Today, January 13, 2017, the U.S. Forest Service published a notice of intent (NOI) in the Federal Register to prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to study the proposed 20-year withdrawal of federal minerals on the Superior National Forest within the Rainy River Watershed.

An EIS is a document that is required by the National Environmental Policy Act that describes the positive and negative environmental effects of a proposed action. On Monday, January 9, 2017, the U.S. Forest Service and PolyMet Mining signed a land exchange deal for over 6,500 acres of land in the Superior National Service.

The EIS will support an amendment to the Superior National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan.

The NOI identifies the Forest Service as the lead agency for the EIS analysis under the National Environmental Policy Act and initiates a 90-day scoping period to gather public input on the proposed withdrawal. This proposed public scoping is based on the January 5, 2017 Forest Service application to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and their requested for withdrawal of 234,328 acres of National Forest System (NFS) land on the Superior National Forest, for a 20-year term.

The Federal lands requested for withdrawal are located within the Rainy River watershed and drain into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

A copy of the NOI and other information can be found on the Superior National Forest website:

The Forest Service and BLM will hold a public meeting on March 16, 2017 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. at the Duluth Entertainment and Convention Center. Additional meetings on the proposed withdrawal will be held in various regions of the state, during the 90 day period.

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