Suit Filed in Federal Court to Overturn Forest Service Decision on Land Exchange with PolyMet
ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA), the Center for Biological Diversity, and the W.J. McCabe Chapter of the Izaak Walton League filed suit in federal court on Monday, March 27, to overturn the U.S. Forest Service’s decision to approve a land exchange with PolyMet Mining.
According to the suit filed, the Forest Service instructed its appraiser to ignore the proposed use of nearly 7,000 acres of Superior National Forest land for PolyMet’s proposed copper-nickel mine when calculating its value, which has been calculated at $550 per acre.
“$550 per acre is a fraction of the value this land has for PolyMet’s mine proposal. Taxpayers deserve fair treatment, not this sweetheart deal for PolyMet,” stated executive director of MCEA, Kathryn Hoffman.
It is required by federal law that appraisals must reflect the “highest and best use” of public land when determining fair market value.
The land exchange has faced scrutiny, as the land being acquired would contain thousands of acres of wetlands in the headwaters of the St. Louis River.