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Reader's View: Don't trade public lands for copper mining

The News Tribune's April 17 editorial (Our View: "Smith agrees PolyMet land swap a great deal") completely ignored the ecological value of the portion of the Superior National Forest that would be surrendered in the land exchange with PolyMet.

Beginning the editorial with, "Regardless of copper-nickel mining," swept away the fact that PolyMet's open-pit mine would destroy habitat for endangered species, would threaten downstream communities, and would decimate lands that are now public and are rich in biodiversity.

These Superior National Forest lands have been determined to be essential for the conservation of the endangered Canada lynx and gray wolf, and state and federal agencies have found that these lands have "high biodiversity significance," with wetlands that qualify as "aquatic resources of national importance."

It is time to listen to local voices of opposition from those who live downstream rather than to the smooth talking points from outside corporations.

Libby Bent

Duluth

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