Articles written by Dan Kraker

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Army Corps rules in favor of Band on Polymet plan

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has revoked a key permit for the proposed NorthMet copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota, formerly known as the PolyMet project. The Army Corps rescinded the permit, known as the Clean Water Act “Section 4...

 

After we cut them all down ... bringing back the white pine

In a forest several miles north of Grand Rapids, John Pastor places his hands on the trunk of a giant white pine, cranes back his neck and gazes up into its crown, a hundred feet above. “For me, I j...  Website

 
 By Dan Kraker    News    September 16, 2022

Northern Minnesota researchers close in on sulfate pollution solution

Outside the wastewater treatment plant in the Iron Range town of Aurora, a small trailer could hold clues to solving a big environmental problem facing northern Minnesota — how to protect wild rice from sulfate, a pollutant released by iron ore m...  Website

 

Fond du Lac Band celebrates return of sacred sites

Just over a century ago, a work crew dug up the remains of nearly 200 Ojibwe people from a burial ground at the end of Wisconsin Point, a long peninsula that juts out into Lake Superior across the water from Duluth. Among the exhumed was Chief Osaugi...  Website

 
 By Dan Kraker    News    July 22, 2022

Tribes sue EPA over new water quality standards

Two northern Minnesota Native American tribes have sued the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in a bid to reverse recent changes the state made to its water quality standards. The tribes argue the changes are likely to damage wild rice and...  Website

 

Chippewa Tribe members vote to eliminate blood quantum

Members of the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe have voted in a historic advisory referendum to eliminate a requirement that enrolled members must have 25 percent tribal blood. Out of nearly 7,800 ballots cast, 64 percent of voters said the “blood q...  Website

 

EPA: Mine permit is faulty

On the first day of a first-of-its-kind public hearing this week on the fate of a key permit for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recommended against...  Website

 

With ski season, another look at harmful waxes

With measurable snowfall coming to northern Minnesota the past week, cross country skiers are hitting the trails. And it’s a good bet that a majority of those skiers coat the bases of their skis in wax that contains per- and poly-fluoroalkyl s...  Website

 
 By Dan Kraker    People    December 3, 2021

Forest service has new tribal representative

For the first time, the Superior National Forest has a full-time tribal liaison. Juan Martinez coordinates communication between the national forest and the three Ojibwe bands in northeastern...

 

Highway signs mark treaty boundary

State transportation officials are posting 12 highway signs in northeastern Minnesota to mark the boundaries of a treaty signed in 1854 by the U.S. government and three Ojibwe bands: the Grand...  Website

 

Hospital space is running low

Hospital systems serving swaths of northeastern and northwestern Minnesota are struggling with the newest surge of Covid-19 cases and hospitalizations amid a shortage of health care staff and rising numbers of non-Covid patients. “We were running as...  Website

 

Why you should protect yourself from the smoky air

Minnesota's air quality has been exceptional for all the wrong reasons this week. On Thursday, an air quality monitor in Brainerd recorded the highest particulate reading ever recorded in the state, since the monitors were installed about 20 years...  Website

 

Polymet permit faces more scrutiny

A state court on Monday sent a key air emissions permit for the planned PolyMet copper-nickel mine back to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for further consideration and additional findings. The Minnesota Court of Appeals ruled that the MPCA...  Website

 

Court affirms Line 3 approvals based on oil demand

The Minnesota Court of Appeals handed a major victory to Enbridge Energy this week, affirming state utility regulators’ approval of the Canadian company’s Line 3 oil pipeline replacement project. A three-judge panel ruled 2 to 1 that there is sub...

 
 By Dan Kraker    COVID-19    May 14, 2021

Light is showing in Covid tunnel

For more than a year, Minnesota has been operating under some level of restrictions, thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. But soon, most of those restrictions will be lifted. Gov. Tim Walz last week unveiled a three-step process to remove most Covid-19... Full story

 
 By Dan Kraker    News    April 2, 2021

Band members navigate pipeline protests

In late February, Taysha Martineau walked out of the protest camp she built in a small patch of woods near her home on the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation and knelt in the middle of the road. Elders...  Website

 

Ruling allows pipeline work

A federal judge says Enbridge Energy can proceed with construction on its contentious Line 3 oil pipeline, less than a week after a state appellate court panel also denied a request from Minnesota tribes and environmental groups to temporarily block...  Website

 
 By Dan Kraker    News    January 1, 2021

Can it weather the storms?

Duluth's Lakewalk hugs several miles of the city's Lake Superior shore, from the Canal Park tourist district all the way to Brighton Beach. With its sweeping view of the lake and the city, the trail...  Website

 

Bars, restaurants to remain restricted

MPR News With COVID-19 cases moderating — but still high — across the state, and the first doses of a vaccine slowly rolling out, Gov. Tim Walz announced Wednesday he’s extending some of the restrictions on businesses and social gathering annou... Full story

 
 By Dan Kraker    News    June 12, 2020

Line 3 permits will get another look

State regulators agreed June 3 to hold an additional hearing on a key permit for the proposed Line 3 replacement project, a process that is expected to delay construction of the controversial oil pipeline by several months. The Minnesota Pollution...

 
 By Dan Kraker    News    March 27, 2020

Getting away up north? Not so fast

The Cook County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday unanimously approved a travel advisory at its meeting in Grand Marais, requesting that seasonal or second homeowners stay home for the time being....

 

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