Last spring, representative Chip Cravaack introduced federal legislation to exchange 86,000 acres of state lands embedded inside the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for an equal amount of federal land outside the wilderness.
The lands inside the wilderness are tied to the Permanent School Fund, and money earned through school trust lands must be used to benefit the fund. Politicians in support of Cravaack’s Education Investment and Employment Act believe the land exchange would make it possible to generate more funding for education and job growth.
Early this month, the House Committee on Natural Resources voted to send the bill to the House of Representatives for formal consideration (read the Northland News Center article HERE). Opponents of the bill believe it will open up northern Minnesota to mining in the name of school children, and several editorials both for and against the land exchange have been hitting statewide press.
To read up on both perspectives, check out these editorials:
You can track the status of this bill on GovTrack.us, HERE.