U.S. Representative-elect Rick Nolan may have gone on record saying the BWCAW Land Swap probably wouldn’t see traction this year, but this month the St. Louis County Board passed a resolution in favor of the swap anyway.
According to an article on Northland’s Newscenter, the board voted 5 to 1 in support of the state law passed this year to swap 86,000 acres of state-owned land in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for federal lands outside of it. The swap opens up new land to uses like mining and timber harvesting in order to raise funds for schools.
A similar bill passed at the federal level, but according to an article in the Duluth News Tribune, that bill is expected to move slowly in 2013 as it goes through a series of public hearings and input. The board prefers the state law over the federal bill because the latter would withhold nearly $1 million in special payments from area counties.