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HF 2404

as introduced - 92nd Legislature (2021 - 2022) Posted on 05/12/2021 04:54pm

KEY: stricken = removed, old language.
underscored = added, new language.

Bill Text Versions

Engrossments
Introduction Posted on 03/25/2021

Current Version - as introduced

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A bill for an act
relating to natural resources; modifying Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness
mining restrictions; amending Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 84.523.

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MINNESOTA:

Section 1.

Minnesota Statutes 2020, section 84.523, is amended to read:


84.523 BWCA; MANAGING MINERALS AND RELATED RESOURCES.

Subdivision 1.

Definition.

new text begin(a) new text endFor the purposes of this section, the deleted text begintermdeleted text endnew text begin following terms
have the meanings given them.
new text end

new text begin (b)new text end "Boundary Waters Canoe Areanew text begin Wildernessnew text end" means that area of lands and waters
included within the boundaries designated in deleted text beginfederal regulation REG U-3, Code of Federal
Regulations, title 36, section 293.16, as that regulation provided on January 1, 1975.
deleted text endnew text begin Public
Law 95-495.
new text end

new text begin (c) "Rainy River headwaters" means that area of land and waters included within the
Rainy River headwaters of the Rainy River basin designated on the Minnesota Department
of Natural Resources map entitled Minnesota's Watershed Basins as identified in Minnesota
Rules, part 7050.0470, subpart 2, item A, subitem (1), and designated on the map of
Minnesota's Major Watersheds under Minnesota Rules, part 7050.0469, (HUC 09030001).
new text end

Subd. 2.

Intent.

The legislature finds that a combination of state legislative and
administrative actions and court decisions have established a public policy of primarily
wilderness management for state lands and waters within the Boundary Waters Canoe Areanew text begin
Wilderness
new text end. This state policy, together with a similar federal policy and international actions
consistent with these state and federal policies, has created an area of hundreds of thousands
of acres of land and water containing myriad lakes and streams, wooded shores, virgin
forests, and other natural attractions of surpassing scenic beauty and solitude, free from
substantially all commercial activities and artificial development such as hydroelectric dams
and power lines, resorts, roads, sawmills, and timber harvesting in no-cut zones.

Subd. 3.

Mining; prohibition.

Except with the prior approval of the legislature in those
cases of national emergency which have been declared by the Congress and which direct
the need for exploration and mining of federal lands within the Boundary Waters Canoe
Areanew text begin Wilderness or the Rainy River headwatersnew text end, and after an investigation and determination
by the commissioner of natural resources pursuant to subdivision 5 no state-owned or
administered land may be leased for exploration or mining of minerals, and no state permits,
licenses or leases shall be issued to use any other state natural resources for any mineral
exploration or mining operations in the Boundary Waters Canoe Areanew text begin Wilderness and the
Rainy River headwaters. Mining for taconite or iron ore, sand, gravel, and granite may be
allowed on state-owned or administered land in the Rainy River headwaters if the
commissioner of natural resources determines that the mining will not be detrimental to the
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
new text end.

Subd. 4.

Peat harvesting; prohibition.

Except with prior approval of the legislature in
those cases of national emergency which have been declared by the Congress and which
direct the need for exploitation of peat deposits on federal land within the Boundary Waters
Canoe Areanew text begin Wildernessnew text end, and after an investigation and determination by the commissioner
of natural resources pursuant to subdivision 5 no state-owned or administered land may be
leased for the purpose of harvesting peat, and no state permits, licenses or leases shall be
issued to use any other state natural resources for the purpose of harvesting peat in the
Boundary Waters Canoe Areanew text begin Wildernessnew text end.

Subd. 5.

Investigation and determination.

In the event of a national emergency declared
by Congress which requires, for the protection of national interests, exploitation of natural
resources of the type found in the Boundary Waters Canoe Areanew text begin Wilderness or the Rainy
River headwaters
new text end, the commissioner of natural resources shall investigate and determine if
there are reasonable alternative methods for providing the needed resources. If the
investigation shows there are reasonable alternatives to exploitation of natural resources in
the area, no permit for development shall be issued. If the commissioner of natural resources
determines there is a need to provide resources from within the Boundary Waters Canoe
Areanew text begin Wildernessnew text end, and that there is no reasonable alternative available to meet the need, a
permit may be issued upon approval by the state legislature.

Subd. 6.

State-owned lands.

Acquired lands owned by the state within the Boundary
Waters Canoe Areanew text begin Wildernessnew text end defined in subdivision 1 are designated as state wilderness
areas under section 86A.05, subdivision 6.