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84.523 BWCA; MANAGEMENT OF MINERALS AND RELATED RESOURCES.
    Subdivision 1. Definition. For the purposes of this section, the term "Boundary Waters
Canoe Area" means that area of lands and waters included within the boundaries designated
in federal regulation REG U-3, Code of Federal Regulations, title 36, section 293.16, as that
regulation provided on January 1, 1975.
    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 Area. 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 Area, 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 Area.
    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 Area, 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 Area.
    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 Area, 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
Area, 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 Area defined in subdivision 1 are designated as state wilderness areas under section
86A.05, subdivision 6.
History: 1976 c 322 s 1; 1Sp2003 c 13 s 1