The Honorable Mark Dayton
Minnesota State Governor
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155
I am writing in support of jobs, the future of our iron mining industry, and the economic well-being of Minnesota communities. Please help us bring the 10-year wild rice sulfate rulemaking process to a resolution.
The legislature has weighed in to move the state on the right path toward a balanced approach to protecting long-standing Minnesota businesses and our communities while maintaining (improving) the state's wild rice habitat. The existing obsolete sulfate standard was enacted based on field observations from the 1940s. It has never been enforced, yet wild rice continues to grow. Enforcing the outdated standard would not improve wild rice growth and would instead have devastating impacts on my community and our economy. We need more research to better understand the naturally occurring threats to wild rice, such as water levels and invasive species, and we need to support wild rice restoration projects in the state.
Wild rice is flourishing in Northern Minnesota, and we all want to continue to protect the sacred state grain and enjoy its history, spiritual significance, and many of its benefits. However, the current standard is obsolete and does not accomplish the intended outcome. Instead, it threatens jobs and Minnesota's iron mining industry and could harm many communities by substantially increasing water treatment costs for residents and businesses.
For these reasons, I respectfully ask that you support eliminating the outdated wild rice standard.
The Iron Mining Association of Minnesota is asking you to encourage Governor Mark Dayton to find a resolution to the 10-year wild rice sulfate rulemaking process in a way that not only protects wild rice but also protects jobs and the future of communities and Minnesota’s iron mining industry.
This month, the governor vetoed legislation that had been passed with bipartisan support in both the House of Representatives and the Senate to eliminate the obsolete 10 mg/L wild rice sulfate standard and provide funding for wild rice restoration and management projects.
The principles of this legislation remain important because:
Let’s move forward and take the right steps to protect wild rice, jobs, and the future of our communities. It’s time the state considers all factors in their pursuit to protect wild rice so we can continue to see it flourish in Minnesota.