“Here is your country. Cherish these natural wonders, cherish the natural resources, cherish the history and romance as a sacred heritage, for your children and your children’s children. Do not let selfish men, or greedy interests, skin your country of its beauty, its riches or its romance.”
Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, May 9, 2016

join with Hundreds of other Midwesterners on Tuesday, May 10th in La Crosse

Want to do Something Special and Different on Mother’s Day for the Women in Your Life?

Bring your Wife, your Mother, your Significant Other, your Aunts, your Sisters, your Daughters , your Granddaughters and Yourself to the biggest Event ever to Stop Frac Sand Mining here in the Midwest!

Give them the gift of Clean Air, Clean Water, Protection of our Environment and our Communities by joining with Hundreds of other Midwesterners on Tuesday, May 10th in La Crosse for A Rally to Ban Frac Sand Mining and Address Climate Change!

Help us send a message to the  Frac Sand Industry, the Heartland Institute and the Koch Brothers  that we want a future built on Renewable Energy not on hydraulic fracking and frac sand mining. 


Join the Movement to Ban  Frac Sand Mining and  Address Climate Change!!!!!
Please share this message with likeminded people you know.

Frac Sand Industry Conference in La Crosse May 9-11

Opposition Growing to Frac Sand Industry Conference in La Crosse May 9-11
Hi All,
In case you haven’t heard the frac sand industry is having a conference at the La Crosse Center on May 9-11 to talk up the value of frac sand mining in our region http://www.fracsandinsider.com/index.php?c=3500&d=4578&w=9&r=Y. It is being organized by Frac Sand Insider and features, among others, the oil and gas industry- backed Heartland Institute.
A group of anti-frac sand activists have been discussing the need to have a response to this industry conference. A number of us met this weekend, including representatives from the Land Stewardship Project, Houston County Protectors, Citizens Against Silica Mining, the Ho-Chunk Nation, and Coulee Region Climate Alliance. We want to use the frac sand industry conference as an opportunity to make a powerful case to the public that our country needs to address climate change by banning frac sand mining and fracking and rapidly develop renewable energy.
We have begun to organize peaceful, non-violent activities which will occur simultaneously with the Frac Sand Conference. We have formed The Alliance to Ban Frac Sand Mining and Address Climate Change.  We invite you and your group to join this Alliance and participate in the actions outlined below on May 9th and 10th. Our goal is to energize a broad Alliance of anti-frac sand mining, environmental, social justice, renewable energy and climate change groups to refute and challenge the industry’s advocacy for extreme energy production and continued reliance on fossil fuels. The Alliance will focus on a clear message of banning frac sand mining and fracking, promoting renewable energy, and addressing climate change.
We are finalizing plans for two activities to convey this message to elected officials and the public. On Monday May 9th, at 1:00 PM members of the Alliance to Ban Frac Sand Mining and Address Climate Change will hold a press conference in or near the La Crosse Center. Each Alliance member group will select one of its own to participate in the press conference. Each participant can use this opportunity to relate what their group is doing and how it supports the unified message to ban fracking and frac sand mining and address climate change. We plan on making a video of the press conference, which will be uploaded to social media, posted to different group’s websites and emailed out to Coalition members within two hours.
The second activity is a Rally on Tuesday, May 10 at 5 PM, again at or near the La Crosse Center, with pre-rally activities starting two hours before. We plan on having several elected officials and representatives of major groups leading the opposition to frac sand mining speak at the rally.  This will be an opportunity for the membership of each Alliance group to support the goals of the Alliance by attending the Rally and demand action by their government representatives to chart a different, better energy future starting with banning frac sand mining and fracking.
We hope that you and your group will join our Alliance to Ban Frac Sand Mining and Address Climate Change. We feel this is a very important opportunity to refute the Koch Brothers-backed message of Climate Denial and support for extreme energy production. While this Alliance is being organized for this event only, it certainly could be the basis for future broadly-based initiatives.
We realize this is short notice, but we hope you will make a strong effort to have your group consider participating in this Alliance. Clearly the presidential election this year has demonstrated that Americans of many political perspectives are no longer going to accept a corporate energy agenda and an indifference to climate change.
So please make a concerted effort to have your group join this Alliance, specifically for these events in La Crosse. Call us or e-mail us to let us know of your support by Friday, May 6th. We can still add your group as a supporter of the Alliance after May 6th but it may not be included in the initial Press Release.
Thanks for all of your past work, your ongoing efforts, and your support.
Ken Tschumper                             Doug Nopar
Houston County Protectors           Land Stewardship Project                       
507-894-4248                                507-523-3366
ktschump@acegroup.cc                dnopar@landstewardshipproject.org
P.S. We’ll be releasing final details and activities in response to the frac sand industry’s conference later in the week.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Calls needed TODAY. Bill to Weaken Local Control Gets Senate Hearing on Monday

Dear Bonita,
We asked you and other Land Stewardship Project members to make calls (see action alert below) to Minnesota state legislators opposing the bill to weaken local control and you did! Senators were flooded with calls and this bill, which was on track to pass when this action alert went out over the weekend, stalled in the Senate Local Government Committee on Monday. At the hearing, after strong testimony in opposition and Senators on the committee voicing concerns, Chair Sen. Patricia Torres Ray tabled the bill. The bill needed to advance past this committee to meet a critical legislative deadline.
Nothing is certain until the legislative session adjourns on May 23, but this is good news and the result of legislators responding to grassroots opposition. Take action now to give your legislative leaders an update and let them know you want this to be the end of the issue.
Bobby King
Land Stewardship Project organizer
LSP Action Alert: 
Calls needed TODAY. Bill to Weaken Local Control Gets Senate Hearing on Monday
Corporate interests are pushing bills to weaken the rights of cities and townships to effectively respond to unwanted and potentially harmful developments. This in turn weakens our ability as citizens to work through our local government to protect our community.  
  • House File 2585: Reps. Jim Nash (R-Waconia), Mark Uglem (R-Champlin), Mike Nelson (DFL-Brooklyn Park), Leon Lillie (DFL-North St. Paul), Josh Heintzeman (R-Baxter), Jerry Hertaus (R-Greenfield), Linda Runbeck (R- Circle Pines)
  • Senate File 2694: Sen. Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina)
The bills weaken the interim ordinance powers of townships and cities. Interim ordinances allow cities or townships to quickly put a temporary moratorium on major development. This is an emergency power that is essential when the community is caught off-guard by unanticipated and potentially harmful proposals, especially those from outside corporate interests. The interim ordinance freezes the status quo and gives the community time to review or create the appropriate zoning ordinances. Corporate interests have long pushed to weaken these rights because citizens have used them effectively to stop unwanted developments like factory farms.
  • The bills require a two-thirds super majority to enact an interim ordinance. Currently, an interim ordinance can be enacted by a simple majority — that’s how democratic rights should work.
  • The bills would delay enactment of an emergency interim ordinance for so long that it will often be ineffective. The bill requires public notice and a public hearing before a city or township enacts an emergency interim ordinance on "activities related to housing." The problem with this is that neighbors often don't learn about a proposed project until just days before a permit is going to be issued. Under this bill, by the time the township or city posts a notice and has a public hearing on adopting the moratorium, the project could already be permitted. This provision is particularly problematic for township boards and small cities, which often only meet once a month. For them, meeting this requirement may take months. By that time, the project could be permitted and the moratorium be ineffective.
We are making progress. Because of grassroots opposition, two co-authors took their name off the bill.  Rep Paul Thissen in the House and Sen. Karin Housley in the Senate removed their names from the bill. That leaves only one author in the Senate and this is a clear signal to others that this bill is controversial and not liked.
However, the bill did move out of the House Government Operations Committee on March 24 and gets a Senate hearing this Monday, April 4.   
TAKE ACTION! The Senate bill will get a hearing in the Senate State and Local Government Committee on Monday at 2 p.m.  All members of the Senate Local Government Committee, as well as the bill author, Sen. Melisa Franzen, need to hear from you that this bill is bad for local democracy and you oppose it.
Suggested message: “On Monday, April 4, Senate File 2694 will be heard in the Senate State and Local Government Committee. Minnesotans value strong local control and township rights. Senate File 2694 weakens these rights and I oppose it. Townships and cities need to keep their power to enact an interim ordinance strong. An interim ordinance is an emergency power that in order to work needs to be enacted quickly. It allows for a moratorium on major development when the community is caught off-guard by unanticipated and potentially harmful proposed developments. Township and city local control is working as it stands now and should be left alone, especially during this year’s rushed and unusually short legislative session.”
Telephone calls are best. You can call now and leave a message. Be sure and leave your name and where you are calling from.   
Top priority calls:
Author of the bill: Senator Melisa Franzen (DFL-Edina) at 651-296-6238 or MAIL FORM
Members of the Senate Local Government Committee:
If you have more time, the rest of the committee is:
Please, let me know if you need more information or hear back from any legislators.
Bobby King
Land Stewardship Project

Thursday, April 23, 2015

SAVE THE DATE! On Saturday, May 9th a big conference for frac-sand activists will be held in Lake City MN, for people from our entire region, both sides of Mississippi.

You Showed Up. You Spoke Up. You Made a Difference. Now What?

You Showed Up. You Spoke Up. You Made a Difference. Now What?
A Conference for   Frac Sand Activists:  Networking, Learning, Advocating

Join citizen volunteers from both sides of the Mississippi River for a day of network building and information exchange. Whether you are new to the issue or an experienced advocate, this conference is for you.  We are all working to protect our communities from the adverse impacts of industrial-scale silica sand mining, processing and transport. At the conference you will meet citizens and hear success stories from all over the region. You will leave with ideas that you can use in your own community.

Saturday, May 9, 2015
8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
St. Mary of the Lake Church
419 West Lyon Ave. (Hwy. 63), Lake City, MN 55041

Located 3 blocks from Hwy. 61 on Hwy. 63.
$15 includes lunch and breaks
Registration information below

Presentations and Speakers

Keynote. S. Margaret Galiardi, OP. Grounded in years of personal engagement in the struggle for justice for both people and planet, S. Margaret will set our efforts to resist frac sand mining in the context of the Universe's struggle to become more conscious of itself.  As each of us reaches deeply within to summon the energy needed for this task, it is ours to go beyond "angry activism" to encounter the force that, even now, 13.8 billion years after its emergence, propels the Universe toward greater elegance. Together we will explore how fidelity to this challenge can call forth new depths of personal, communal and structural integrity, as in the effort to safeguard the 495 million-year-old sandstone of Minnesota and Wisconsin, the region comes home to itself. S. Margaret is Dominican Sister from Amityville, New York, who lectures and gives retreats around the country with an emphasis on ecological spirituality. She is the author of Where the Pure Water Flows and Encountering Mystery in the Wilderness: One Woman's Vision Quest. While she worked at Villa Maria Center in Frontenac, she was actively engaged in advocacy for clean water in the Lake Pepin watershed.

Where We Are Today. Speaker to be Announced. PowerPoint presentation of the current status of legislation, regulations, State Rules and in Minnesota and Wisconsin and the status of permit applications throughout the region. NOTE: ??consider a Trempealeau County speaker??

Strategies for Advocacy. Any Nelson, PhD, and Keith Fossen. Your community needs to become a sophisticated RGU. Learn how to advocate effectively during the local permitting process when timelines are tight and deadlines are firm. Find out the difference between a EAW, EIS, CUP and a Development Agreement and how zoning and comprehensive planning underpin the whole process. Find out what is going on behind the scenes (staff and professional review and meetings with the applicant’s representatives). It’s important to understand your rights as a citizen, the importance of comment periods and the legal standing of various decisions. Learn the what to expect from experts and the importance of diligence in checking credentials, asking for disclosure of conflicts and relationships and checking references. [NOTE THAT SOME OF THIS MIGHT BELONG IN THE “CONTINUED” SESSION RATHER THAN HERE.]  _____[brief bio]____ Nelson and Fossen recently served on the Minnesota Silica Sand Rule-Making Advisory Panel.

Ups and Downs of Frac Sand Mining. Speaker TBD._____[information about the industry – where its at - in both WI and MN; include economic impact, supply & demand]____[brief bio]___

Strategies for Advocacy Continued. Wendy Ward (invited). More strategies for effective advocacy including how to cultivate political will and win the political game, how to use conventional and social media, and how to engage and support volunteers. _____[brief bio]______.

What the State Can and Cannot Do. Kristen Eide-Tollifson (invited). An update of the status of State Rules adoption - what they cover and what is left to local units of government. Find out who has enforcement responsibility._____[brief bio]___.

What’s Next? Panel of Citizen Advocates. Get ready for the next phase of advocacy. Experienced local advocates will share examples of the most effective strategies they used in their own community and we will ask them to give us an example of a new idea that they will try in the future. Q&A will follow.

Summary and Closing. Margaret Galiardi, OP. Sr. Margaret will call out the key points made throughout the day and leave us inspired for the work ahead.

Breakout Sessions and Speakers

Legal Options for Restricting or Banning Silica Sand Mining by Ordinance. William Mavity. Are you thinking of restricting or banning sand mining by ordinance? In this session you will learn how it's accomplished politically and why it is defensible in court. Mavity is an experienced trial and appellate lawyer and has argued and won cases involving issues of constitutional law before the Minnesota Court of Appeals, the Minnesota Supreme Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.  Now retired and living in Pepin County, WI, Mavity served on the Pepin County Board from 2011 to 2014.  He is Chair of Lake Pepin Partners in Preservation, Inc., (LPPP) which was instrumental in drafting and obtaining passage in 2013 of the Pepin County Overlay Zoning Ordinance banning all frac sand operations in the Great River Road Corridor along Lake Pepin.

Options for Legal Intervention. Carol A. Overland.  Citizens have the right to take legal action and sometimes it’s the best option or the only option. Learn how to find an attorney and what strategies to use when you need to go that route. Learn the importance of checking credentials and asking for conflict of interest disclosure. __[brief bio]__. Overland specializes in utility regulatory and land use advocacy

Handling Traffic. Speaker to be Announced. Sand mining impacts roads and traffic. Find out what you can do to protect public safety and the public pocketbook when the industry proposes a project that impacts your community. Learn the basics of civil engineer lingo, when to ask for a traffic study and what to do with the information once you have it. __??mention rail transit???___??mention the McGregor,Iowa experience??_____[brief bio]_____

Earth and Human Connections. S. Margaret Galiardi, OP. Join S. Margaret for conversation expanding on the message of the Keynote.

Maintaining Air Quality. Student Speaker to be Announced and Crispin Pierce, Ph.D. ____basics of air quality, emissions associated with the mining, processing and transport of silica sand and how exposure can be mitigated at facilities and in the environment____[brief bio]____is a student at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

Air Quality Monitoring Research. Crispin Pierce, Ph.D. _____[description of the latest research at the University of Wisconsin and at other institutions along with industry, include ongoing research and emerging issues, etc.]____ [brief bio]_______

Hydrology of the Driftless Area. Larry Gates. The hydrologic system of our region functioned beautifully before Euro-American settlement. Learn how human activity impacted the system and what needs to happen for system restoration. Find out what the Paleozoic Plateau is and what makes the driftless region of Minnesota and Wisconsin so uniquely sensitive to water pollution. ____[Maybe pair Larry with Jeff Green for the specific water impacts of mining.] ___[bio]__Aquatic Biologist (retired), Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.

Rehabilitating Mining Sites. Katie Himanga, CF. Learn what you need to know about reclamation plans, local natural and cultural resources, what to advocate for during the permitting process, and what to watch for once mining is underway. Modern, science-based rehabilitation goes beyond stable and green slopes, and considers restoration of ecological function and landscape character. Himanga is a Certified Forester and long-time environmental advocate. She has a degree in forest resources from the University of Minnesota, served as Mayor of the City of Lake City from 2004-2008, and recently served on the Minnesota Silica Sand Rule-Making Advisory Panel.

Choosing Your Battles. Speaker to be Announced. Channeling your emotions into effective advocacy

The conference is hosted by Save the Bluffs of Red Wing and Lake City, Minnesota and made possible by a grant from Save the Hills Alliance of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Learn more at: sites.google.com/site/savethebluffs

To Register

Send this information to Save the Bluffs, PO Box 296, Red Wing, MN 55066, along with a check for $15 payable to: Save the Bluffs. We won’t use this information for anything other than the conference.

Name: ____________________________________


State: ____________________________________

E-mail ____________________________________


To help us plan, tell us which breakout sessions are you most likely to attend:

___Legal Options for Restricting or Banning Mining
___Options for Legal Intervention
___Handling Traffic
___Earth and Human Connections
___Maintaining Air Quality
___Air Quality Monitoring Research
___Hydrology of the Driftless Area
___Rehabilitating Mining Sites
___Choosing Your Battles.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Proposed Minnesota state legislation establishes a self-appointed board of corporate ag interests that oversees millions in public funds.

Bill Would Put Corporate Ag Interests in Charge of Millions of Public Dollars

Proposed Minnesota state legislation establishes a self-appointed board of corporate ag interests that oversees millions in public funds. The House Omnibus Ag Finance Bill (House File 1437) aims to put corporate ag interests in charge of millions in public funds with no accountability. The bill creates the “Agriculture, Research, Education, Extension, and Technology Transfer Fund” and establishes a board that controls the funding. This board is made up primarily of corporate ag and commodity groups that appoint their own representatives to the board. This self-appointed board controls these public funds and the bill has no provisions for transparency or accountability.

The fund focuses on productivity, not sustainability. The bill directs the funds to focus on “investments that will most efficiently achieve long-term agricultural productivity . ” Directing research dollars to focus only on productivity, with no regard for stewardship of our land and water or profitability for farmers, is bad policy. This language needs to say “productivity and sustainability.”

It’s hard to believe such a bad idea could get so far. This is such a bad idea that the Star Tribune newspaper on Monday wrote a major editorial opposing the idea: "New Minnesota ag board would set troubling precedent." The editorial says, in part, “Essentially, the legislation creates a pot of public money and turns it over to interest group representatives with vague language about how it could be spent.”

Take action now to let your legislators know that you don’t want special interests put in charge of public dollars.

thedatabank, inc.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

*April 15 - EQB Mtg - carpool arrangements etc.

Hi folks,

LSP will not be renting a bus for this event.

 I will work to arrange carpools, though, and there is a possibility we could rent a van if enough people want to go together. I plan to go and could drive, but can only take 3 other people in my car. Please let me know if you would be interested in carpooling from either Lewiston or Winona.

Here is the link to the EQB packet with the agenda for the meeting and the current draft proposed rules: https://www.eqb.state.mn.us/sites/default/files/documents/EQB%20Silica%20Sand%20Subcomittee%20Mtg_4-15.pdf 

Bobby will be sharing LSP's comments on the proposed rules soon -- there are several areas where we think improvements are needed. If you would like any help preparing your comments for the meeting, feel free to give Bobby a call at 612-722-6377.

EQB staff confirmed to me today [April 7] that Minnesota Sands, LLC, still has not submitted any new data about their proposal, and so will not be presenting at this meeting. Instead, the entire meeting will be state agency updates on the rulemaking and then public comment.

Please let me or Bobby know if you have questions.


Johanna Rupprecht
Policy Organizer
Land Stewardship Project

Lewiston, MN