First test of 2013 Minnesota frac sand law is successful

The owner of a controversial Houston County silica sand mine was notified Monday by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) that he must stop mining and apply for a DNR Silica Sand Mining Trout Stream Setback Permit. The Erickson silica sand mine in Houston County’s Yucatan Township is within a mile of Ferndale Brook, a designated trout stream. This is the first silica mine to test a 2013 state law which established a rigorous permitting process for silica sand mines proposed within one mile of a trout stream.


Prospect Park aims to be 'community of the future'

As some areas near the University of Minnesota grapple with preserving historic character, one neighborhood is attempting to redefine its presence with plans for a more futuristic community.


Sabes JCC's community garden promotes connection to Jewish values

Greenery surrounded Makai Dorfman, Judaic and garden specialist at the Sabes JCC’s Camp Olami, as he enthusiastically walked through the garden that he helped create. He explained its unique qualities.


University of Minnesota combats food supply issues with MnDRIVE

(Photo by Holly Peterson) College of Veterinary Medicine assistant professor Nicholas Phelps explains aquaponic farming in a greenhouse in St. Paul on July 25, 2014. Phelps’ project is one of 17 receiving funding from MnDRIVE.

With government dollars and partnerships with industry in tow, the University of Minnesota’s research powerhouse is turning its gaze to addressing global food security, safety and sustainability.


Grazing as a public good in Western Minnesota

As a Nature Conservancy scientist based in a Midwestern state, Steve Chaplin thinks a lot about the impact agriculture has on ecological treasures such as native tallgrass prairie.


Questions about the Northeast Metro water supply plan

In the land of 10,000 lakes, we have a water shortage. According to the Metropolitan Council:

“With more than 70 percent of the region’s water supply coming out of the ground, we are mining our groundwater and sending it downstream at the expense of our water supply, natural amenities, quality of life and economy. It’s a practice that is neither practical nor sustainable, as we can attest from the example of White Bear Lake,” said the Council’s Water Supply Planning Manager Ali Elhassan.


Republicans having meta-argument over frac sand mining


So there’s the underlying issue of frac sand mining, and the issue of who correctly construed who, as Republican gubernatorial campaigns go after each other. For the part of the story about Republicans going after each other, Bill Kuisle, running for lieutenant governor with GOP gubernatorial endorsee Jeff Johnson, said it makes sense to delay frac sand mining so the effects can be studied.


Does Minnesota Republican frac sand fight reflect Kurt Zellers' rainmakers? Bluestem Prairie digs in

With the Republican gubernatorial primary less than a month away, the campaigns are departing from Gaylord B. Parkinson's 11th Commandment for endorsement battles as they try to distinguish their brand for those likely to cast ballots in the August 12 vote.

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