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Mining, environmental experts to discuss copper/nickel mining in northern Minnesota

Kathryn Hoffman, an environmental attorney from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and two scientists from the University of Minnesota-Duluth, Donald Fosnacht and George Hudak, will discuss the environmental, scientific and economic aspects of the proposed copper/nickel mining in northern Minnesota at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, at a Rosenmeier Center Forum in the Chalberg Theatre at Central Lakes College in Brainerd.

This has been a controversial topic across the state and the goal of this forum is to help clarify the discussion by identifying some of the factual details involved in the decision, as well as some of the trade-offs.

Eric Klang, president of the Gordon Rosenmeier Center for State and Local Government, said, “We are most pleased to provide a forum for residents of the Brainerd Lakes area on a most important issue that will be greatly debated in the Minnesota Legislature and the councils of government at both the state and federal level.”

Hoffman, staff attorney from the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA).

She joined MCEA in December 2010 as staff attorney and works to support energy, mining and water quality issues. A 2006 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School, Hoffman has a background in litigation and nonprofit advocacy work. In addition to her J.D., Kathryn also holds a Master’s in public policy with a focus on science, technology and the environment from the Hubert H. Humphrey Institute of Public Affairs.

Fosnacht, Ph.D. (Metallurgical Engineering), is director – Center for Applied Research and Technology Development, Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota-Duluth.

This institute conducts applied research and development on a variety of natural resources issues including minerals, renewable energy, forestry and forest product development. Dr. Fosnacht has served on various state task forces related to minerals or energy and continues to lead various research programs in these areas in collaboration with both industrial, small business, governmental and academic cooperators. Dr. Fosnacht previously had 20 years experience with Inland Steel (1978-1998).

Hudak, PhD., (Geology), is associate director, Precambrian Research Center Natural Resources Research Institute, University of Minnesota-Duluth.

Hudak is the director of the Minerals Division, and associate director of the Precambrian Research Center, in the Center for Applied Research and Technology Development at the University of Minnesota Duluth. Before his present position, Dr. Hudak spent five years working in the geotechnical/environmental remediation industry, and he spent 11 years as an assistant/associate professor of geology at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, where he taught courses in mineralogy, advanced mineralogy, lithology, and economic geology.

Ray Gildow, of Lakeland Public Television, will moderate the panel and there will be a question and answer period after the presentations.

Earlier in the day, Gildow will tape an interview with the presenters for later broadcast on Lakeland Currents (LPTV).

This event is free and open to the public. The Rosenmeier Center at Central Lakes College is the primary sponsor of this forum and the forum is co-sponsored by the Lakes Area League of Women Voters and The Center (Senior Center) in Brainerd.

For more information contact Laura Raedeke at: or 963-3877.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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