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Stauber votes no on natural resources bill for omitting key provision

U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber

Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., voted against the Natural Resources Management Act Tuesday, Feb. 26, as it failed to include one of his high priority bills, H.R. 527, the Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act.

"My Superior National Forest Land Exchange Act would allow the responsible development of our resources, bring high-paying jobs to our region, and increase public access to trails and recreation. My bipartisan bill would be a win-win for northeastern Minnesota, so I was frustrated to learn it was not included in this lands package," Stauber stated in a news release. "Since the Natural Resources Management Act includes several land exchanges nationwide, the Senate's exclusion of my land exchange bill is disappointing. Furthermore, the House was never given the chance to revise or add provisions to the package. Even though this lands package contains certain provisions I support, I cannot back legislation that neglects the needs of Minnesota's 8th Congressional District and the hardworking folks who live there. I continue to urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle, and in both chambers, to quickly pass my bill and allow us to unleash the economic engine in our part of the state."

According to the release, H.R. 527 would codify the exchange of approximately 6,650 acres of federally-owned surface land above and around the NorthMet ore body to PolyMet and 6,690 acres of private land to the U.S. Forest Service.

This legislation would move PolyMet one step closer to responsibly developing the NorthMet ore body. The land intended for the U.S. Forest Service is of higher appraised value and would give visitors of the Superior National Forest increased access to trails and recreation.

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