Conservation Minnesota

Sled Dogs to St. Paul

Sled Dogs BannerA year ago today, Conservation Minnesota board member Frank Moe was completing the final preparations for one of the most memorable acts of political activism in recent state history.

Frank had met with thousands of people who signed a petition expressing concerns about expanding mining into ecologically sensitive areas in northern Minnesota.  With each new signature, he promised anew that he would deliver the signatures personally to the Governor.

When efforts to set up a formal meeting to deliver the petitions failed, Frank decided to hitch his sled to his team of dogs and head to the State Capitol by trail.  Along the way he threw rallies that grew larger and larger as word of his trip spread.  And he also picked up a flood of new signatures.  By the time he reached the capitol steps, 13,000 people had signed his petition.  He marched them inside the building, and true to his word, handed the petitions directly to the Governor of Minnesota.

A documentary about the voyage has been made, and is about to be released on DVD.  The 40-minute movie speaks to not only the voyage, but also the mining debate that made the trip necessary.  It follows him through the deep snow in the north woods all the way through urban parking lots whose lack of snow made going tough.

The movie is the next step in the effort to educate Minnesotans about the proposed sulfide mining operations that are hoping to locate near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and along the shore of Lake Superior.  The documentarians worked to interview a cross section of people whose lives would be impacted by the new mines.  The local business owner who depends on tourists, tribal leaders, local wild ricers, legislators and other activists all provide their own unique perspectives on the proposals.

More information about the trip and the movie are available at:

More information about the mining projects is available at:

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