Please see the following information that the Superior National Forest recently sent out. The White Iron Chain of Lakes are in the headwaters of the Rainy River Watershed. See information below on how to participate and submit comments.
Dear Interested Individuals, Governments, and Organizations,
On October 21, 2021, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) published a notice in the Federal Register initiating a 90-day public comment period on an application from the Forest Service to withdraw 225,378 acres of land from new mineral leasing in the Rainy River Watershed near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) for 20 years. The Forest Service submitted the withdrawal application to the Bureau of Land Management, which manages subsurface rights in the Superior National Forest, on September 28, 2021.
After reviewing the application, the BLM accepted the application and published a notice in the Federal Register, initiating a two-year segregation that temporarily prohibits the issuance of new Federal mineral prospecting permits or leased in the withdrawal area. During the segregation period, the BLM and the Forest Service will seek public comment and complete necessary studies, analysis and reports required to inform the Secretary of the Interior’s decision on whether to withdraw the lands from mining laws for 20-years.
We are seeking your comments on the proposal to inform the scope of the environmental analysis. Comments will be accepted through January 19, 2022. Comments must be submitted in writing, or electronically to the Bureau of Land Management for consideration. Comments previously submitted during the 2018 application for withdrawal will be reviewed and considered in the development of the Forest Service’s current environmental analysis. Since the Secretary of the Interior will make the decision, the project is not subject to Forest Service objection or appeal procedures.
Comments will be used to determine issues associated with the proposed withdrawal, develop alternatives, determine the scope of analysis, and refine the effects analysis. Comments are most useful and effective if they refer to a specific activity or example, provide a potential solution, or propose mitigation.
The BLM will hold virtual public meetings on the following dates and times via Zoom.
- Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, Central Standard Time
- Saturday, January 15, 2022, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM, Central Standard Time
- Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 5:00 PM to 8:00 PM, Central Standard Time
The purpose of the meetings is to learn from the public what issues they are most concerned about so the agencies can ensure those concerns are addressed in the environmental analysis. The meeting will open with a short introduction by agency leadership, followed by a listening session in which attendees selected in advance via a lottery may provide verbal comments. Each speaker will be allotted up to three minutes. Verbal comments, including names, will become an official part of the record. Each session will accommodate up to 3,000 individual users and will include a phone line option.
If you wish to provide an official comment during one of the meetings, you must pre-register 48 hours in advance of the meeting you plan to attend. Agencies will use a lottery system to randomly select speakers from the list of registrants for each meeting. If you are selected to speak, you will by notified by email from the Forest Service 24 hours in advance of the meeting.
You must register to receive a Zoom link or phone number to call into the meeting. Listen only participants may register and join the zoom link, or listen to the meeting livestreamed in real-time on the BLM Eastern States’ YouTube account.
All comments received (including names and addresses) will become part of the project record and will be available for public inspection. All meetings will be recorded.
Register for the Meeting on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM, CST at https://blm.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_z0ihp2ikSkSug9QnsaLjag
Register for the Meeting on Saturday, January 15, 2022, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., CST at https://blm.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_q9OWw5P3TSuvACoQ2o6gnQ
Register for the Meeting on Tuesday, January 18, 2022, 5 p.m. to 8 p.m., CST at https://blm.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_rs2ueUYaQ-CoRO25s2bLqA
In order to provide informed comments about this action, commenters can review the documents available on the project website https://www.fs.usda.gov/project/?project=60916
All comments received (including names and addresses) will become part of the project record and will be available for public inspection. Public meetings will be recorded.
Thank you for your interest and involvement in management of the Superior National Forest.