I hope you had an enjoyable Thanksgiving and were able to spend extra time with friends and family. Just a couple of quick notes I want to pass along regarding a pair of news releases I sent to District 9A media this week.
Federal Bill to Reverse Land Withdrawals
First of all, I joined a bipartisan list of more than 50 Minnesota legislators urging support for Congressman Tom Emmer’s bill to reverse the last-minute land withdrawals and to require congressional approval for any future withdrawal actions.
The bill (H.R. 3905) came in response to the Obama administration’s decision in the final months of his second term to withdraw nearly 240,000 acres of federal lands from potential development, effectively killing the proposed Twin Metals mining project in Northeast Minnesota.
As we noted in the letter, advancing our precious metals mining industry would provide a much-needed economic boost, especially to a part of the state that could really use a lift. This also would be a great benefit to our schools since development could generate billions of education dollars for some 900,000 children around the state.
They debated this bill yesterday in D.C. and a vote could happen today, so stay tuned.
Wolf-Livestock Grants Deadline Extended
On another subject, a news release I encourage area livestock producers to take advantage of an extended deadline for applying to receive grant money to prevent wolf attacks on their herds.
The new deadline is Dec. 15, three weeks later than originally set, in order to accommodate livestock producers who were busy working in the fields during what was a relatively late harvest season this year.
The Wolf-Livestock Conflict Prevention Grant program is the product of legislation Sen. Ruud and I successfully led to enactment earlier this year. A total of $240,000 is available to producers over the next two years.
Eligible expenses for the grant program will include any or all of the following items:
- Purchase of guard animals
- Veterinary costs for guard animals
- Installation of wolf barriers, which may include pens, fladry and fencing
- Installation of wolf-deterring lights and alarms
- Calving or lambing shelters
- Other measures demonstrated to effectively reduce wolf-livestock conflicts
This is a very valuable grant program that will help producers and I hope people take advantage of the opportunity. Click here or call (651) 201-6505 for more details.
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