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Group supporting Twin Metals, motorized B2B route requests funds from Cook County

This group of vehicles followed the proposed B2B route through Cook County. Photo by Scott Benolken
This group of vehicles followed the proposed B2B route through Cook County. Photo by Scott Benolken

A group that advocates for proposed copper-nickel mines and the Border-to-Border Touring Route in northern Minnesota is requesting that Cook County pay it more than $2,000 annually to support their mission at the Capitol in St. Paul.

Minnesota Rural Counties (MRC) describes itself as being “dedicated to promoting and protecting rural jobs, culture and concerns and is the only membership organization advocating specifically for rural county interests.”

Cook County was a member of MRC until 2015 when former Commissioner Garry Gamble suggested the local county board break ties with the organization. In January 2015, the county board voted to remove itself from MRC. 

During a meeting of the Cook County Board of Commissioners in late September 2019, MRC Executive Director Dan Larson appeared before the county board and essentially requested they consider rejoining the organization.

Larson shared general information with the county board about what MRC does and the current state of the organization. He did not mention specifically that MRC is a strong supporter of both the PolyMet and Twin Metals projects, as well as the B2B motorized touring route that remains controversial across northern Minnesota, including here in Cook County.

For more on how Larson views the role of MRC, including copper-nickel mining and oil pipelines across northern Minnesota, click here.

WTIP’s Joe Friedrichs spoke with Larson to learn more about MRC and their request for Cook County to rejoin the organization.
 

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