Democrats Want To Sue Over Boundary Waters Fire

Wednesday, September 28th, 2011 at 7:35 am

Iron Range lawmakers want the DNR and Minnesota attorney general to sue the U.S. Forest Service over its management of the fire burning in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Five DFL legislators say the state of Minnesota owns thousands of acres of forest that were burned by the fire. They argue that because Forest Service officials chose not to put the fire out immediately when it began in August, they should be held accountable for the loss of valuable state resources.

Democratic State Representative Tom Rukavina of Virginia told the Associated Press that “when it’s a common Joe they get a year or two in jail and they go after assets, yet a policy decision can be made by the U.S. Forest Service and no one has to suffer the consequences.”

State timber sales help fund the state’s K-12 schools.

It is unclear how much of the roughly 93,000 acres burned was state land.

A DNR representative declined to comment to Minnesota Public Radio News, saying the agency had yet to receive a formal request from the lawmakers.

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