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Boundary Waters Canoe Area History Center™

1980 History

Jan. 1980, State
Alexander establishes committee to advise on motor use in BWCAW lakes claiming State desire to avoid appearance of "loading the committee". All six are locals. Most are officers in the "Alliance"

Jan. 1980, Locals
File second suit demanding E.I.S. from USDA before implementing 1978 law.

Jan. 1980, Dept. of Ag.
Forest Service announces 1979 BWCAW usage is down only slightly despite general decline in state tourist industry, gas shortage, etc.

Feb. 1980, Friends
Sponsor first regional Acid Rain Conference in Minneapolis. Over 500 attendees.

Feb. 1980, Developers
AMAX announces plan to spend $40 Million in phase two plan to develop Copper-Nickel mining operation near BWCAW.

Apr. 1980, Legislature
Passes bill calling for state study of acid rain problem.

Mar. 1980, U.S. Govt.
Federal Government and Interveners ask Federal Magistrate McNulty to dismiss March state lawsuit.

Mar. 1980, Locals
Launch federally funded advertising campaign to attract people to BWCAW. Emphasize motels.

Apr. 1980, Courts
Federal Judge Miles Lord takes over jurisdiction of BWCAW law suits.

May 1980, Courts
Judge Lord heard arguments on three BWCA law suits in Minneapolis.

June 1980, State
Sells some 70 parcels of land adjoining BWCAW in auction to satisfy 1979 law establishing Tettegouche State Park. (There was no requirement to sell land next to BWCAW.)

July 1980, Courts
Judge Lord rules in favor of U.S. Govt. in all three suits thereby affirming validity of 1978 law. Points out that law affirms state's right to impose stricter regulations in BWCA waters than Feds for mining protection, etc.

July 1980, Locals
React with anger to Lord decision. Vow to appeal to Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals.

July 1980, Congress
Appropriates $13.8 Million for 1981 to aid in implementing 1978 law.

Oct. 1980, State
Files appeal of its suit with Eighth Circuit. Answering briefs filed by Federal Govt. and twelve Interveners.

Dec. 1980, Courts
Judge Lord rules against locals in their motion to reconsider his decision on National Assoc. of Property Owners suit (no decision announced by locals about further appeals).

Dec. 1980, Locals
The Alliance announces it is assembling testimony from local interests who feel impacted by the 1978 law to present to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee whose now head, Senator McClure, has promised to hold legislative oversight hearings on that law and others affecting use of public lands.

Written by H.C. Johnson, M.L. Heinselman, E.M. Sitz

An outline of Boundary Waters Canoe Area History

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Updated Aug 26, 2016

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