The Land Stewardship Project has post a member letter that appeared in the St. Charles Press, a print-only newpaper (it does have a Facebook page, however.)
Bob Christie writes in "Jesus Wept:"
On Friday July 20th I traveled with a group from St. Charles to the Chippewa Falls area to view first hand the frac-sand industry. I was so impacted by what I saw I felt I had to share my thoughts. The size and scope of the processing facilities was far greater than I had anticipated. While we toured a few plants in operation there were many more under construction. City officials in Chippewa Falls felt by being pro-active they had mitigated some of their problems including truck traffic. While I looked at the processing plants under construction and land to be mined my thoughts were you’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. I wonder what this beautiful city of 57,000 people will look like when trucks are traveling to 5, 10 or 15 more processing plants.
City officials in Chippewa Falls talked of increased revenue from tax evaluations of processing plants. It appeared to me any increase in real estate tax would be consumed in trying to service the water, sewer, electrical and road needs for the ever expanding processing plants. Of all I saw that day I don’t think anything impacted me more than the stop at the Superior Sands mine site. As I looked out at what was once bluffs of beautiful pine trees now cut from top to bottom with no life left on them. The land was now covered with huge dozers and earth movers exposing unlimited amounts of white sand. I looked around at miles of pine trees still standing and knew they too faced the same fate. I can’t explain my feeling. Perhaps John 11 verse 35 “Jesus Wept” best explains my feelings.
Mine officials talk of reclamation; I have trouble envisioning that what was left behind could ever replace the beauty they were destroying. . . .
Read the rest on the Land Stewardship Project's website. A reminder: LSP hold workshops in Frontenac & Rushford on zoning & frac sand on August 23 and August 30. Click for details.
Image: The proposed railyard in St. Charles for shipping frac sand that might be mined in the area; via the St. Charles Press Facebook page.