Duluth, MN (Northland's NewsCenter)
Frank Moe of Grand Marais has been a musher for years.
This year, though, was almost a year without any dog sled riding.
Last week's twenty plus inches of snow on the North Shore saved his planned trip to Duluth to spread a message.
"I'm telling them we're trying to raise awareness about sulfide mining and pollution and how that will impact the things we love up here." said Moe.
The mining of sulfide rock exposes the mineral to oxygen and water which produces sulfuric acid.
Several companies want to mine sulfides in northern Minnesota for the copper and nickel they contain.
Those against such mines claim they're more environmentally harmful than the region's iron mines.
"This is a new type of mining. This is not your grandfather's mine. It's a type that's not been done in Minnesota and everywhere it's been done around the country and world it's caused significant environmental pollution." said environmental activist John Doberstein.
Frank Moe is a former Minnesota state legislator and his sled dog journey will take him to Saint Paul so he can deliver thousands of petitions against sulfide mining to the Capitol.
"There's a trail that goes just 12 blocks from the capitol so we're going to run the Gateway trail into Saint Paul and then run surface streets the last twelve blocks right up to the capitol steps." said Moe.
Though thousands of northern Minnesotans share Moe's caution over sulfide mining, thousands also support the jobs the industry would bring to the Arrowhead region.
Recent newspaper editorials in the Ely area ask what anti–mine folks will do for that area to replace the high paying jobs a new mine could bring.
Moe says he respects their opinion and pro–miners seem to respect his.
"You know, I've talked to a lot of people who are for the mine and I understand that. People need jobs. I don't have disrespect towards them. I haven't had any conversations with them that weren't civil." said Moe.
In Duluth's Lester Park on the trail to Saint Paul, Dave Anderson, the Northland's News Center.
The sled dog petition drive is expected to make it to the Minnesota Capitol building on Thursday.