Enbridge Line 3 harms state forests, Wildlife Management Areas

Watch the Line monitors recently saw pipeline staged through Savanna State Forest, a couple miles east of Highway 65.

Line 3’s approved route crosses approximately 41 miles of public/municipal land in Cass, Crow Wing, and Aitkin counties, according to the state’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). Most of this land is state forest land administered by Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). More than 10 percent of Line 3’s route crosses public lands.

These areas can be more difficult for Watch the Line monitors to access. State forest roads aren’t maintained (and were difficult to drive in winter conditions.) Also, there are fewer roads, which can make drives between observation points longer.

Line 3 construction would occur on land within seven state forests, “resulting in loss and alteration of forest habitat as well as fragmentation of forest,” according to the EIS. (Line 3 crosses an eighth state forest, but only minimally.)

The EIS said Line 3 construction, including storage yards, access roads, etc. would damage:

Construction also would damage nearly 51 acres of the McGregor Important Bird Area.

Here’s the acreage of state Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) that are within a half mile of Line 3’s proposed centerline:

Construction impacts extend beyond the immediate construction area, as they fragment wetlands and the local ecology.

These numbers show the degree to which Line 3’s construction affects public lands which Minnesotans hold very dear. Its operation, and the threat of future spills, pose an even greater threat.