Activists Gone Wild!

To the Editor:

Watch as Houston County’s activists continue to go after our local mining companies that do not engage in frac sand mining. We can no longer trust what these activists say.

On October 21, 2014, Bruce Kuehmichel submitted a petition to the Houston County Board in support of a ban on frac sand mining.

Then on July 14, 2015, Bruce Kuehmichel told the Houston County Board that Section 27 (Mineral Extraction) of the Zoning Ordinance “is actually very, very good.”

As a candidate for Houston County Commissioner, Bruce Kuehmichel stated in a July 19, 2016, Caledonia Argus article that he “would prohibit/ban specifically industrial silica frac sand mining while continuing to allow mining of sand for agricultural and construction use… and improve enforcement of the current ordinance” as the current ordinance “is adequate.”

Now on March 7, 2017, Bruce Kuehmichel suggested “it is time for a moratorium [prohibition] on rock mining… and that the Houston County Board needs to revisit the mining ordinance.” As a Houston Township Officer and farmer, this one takes the cake!  Houston County’s townships and farmers need these rock quarries and sandpits. We need rock for our roads and sand for cattle bedding. Houston County’s businesses and residents need sand and aggregate for the cement products they produce and use daily. Having to get these products from another county or state will result in higher costs to Houston County residents, raise your taxes, increase the costs of doing business locally, and hurt our local mining companies that do not engage in frac sand mining.

First Bruce Kuehmichel wanted to allow the use of rock and sand for agricultural and construction use. Now, he wants a temporary ban on rock mining. Houston County, townships, and area farmers should all be nervous of this kind of talk and what it will do to the local mining industry, that we all need, and the aggregates we use daily. It is time we voice our opinion against this kind of policy for Houston County!

The public does not need protections from mining over-reach. The public needs protections from activists who act like they know best, but have ulterior motives. After all, I thought it was about frac sand mining?

Eric Johnson

Houston, Minnesota