Leech Lake Band files appeal challenging the City of Cohasset’s approval of the Huber Woods project

The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe filed an appeal challenging the City of Cohasset’s approval of an industrial facility.

Cohasset approved an environmental assessment worksheet for the Huber Engineered Woods, LLC, Frontier Project.

The Leech Lake Band disputes the claim that the project would not significantly impact the environment and therefore would not need an environmental impact statement.

The Leech Lake Band, in a release, stated that the Frontier Project would build a Metrodome-sized facility, consuming 400,000 cords of timber a year to produce oriented strand board.

During operation, Leech Lake predicts that the facility would emit over 2,000 tons of regulated air pollutants and release more than 451,000 tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent greenhouse gases a year.

In addition, Leech Lake says Huber is seeking federal permits that would impact sensitive wetlands that have hydrological connections to the Mississippi River and Blackwater Wild Rice beds, which are heavily used for Tribal and non-Tribal wild rice harvesting.

Two mating pairs of bald eagles also use the area for nesting and have returned over several years.

“The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe is committed to opposing the Frontier Project because the significant environmental effects from the proposed manufacturing facility will negatively affect natural resources relied upon by tribal members to exercise treaty rights on and off the Reservation,” said the release.

“The Frontier Project will require devastating amounts of timber to be harvested from the 1855 Treaty Territory where Leech Lake members exercise treaty rights. These impacts will cause irreparable harm to the members of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and are an unacceptable trade-off for creating jobs.”

Submitted map of the treaty protected Blackwater Wild Rice beds. 

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