White Earth Band issues moratorium on factory farms

The White Earth Reservation Business Council adopted a resolution last month, imposing a moratorium on large-scale farming on or near the reservation.

According to a release, a 21,000-head dairy cattle feedlot has been proposed by Riverview LLP less than a mile west of the reservation.

The Riverview operation is reportedly proposing to spread half of the manure it will produce on reservation land.

The release says the cattle operation alone would produce over 1 million pounds of manure per day.

The resolution imposing the moratorium cites the Band’s health and safety, water and land resources, and economic security.

In addition to the Riverview dairy lot proposal, a separate hog feedlot has also been proposed within the exterior boundaries of the Reservation in the southwest corner.

“The White Earth Reservation includes 530 lakes, 300 miles of rivers and streams, 167,878 acres of wetlands and substantial groundwater resources contained in shallow, unconfined and deeper, layered aquifers,” said the release.

The moratorium will be in effect for two years from the date of adoption unless terminated earlier or extended further.

“The purpose of the moratorium is to allow the Band sufficient time to undertake an interdisciplinary process of data collection, review, analysis and regulatory and technology development to regulate Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations and pollution hazard Animal Feedlot Operations in a matter that protects the Band’s core interests.”


Larissa Donovan is the News Director for the stations of Paul Bunyan Broadcasting and has been, almost without interruption, since Election Day 2016. She covers all the beats in north-central Minnesota, such as local government, crime, education, environment and social issues. She studied communications at Bemidji State University. You can follow along with Larissa's live tweets of meetings and events on Twitter!


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