"Mining Debate Flows Into the Wild Rice Stands"

"In the fight over proposed mining projects in northern Minnesota, a new player with a surprising amount of clout has emerged -- wild rice.

This month, a routine state review of a water quality standard that has lain largely dormant for three decades erupted into an intensely emotional debate about how to protect the state's most iconic plant.

On one side are environmentalists and tribal governments who want to keep the rule -- created specifically to protect wild rice from sulfates -- and are insisting that the state enforce its own standard. On the other are mining and business interests who question the science, and who say that industry should not be required to pay millions of dollars in environmental costs that might be pointless."

Josephine Marcotty reports for the Minneapolis Star Tribune December 5, 2010.

Source: Minneapolis Star Trib, 12/07/2010