Spring Cleaning and Crafting at the HARN!


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With recent travel to Indiana, we were blessed to have a wonderful caretaker here at the HARN to watch out for Gaazhii while we were away. In addition to home and cat care, she blessed our space and cleaned it up, pulling us to continue towards more cleaning and organizing as we got settled back at home.

This week we have gathered wood – after a walk with Gaazhii on his new leash – one of those pull ones that dogs use to go further away. He’s gonna have to build up his muscles to pull it, though, so far, we’re doing ok with it. Also got him some flea/tick oil for his neck as we found a first tick this weekend. Ugh.

And… (major, years overdue job…) cleaned out the fridge!! [(not pictured) Also did loads of laundry!!]

It’s still cool here in the woods so we’ll be focusing on wood cutting and gathering to prepare for summer fires and winter warmth later this year. Meanwhile, I found some time for crafting!! Always good to get some creative juices flowing. Just finished (almost*) reading Good Life, Good Death as you can see pictured here. HIGHLY Recommend this book. [*Found the last few pages cut from the book… oddly.]

The Rocket Mass Heater will need some work this summer/fall as we prepare for another season and hope for a finishing of the mass additions. Gardens are greening and await news of who will come. So far lettuce and onion are the most prolific visitors, besides – already GIGANTIC – rhubarb.

Oriole came through for a brief visit over the weekend! Robin (opichi) is often seen foraging in the yard.

We have new friends popping up all around… daffodil, hepatica, gooseberry, raspberry, rhubarb, fern, iris, peony, cone-flower, and circles of chives! We listen to the frogs croaking each evening and the sandhills chortling as crow makes an occasional pass through forest. Haven’t seen makwa (bear) of late… yet chickadee guards the meat scraps he finds! The wind and rain continue to bring messages of warning and love. Turkey… gichi-bine… maintains a presence on the porch.

We hope you too are looking forward to a fun spring of growing and enjoying time with all your relatives.

A Conversation on Rights

A friend lamented that Minnesota Tribes ought to be able to successfully sue for protection from Enbridge…

My response:

Many Tribal Nations – and three U.S. states – all working to prevent a Multi-Billion $ Canadian Corp – Enbridge – from DESTROYING OUR LAND, AIR, and WATER… for some pennies. Seems a lawsuit makes sense…

Though we all have watched the legal cases over recent years – whether it’s Tim Walz NOT pursuing the DOC case into the MN Appeals Court… or Judges deferring (CAVING) to (already indoctrinated and corporately captured) agency decision-makers as “authorities”. 🙁 The system is stacked against us as colonizer man writes his rules and laws as if Nature must adhere… As if Nibi recognizes little lines drawn on a piece of paper.

It’s not until we get into the Court of Natural Law that we’ll find ourselves understood.

It’s not until we see even more devastation than we already have, it seems, until COLONIZED HUMANS will be capable of grasping that the planet is crumbling in its carrying capacity for humans (and threatening the existence of many other Relatives, sadly). And it will be even longer after that until they gather the wits and compassion to do something fruitful and reasonable about it.

We’re 1316 days from the IPCC 1.5° Report… Three and a half years since they gave us a dozen to ‘save our planet for human existence’. And we’re seeing only a SURGE in fossil fuel use, a LACK of any measurable and meaningful proposals for change, and a continuing of the war machine and consumer economy that are creating more damage by the day. And those scientists… they’re saying, Oops! We REALLY underestimated the effects that would be piling atop each other as our systems degrade and become overloaded… So that 12 years? It’s more like 1-2. 😔

I’m with you, Ogichidaa. 💙

Been thinking about you a lot over the last days as I process the Indigenous Communities Pipeline conference experience. Sorry I haven’t reached out more personally. It’s been a shit show of everything herein this corner of Enbridgeland… as you know better than me. 😔

Gizhawenimin. I love you.
Gigawaabamin miinawaa wayiiba… apegish. I’ll see you again soon… I hope.
Zwaangide’ed! Stay Brave!

Facebook ramblings between Water Protectors 3-23-22

Happy Mother’s Day 2022

What a great weekend it’s been! So many blessings and gifts.

Life took me to Alexandria on Saturday so I was able to see Momma and give her a little handful of big pink roses that reminded me of her. So beautiful, elegant, simply wonderful. She liked them… as did the cats!!

Too many gifts to count here but some of the remarkable ones include:

  • A call from the Kids – such a good chat! Life is good and full of needed messages. Thanks, Celia for the insights. Tommy… You will always be my baby.
  • Mermaid Braid – I call it a Mermaid Twist.
  • Loads of ponderings from time with my sister.
  • Blessings from Scruffy and Gichi-bine. Miigwech. For your love, for your healing, for your lives.
  • Quiet in the woods… though some Sandhills calling.
  • 4 General Tso’s Chicken – They’re Back!!
  • Makwa visits…
Found a friend too… I thought I’d lost.

Fear & Love


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Fear rules when hostages are taken.
Fear that you will leave me,
Fear that you will hurt me,
Fear that you will see who I truly am.

Love rules when people are free.
Free to leave if they wish,
Free to stay if that is their desire
Free to choose who they will love.

Found this little piece in the archives… and it’s timely ~ written 4/2/2015




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Why do we wait?

Working hard and long hours…

for wages that cannot sustain…

making due as best we can…

giving the managers the benefit of the doubt…

until they’ve worn us down to almost nothing,…

before we, realizing our strength in numbers,…

finally revolt?

1937 photo by Margaret Bourke-White – Breadline during Louisville Flood.
The American Way… looks to be hitting its limits. World’s highest standard of living… only if you’re in power, white, male, obeying the system rules… which violate the laws of nature. What could go wrong?

[Stop reading here… looking at this photo… and have a good day. The above is plenty to ponder.
For those who cannot help their curiosity, or are drawn to read on, let’s move into the topic of death.
You are now forewarned… and thus forearmed.]

Is it possible, our anthropocenic immortality mythology is our own worst enemy… while it helps the powerful and already wealthy continue to thrive… in their maintenance of the status quo? No matter how many empty promises they have to make… or how many times they have to say “Green New Deal”? 🧐

If the first 30 seconds of this interview doesn’t grab you… skip it. Though I advise you to listen. This transparent and honest conversation resonated and understanding its ideas might help others find a new way forward. It’s impacted me significantly in the last week.🦋

If you want to listen, also check out this info about its content:

13:30 is especially interesting around what constitutes A Good Death. 16 minutes in, he speaks of coming to dying as a God. VERY interesting. Esp at 17 minutes… VERY good for those facing a fatal illness now. Dying as your final flower. [20 minutes] Oh… 24 minutes.🦋 This is good for any aspect of life… Then an interesting question…for the dying pastor. And then the story that follows… Really, I hope you decide to listen to this interview. So much insight… OK.
Listen to the rest if you got past 32 minutes where he makes really interesting statements about death and religion and community… and examines their impacts. I’m happy to have been linked to this interview. If you make it past the story at 34 minutes, you’ll realize everyone needs to listen to this… eh? By 50 minutes… your mind will be blown? For me… I’m now WIDE OPEN.
As we approach extinction, our aging in increasing and our sense of need for immortality grows more desperate? And then… dissection of Afterlife. Living with your Goneness… what a lovely concept. We must realize our co-dependent relationships.😲 I hope I will be an ancestor my descendants will claim. This is a really intense listen. beware. Find the miracles. We all deserve the truth. In case this leaves you sobbing as it did me… the short video at the link might be a comfort. [Or… for those who didn’t watch it yet… a warning.]

Thoughts On Dying Well In A Death-Phobic Culture

Your death, it doesn’t mean you any harm. It’s the most faithful companion you’ll ever have.

The inability to die is one of the things that calls our humanity into deep disrepair.

We’re death phobic in the extreme. Your dying is your life and your refusal to know that is not life affirming. It’s life betraying.

The great consequence of refusing to die well is the corruption of the capacity that others can grow by virtue of attending to your dying. What would their understanding be of dying then? … (Without this understanding) You’ll have another generation with a grudge, and a grievance, against the natural order of things.

In a culture that does not believe in endings, how do they solve heartbreak? The answer is: less heart. And that’s why the sedation and the anti-depressants.

Where is it written that the best dying is the one you don’t notice? Why… should dying not break your heart?

When you become a practitioner of grief, it stays. Now, you don’t get invited to many parties… if you become a practitioner of grief. But your understanding of love is renovated for all time.

My ability to be alive became habit form me. I looked around and I became, almost involuntarily, grateful.

Death it’s an ending, but you can know that you will die… so that you can chart your course accordingly.”

Thoughts On Dying Well In A Death-Phobic Culture Feb 24, 2021

If you think this too crude… the lower portion of this blog, I’d ask you to consider this.

Which is worse?

  • Willfully starving people to death in a broken and biased economy based on limitless planetary resources? [A Gross Lie]
  • Or allowing someone to choose their own end – for their time in this mortal coil – in a way of beauty, knowingness, and with sacred witness? [A Beautiful Truth]

Allowing us to come to dying as Gods.
Not alone. In an ICU. As we struggle for breath.

We might all want to go Down In The River To Pray.

The earth is what we all have in common.
~ Wendell Berry

Update 5/5/2022:

I spent time re-watching the second part to the Campfire Stories with Stephen Jenkinson. It begins and ends with Mattias and I encourage you to listen to his good words. I have watched several times now and I like to begin about 7:30 into the video… where Stephen mentions River of Abundance in Time.

I believe I live within Forest of Abundance of Time.

I hope you live with an abundance of time.

Blessed be.

There is no Bad



I was talking with a friend whose album is about to drop and he’s concerned my copy hasn’t arrived yet. Told him, “…gotta remember we live in the MN hinterlands with the rocks and cows. 🤣😉💖  I’m not worried. It’ll be here when i need it. The universe keeps showing me this… every day. It’s timing is more perfect than i can sometimes understand… so I get mad. But… it’s usually perfect… in hindsight.”

…and that’s what I felt drawn to blog about this weekend. So… here goes!

Another friend’s comments recently brought more clarity to me on this idea of “there is no bad”. I was recalling the fire I built [ingii-boodawe (I believe) is ‘I built a fire’ Ojibwemong] last week, first one I’d done in a long while.

It wasn’t an easy fire and this may have been from the temperature differential though I wonder more if it wasnt simply a gift from ishkode/fire.

I got everything set up as I’d done in the past and it looked good… for a minute. The fire was drawing into the j-tube. Yet the smoke also kept drawing into the house. Not a ton, but enough to have me think it might be excessive. It wasn’t like there was no draw… just not enough to keep all the smoke pulling through the j-tube into the barrel and out the chimney. So I worked and talked and moved misan (pieces of firewood) and then finally, after a few minutes, she got her draw!

I decided I needed to open the windows and I pulled the fan (that usually blows warm air from the stove to the rest of the house) and put it facing out the kitchen window, which I’d cracked, along with the window on the storm door.

As I told the story to my friend she noted it was as if the stove had ‘smudged’ the house for me and I was able to sweep out all the old energy! This new perspective doesn’t change the struggle I felt in the moment, though it gives a much happier memory of the event overall. So… there is no bad?

My most recent fire started right up!
No issues. 💗 Must have blown out all the negative spirits! 😁

There’s something to removal of old spirits… old ideas… and clearing the way for new information.

We’ve spent much time over the last decade hearing Enbridge claims Line 3 Replacement project was “good for Minnesota” but we see how that just hasn’t been true.

Not only did Enbridge spend the last decade lying about their expected impacts to our land, they worked on reimbursing themselves for back taxes… and lowering the taxes they’ll pay going forward… as their industry dies. And citizen monitors are adding their voices to the outcry of what we’re discovering in the land.

This past week Wisconsin DNR closed comments on Enbridge’s Line 5 Pipeline Re-route through the Bad River watershed.

While the re-route does nothing to Answer to the request of Bad River Band for Enbridge to remove its pipeline from their watershed, it could destroy the Wisconsin water quality, as we’ve watched them do here in Minnesota.

Evidence is coming to light, as can be seen in this latest video, of the horrors Minnesota still faces… as Enbridge continues to flow far and through their new Line 93 pipeline- supposed replacement for Line 3… while old Line 3 remains in the ground, rotting away, and their construction messes remain unremediated and secret from the public. I been asking MPCA this past week about when we might get the report back on their Frac-out Investigations… per Minnesota Reformer, it was expected last fall… over 6 months ago. 😲

Here’s commentary submitted Friday to the WDNR asking for a denial of the project by Waadookawaad Amikwag -Those who Help Beaver – a group of tribal members and citizen monitors engaging to detect concerns and insist on their remediation along Enbridge’s Line 93 corridor.

Share it? Help inform Minnesotans and our neighbors in Wisconsin of the concerns Enbridge’s construction practices, as well as their apparent cover-ups, fabrications, and dismissals of public water quality concerns.

Dear Wisconsin DNR,

We are writing today to encourage you to deny Canadian Corporation Enbridge’s Line 5 Re-Route project through the Bad River watershed.

Guiding Principles and Background

It is unclear how you might justify approval of a new fossil fuel project, as the UN Secretary General António Guterres has recently made clear that the IPCC report states we must do more, and by that, he especially stresses doing LESS with fossil fuel development. Over and again he speaks of the failure to reduce fossil fuel usage as leaders provided false promises that lacked associated action. He insists leaders must no longer lie or delay, stressing fast change is necessary if we hope to save a future for our children and that change must focus on protecting our natural world.

If Secretary-General Guterres’ urgent plea is to be heeded, a DENIAL of Canadian Corporation Enbridge’s Line 5 project is the only way to align with your Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Mission:

To protect and enhance our natural resources:
our air, land and water;
our wildlife, fish and forests
and the ecosystems that sustain all life.
To provide a healthy, sustainable environment
and a full range of outdoor opportunities.
To ensure the right of all people
to use and enjoy these resources
in their work and leisure.
To work with people
to understand each other’s views
and to carry out the public will.
And in this partnership
consider the future
and generations to follow.

You’ll see it’s not so different from that of Minnesota’s DNR mission…

The mission of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is to work with Minnesotans to conserve and manage the state’s natural resources, to provide outdoor recreation opportunities, and to provide for commercial uses of natural resources in a way that creates a sustainable quality of life.

Minnesota decided to permit Enbridge’s Line 3 re-route, much to the current misery of those of us along the Line 93 (Line 3 Replacement pipeline; henceforth “Line 93”) corridor who now live with many negative impacts to our region. In the aftermath of the Line 93 construction, we see a path of devastation across our state, cutting directly through Indian Country and affecting all the inhabitants of this land; swimmers, crawlers, flyers, plant nation – including Manoomin and all medicines, four-leggeds, as well as the two-leggeds.

Learning From Other Pipeline Projects, including Line 93

The Line 5 draft EIS is incomplete in several key ways, which would lead WDNR to make a bad decision. Please consider the input from Downstream Strategies report entitled Pipeline Impacts to Water Quality: Documented impacts and recommendations for improvements as you consider any permit conditions and restrictions you propose to allow.

This Downstream Strategies report (hereafter DS report) examined real-world experiences with four pipeline projects: Mountain Valley Pipeline and WB Xpress Pipeline in West Virginia and Virginia, the Rover Pipeline in West Virginia and Ohio, and the Mariner East II Pipeline in Pennsylvania. While these pipelines had individualized and shared concerns and failures, most were around sediment control and horizontal directional drilling (HDD) – both factors which would be of concern in the Bad River watershed and which were factors here in Minnesota.

The most significant water quality problems faced along both the WB Xpress and Mountain Valley pipelines have included inputs of sediment-laden water to streams. Most of the routes for these two pipelines cross mountainous terrain characterized by steep slopes, headwaters streams, and highly erodible soils. Reasons for failure of erosion and sedimentation controls that led to sedimentation in waterways were notably improper installation and lack of maintenance of the structures.

Mariner East II and Rover Pipelines both experienced significant water quality issues related to spilled drilling fluid during horizontal directional drilling, which contaminated streams and wetlands. Additionally, failure of erosion and sediment controls due to improper installation or insufficient maintenance, as well as a lack of approved erosion and sediment control best management practices, were major sources of violations for both pipelines.

This report also offers recommendations for improving regulation and oversight, best management practice design and implementation, and construction techniques for large-scale pipeline projects. These recommendations are based on observations of what went wrong during construction of the four pipelines, and techniques and requirements that are working to minimize water quality impacts. Notable recommendations include requiring site-specific stormwater plans for all stream and wetland crossings, encouraging companies to complete construction projects in shorter sections, and increasing regulatory inspections at the expense of the pipeline companies.”

Pipeline Impacts to Water Quality:
Documented impacts and recommendations for improvements
[Executive Summary, page iv]

Indeed, as citizen monitors, two of whom are abutters to the Line 93 corridor, one just north of where the pipeline crosses under Mississippi River at her headwaters along Great River Road (Clearwater County 40) and another who lives at the Line 93 crossing of Mississippi River also along Great River Road (Aitkin County 10), we’ve witnessed first-hand not only the failures of planned implementations for environmental controls and refusals to adhere to permitted requirements during construction, but also the damage resulting from the rush of construction as Canadian Corporation Enbridge installed this pipeline in a very short 10-month window, as opposed to the 2 years of construction proposed during the application process.

This DS report discusses the processes by which pipeline construction can impact the environment, but more importantly, it focuses on the areas where states learned hard lessons, and it provides important researched recommendations to states facing permit decisions for pipeline projects.

Pipeline Impacts to Water Quality report, page 3

The DS report notes that use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) on pipeline projects can be hindered by local regulations as well as these factors (page 5), all of which we witnessed during Enbridge’s Line 93 construction:

  1. the correct BMPs were planned, but were not installed correctly or at all;
  2. inappropriate BMPs were installed, or BMPs were inadequate for the conditions; or
  3. BMPs were improperly operated and maintained.

An overview is provided for each of the four studied pipelines including photo-filled case study summaries, as well as an overview of the important role Citizen Monitoring can have in identifying impacts before, during, and after construction (page 11). 

Lesson 1: Construction has permanent and severe impacts to the environment, despite Enbridge’s claims to the contrary.
Unfortunately the BMPs do not adequately address the need to protect groundwater. For example,wherever shallow groundwater is within 30 feet of the surface, deep trenching, HDD and the use of sheet pile to stabilize trenches can lead to pollution of groundwater by frac-outs and disruption of aquifers by breaches. In Minnesota, Enbridge caused at least 28 frac-outs (we have evidence that there are more that weren’t reported) and 3 major aquifer breaches (again, we have evidence of far more). 

These projects require sufficient pre-design and pre-construction investigation and necessitate groundwater specific BMPs and reporting/notification requirements for the applicant. 

Based on our experience in Minnesota we strongly recommend the following: 

  • The volumes of drilling mud used, recovered, or lost shall be reported by the applicant for each HDD crossing.
  • Areas with shallow artesian aquifers within 65 feet of the surface should have geotechnical borings at a spacing of no less than 500 feet that penetrate ten feet deeper than any proposed excavation, HDD, or sheet pile installation.
  • At HDD locations suffering inadvertent mud loss and frac-outs, monitor wells shall be installed upgradient and downgradient of the pipeline easement. The water quality shall be analyzed for the components of drilling mud including soda ash, bentonite, and any other additives used for the HDD.

As we believe the hope of WDNR would be to implement restrictions and conditions to prevent damage to the environment if there is a decision to permit, we believe adhering to these recommendations can potentially help Wisconsin avoid some of the devastating experiences Minnesota had in our recent interactions with Enbridge. Three breached aquifers and many frac-outs still suspect in our waters is what we citizens are left to monitor. We are hopeful that we leave you forewarned, and thus, forearmed.

Current work in Minnesota by White Earth Reservation, et al includes flyover data of the entire Line 93 Corridor with thermal imaging, which appears to indicate as many as six additional breaches to the three currently reported by MDNR.

The closing Recommendations section in the DS report can help inform Wisconsin DNR on some of the construction problems, alongside some potential solutions (page 27). Adhering to these recommended guidelines can help prevent Wisconsin seeing a re-iteration of the Minnesota experience on the Line 93 build.

Lesson 2: Partner with citizens to understand potential impacts and to monitor projects.
We encourage you to resist Enbridge’s assumptions and insinuations that citizens should be treated as your enemy. 

Along the Line 93 construction project here in Minnesota, citizen monitors were often the first ones aware of violations to the permit, with agencies being dependent on these citizen reports to discover infractions not readily communicated during construction by Enbridge.

Citizen monitors can reveal in-field concerns, and can play an important role in discovering areas that might not have been considered or foreseen by agencies and/or applicants. Having more intimate, longstanding, and direct contact with the land, especially throughout the seasons, local monitors can understand changes more readily than those unfamiliar with this landscape. They can also be key in reporting violations, as evidenced in Minnesota for the Line 93 project. 

The Willow River frac-out was a key example as seen in this posting that includes video detail of a violation discovered just after the July 4th holiday in 2021. Citizen monitors, arriving on scene prior to the arrival of any Enbridge workers, witnessed a frac-out of warm drilling mud into Willow River. A spill kit was evident at river’s edge, yet there was no Enbridge response team present. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency records revealed they were not informed until late that day of the incident. DNR Officers were soon on-site and threatening to arrest people, notably before the frac-out had been reported to the MPCA, including as citizen monitors were attempting to secure water samples. Aitkin County Sheriff Dan Guida reported he was aware of the frac-out and noted to the monitors, “Enbridge is taking care of it”, again prior to the incident being reported to MPCA. No water samples were taken, except those taken by the citizen monitors. During the day of monitoring, DNR Conservation Officers continued surveilling and arresting people as the frac-out occurred, seeming to ignore the environmental concern. In reporting that followed, the message of law enforcement looked to silence and/or disparage the citizen monitors, again adhering to the Enbridge narrative about those in opposition to their project, while no mention was made of law enforcement’s prior awareness of the spill in the press coverage.

Citizen monitoring includes the full scope of reporting from pre-construction challenges through post-construction monitoring. 

Pipeline Impacts to Water Quality report, page 11

Lesson 3: Acknowledge that some areas are fundamentally unsuitable for pipeline construction.
Enbridge and its consultants will systematically downplay environmental risk.

This was clear in Enbridge’s initial documentation, which downplayed HDD risks associated with their first Mississippi River crossing:

Most of Enbridge’s HDD assessments were similarly written, yet, as noted above, at least 28 frac-outs were reported along the new corridor, two of which were reported by MPCA at this location, spilling an unknown quantity of drilling mud, as Enbridge continues to refuse to provide data on this aspect of their construction project. [It should be noted Minnesotans are still awaiting a report from the MPCA on their HDD investigations, expected in the fall of 2021.]

Based on testimony from reitred MDNR pipeline specialist Paul Stolen on 11/19/2014 and for years thereafter, it was clear that the LaSalle Valley along the proposed Line 93 route was a place that should have been considered unsuitable for this type of project. His testimony was based on publicly available geology of the area and geotechnical investigations performed by pipeline companies, as well as his own experience with pipeline construction, including in this location. Other independent geologists reviewed and confirmed Mr. Stolen’s interpretations. Nevertheless, Enbridge’s consultant Barr Engineering asserted and testified that “none of the data collected suggests that a pipeline will adversely affect hydrologic conditions during and after construction.” Hindsight unfortunately vindicates Mr. Stolen’s testimony and shows Enbridge and Barr to have been terribly wrong: Line 3 Replacement Project LaSalle Creek Corrective Action Plan.

We must remember: Enbridge’s justification for the Line 93 project was to “replace” a deteriorating pipeline the Canadian corporation had been neglecting for decades. 

Enbridge’s reasoning was based on falsehoods, and their own misinterpretation of a federal consent decree, as they successfully used the example of their own ill-maintained Line 3 to justify a new pipeline project, creating a new corridor as their leases on Reservation land were expiring. 

One might more appropriately view the deterioration of Enbridge’s Line 3 as a sign of things to come with their “replacement” pipelines.

The following from the Line 93 project timeline and post-construction review might assist your decision-making: 

3-30-22 Enbridge’s Line 93 Aquifer Breach site near Fond du Lac Reservation (Milepost 1102.5) continues to flow as Enbridge works to seal the aquifer closed with grout.

The DNR has three current corrective action plans in place for the artesian aquifers ruptured by Enbridge during their Line 93 construction process at Clearbrook Terminal, LaSalle Creek, and Milepost 1102.5.

Lesson 4: Plan for comprehensive permit oversight and enforcement.
Permit oversight and enforcement are key and we include several ideas from the DS report.

  • Ensure “independence” of independent environmental monitors. 

Based on our experience with Enbridge on the Line 93 project, 17 of their 40 “independent” environmental monitors were previous Enbridge contractors or employees. Previous employment for an applicant should disqualify a monitor as “independent” and it may provide insight as to why several violations witnessed in Minnesota were not reported in a timely or transparent manner. Key to inspections are that they are: frequent, sufficient, and performed by trained, independent inspectors.

  • Site-specific stormwater management plans.  

We are unaware of any on-site independent management personnel or monitoring equipment employed during Line 93 construction.

  • Full evaluation of trenchless stream crossings.

While our experience agrees that HDD may be the least destructive way to cross streams, it is not a panacea. Here in Minnesota, Enbridge’s licensed professional engineer signed a report stating the low-risk of HDD, even as the pre-construction borings indicated an assurance that frac-outs would occur, and, in fact, might be common. [Feasibility Assessment by J.D.Hair & Associates, Inc. (pg 606): “Although there is a possibility that cobbles and boulders or pressurized groundwater conditions could be encountered, it is our opinion that experienced HDD contractors will be able to successfully install the crossing.” See pages 601-616. We would respectfully question their definition of what constitutes a ‘successful’ installation.] Additional geotechnical borings in areas where HDD and/or sheet piling will be used can reduce the uncertainties that might be revealed with construction, as we found here in the Mississippi Headwaters.

  • Designated stormwater manager. 

While company stormwater managers can be influenced by profits and timelines, state designated overseers can have a narrow role of environmental impact monitoring to the permit expectations. As mentioned above, the independence of monitors on the Line 93 project was insufficient to assure ready reporting of concerning impacts.

  • Improved communications strategy. 

Requiring applicants to provide all air photo, drone images and remote sensing data employed before, during and after construction, within five working days of acquiring the data, can allow for timely reactions to concerns. Real-time web updates on all work sites can also give quicker insight to indicator data.

  • Online mapping tools. 

Several mapping tools were used by citizen monitors to document the concerns along Enbridge’s Line 93 route. Mapping the Black Snake was a tool used early on that showed concerns from Alberta to the protest of construction and Watch The Line MN had a project map that included hundreds of recordings of before and during construction details in hopes to assure a return of the landscape post-construction to promised conditions.

  • Real-time water quality monitoring stations. 

The closest we had were citizen monitors… though we support the DS report recommendation for these tools to help assure adherence to permitted agreements.

  • Increased fines and permit fees. 

Again, Minnesota has Line 93 experience with this recommendation as well with MDNR filing a $3.32M mitigation and penalty funds, though the $20,000 maximum administrative fine was likely irrelevant to a company the size of Enbridge. Minnesota is currently considering legislation to increase these fines to $20,000 per day of violation. That would have taken Enbridge from a $20,000 fine to one of $7,240,000, factoring in the Clearbrook breach which flowed from 1/21/2021 through 1/18/2022.

  • Stop-work orders. 

Perhaps one of the most oft-heard questions citizens posed post-realization of the Clearbrook aquifer breach was why this violation did not stop construction for the project as a whole, when it was clear that Enbridge had not transparently reported the ongoing environmental damages. MDNR claimed a lack of authority. Stop-work order agreements in permits could have prevented this lack of authority over our own landscape as a Canadian corporation prioritized completion of its pipeline construction above remediation of the bleeding aquifer.

Lesson 5: Require more modern BMPs than Enbridge proposes
When it comes to BMPs, the DS report offers several considerations that should be adopted.

  • Proper BMP selection for large drainage areas and across ridgetops and headwaters watersheds. 

BMPs must be properly selected and sized based on the drainage area. A set of practices with specifications that address large drainage areas should be followed. Construction across ridgetops and headwaters watersheds poses a challenge to stormwater control. Extra attention to drainage area calculations during the design phase and utilization of ESCs specially designed for these sensitive environments can help protect water quality in these areas. These practices can include, for example, diversion ditches or dikes on the uphill side of a construction area that transport water away from the right-of-way and help prevent controls from being overwhelmed.

  • Access road BMPs. 

Controls to adequately handle flow associated with access roads must not be overlooked. This report documented instances where BMPs directed flow off the right-of-way and onto access roads, causing significant erosion and sedimentation of waterways. Like the pipeline corridor itself, access roads can channel runoff and sediment, often directly into streams and waterbodies, if ESC practices are not in place for the road surface and associated ditches and conveyances. Large pipeline projects typically have many miles of access roads.

  • Vegetative stabilization specifications. 

Specifications regarding vegetative stabilization in challenging conditions, such as steep slopes or shade, should be developed and followed during construction.  Erosion resulting from vegetation that did not grow was observed on the MVP.

  • State-certified professional geologist. 

A state-certified professional geologist should be on site to monitor HDD activities and to help guide responses should an IR occur.

  • Sufficient company staff to properly oversee and quickly respond to BMP failures. 

When company staff are spread across an extremely large construction site, as is the case with many of these long pipelines, it can be difficult to mobilize and correct BMP failures before waterways are impacted. When staff are responsible for managing and monitoring very large areas, it can also take time to notice failures. Additionally, management structures often require that managers who are not on site make decisions necessary to quickly remedy failing BMPs or to adjust construction plans based on on-site conditions. Improving this management structure to allow for quick adjustments at a construction site would help prevent impacts due to failing BMPs or when the conditions on the ground necessitate additional controls than are described in plans.

  • Sufficient time on design and planning. 

Perimeter controls, such as silt fences and filter socks, can act as channels when not utilized correctly. To remedy this, more time should be spent in the design and planning phase. The drainage area must be properly calculated. Additional ESCs—such as Jhooks, diversions, and outlet sediment traps—can be used to accommodate large drainage areas.

  • Use of short pipeline sections. 

Large-scale pipelines should be built to completion in short sections, thereby limiting the total area disturbed at any one time. The pipeline projects described here utilized a construction method that left very long stretches of the pipeline route with active construction areas. For example, trees were cleared along most of the routes, then the trenches were dug along most of the routes. ESCs were installed as work progressed, but very large areas were denuded at one time. Typical construction projects must stabilize open areas before moving to new areas; this same strategy should be applied to pipeline projects. This would allow attention to be given to a smaller disturbed area during intense storm events by staff and ensure controls are properly constructed and maintained. The extremely large construction sites also pose a challenge for regulatory agency inspectors.

Lesson 6: Require geotechnical investigations and robust pre-impact monitoring before you have to make decisions about permit conditions or permit approval.
In Minnesota the agencies did not require robust monitoring before construction started, so now they have no way to quantify the extent of environmental damage nor the permanence or impermanence of impacts. We implore you to treat each wetland and each stream as a valuable and unique system that deserves particular attention and understanding. “General permits” and blanket statements about hydrologic conditions are not appropriate for a project of this scale.

Lesson 7: Look for ways to build trust, not destroy trust.
The trust between the public and its government is a valuable resource, and should be cared for as such. 

Co-opting the process of environmental management, Enbridge spent nearly $8M to buy Minnesota law enforcement force to silence those in opposition along their project route, including over $2M in compensation to MN DNR Conservation Officers. As DNR Officers were tailing citizens who, in their own hopes of assuring compliance with the permitted parameters, were monitoring the construction corridor, DNR Officers missed environmental damages Enbridge was covering up; failures that included horizontal directional drilling frac-outs and breaching of artesian aquifers. We recommend your resources be used to uphold permit conditions rather than as enforcers to help Enbridge stymy public opposition.  

We, the members of Waadookawaad Amikwag – Those Who Help Beaver – a group of tribal members and citizen scientists working to monitor Enbridge’s Line 93 corridor post-construction, offer these above ideas for your consideration. 

Our hope is to save you from the same Enbridge experience 
we faced, and continue to remediate, here in Minnesota. 
It didn’t have to be this way.

Miigwech bizindaawiyeg. Thank you for listening.

Waadookawaad Amikwag Team Members

Debra Topping, Nagajiiwanaang (Fond du Lac) 1854 Treaty, R.I.S.E. Coalition Co-Founder, 

Gaagigeyaashiik / Dawn Goowin, Gaa-waabaabiganikaag (White Earth) 1855 Treaty, R.I.S.E. Coalition Co-Founder, 1855 Treaty Authority Alternate Board Member, Indigenous Environmental Network, Sierra Club North Star Chapter Executive Committee Member 

Ron Turney, Gaa-waabaabiganikaag (White Earth) 1855 Treaty, Indigenous Environmental Network Drone Pilot

Jeff Broberg, Minnesota Licensed Professional Geologist, Founder MNWOO (Minnesota Well Owners Organization)

Jaci Christenson, Volunteer advocate working to protect water, address our changing climate, and uphold treaties 

Jami Gaither, Retired Metallurgical Engineer, Abutter to Line 93 in 1855 Treaty Territory, Climate Justice Advocate

Shanai Matteson, Abutter to Line 93 in 1854 Treaty Territory, Climate Justice Advocate

Alexander Aman, Drone Pilot & Data Analyst, Climate Justice Advocate

Michele Naar-Obed, Climate Justice Activist, citizen scientist, Ally to Anishinaabe water protectors and treaty rights.

Full transparency… I FINALLY think I got all the typos in the signatures remedied. Apologies again… to those affected.

Finding Harmony in Disharmony


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I have a friend who’s looking at major life change.
Actually all my friends are looking at major life changes right now.
It feels like a time of massive global transition – in part forced on us by coronavirus – though perhaps she was just a symptom of a larger disease? That of humanity failing to recognize its limitations, its impacts, and what it needs do next to move forward in a good way?

My friend and I spoke of readiness.
We spoke of grief and letting go.
I remembered… Grieving is an expression of gratitude.

  • Gratitude for what is being let go.
  • Gratitude for what all we’re letting go of has done to make us who we are.
  • Realizing that even as we let go – of the many things we let go of throughout this life – we’re still us.
    It’s still me – the spiritual being inside of this body! This body which has produced another spiritual being… inside its own body! And for that, I am ever grateful.

I’m finding more and more today, as much as we ridicule or laugh in frustration at the mention of “thoughts and prayers”… that perhaps that might just be the best thing I can do.

  • Is there not energy for good in my thoughts and prayers?
  • Is it not true that the thoughts and prayers of others have been a part of what has pulled me along this path even when I felt I couldn’t go on?
  • Is it possible that in those moments of greatest despair – when peace suddenly finds a way to me – that it might be because of the thoughts and prayers of others?
  • Whether through a chickadee landing in my hand to eat a seed… or an eagle visible in a tree as I pass down the road… or a hawk flying low to snag a bit of dinner… and lucky me as I witness this everyday part of life: eating to sustain ourselves as living beings… are these not answered prayers?

Is it coincidence that these examples coming to mind quickly are all of flyers?
Is that because they are closer to Creator than me?
…because they are high in the sky where so many of us feel Afterlife is… Creator is… Spirit is?
Or is it simply because they live their lives trusting in the universe of ecosystem around them… and in each other… and maybe they even trust in that seed lady who holds out her hand?

Or is this why we think Creator and Afterlife are in the sky? …because we see the freedom of the birds? We see how they rely on the day-to-day universe for their nourishment… for their homes… and for their livelihoods. Are they not the same as us?

I’m learning… more and more these days… to go with the flow…
to do what is really necessary and trust that what I’m doing is the truly necessary…
to free myself… more and more… of the distractions… meant to disrupt… designed to pull me away from those things that truly are most important.

Breathing clean air
Drinking clean water
Eating nutritious food
[Unspoiled by chemicals… 
or as  unspoiled as any of it can be…
in a time when all of our water contains PFAS?]

is she not perhaps the most necessary for a happy and healthy life?

It’s like that song from Urban Cowboy… Looking For Love in All the Wrong Places.

“I bless the day I discover… Another Heart… looking for love.” ~ Johnny Lee
[Is this true for us all?]

We’re programmed to be consumers here in America. We seek love in fashion… and decadence… and what we like to call progress. Things that money can buy.
But doesn’t money come from working ourselves to death… in a job that maybe we don’t even like… or don’t even believe in… but do because it pays the bills?
And is money truly what we need to exist? In our natural world, greenbacks are irrelevant. So why are so many giving money and stuff such a focus? It seems we’re addicted to our own destruction.

We’re staring at our own existential crisis and it’s becoming more and more part of the news every day. The United Nations Secretary-General called the latest report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change “a litany of broken climate promises” showing the world is “on a fast track to climate disaster.” He succinctly noted where we are right now and what “leadership” is doing – nothing really… but stringing us along. We’ve heard the truth from scientists since the 70s [from the 50s if you were a scientist for ExxonMobil, eh?], yet this “news” has been followed by empty promises from leaders… for decades now. What makes us think that they’re going to change and do the right things that save humanity now?

We don’t really have control over them though.
All we have is control over ourselves… and often times, we don’t even have that.

So this is a year of continuing the journey to simplify life and lighten my load on Mother Earth… as best I can.

We’ve built a home that is far more sustainable than any home we’ve ever lived in… though it too could be improved. It still relies on electricity, which for now… for us, still comes from the burning of fossil fuel.
And much of our food still comes from a process heavily laden with fossil fuel use; much of what we eat arrives in containers made of fossil fuel by-products.

As such, my goal this year is to spend a day every week at the organic farm working for food as I did in pre-Covid days.

I miss the feel of the small seedling as I place her into the soil… tucking her into a bed of beautiful black Earth… Earth full of life itself. I miss adding that first drink of precious sacred water she will have as she begins life in her new homeplace. And as she works to grow – living her full life – I will continue to add water and protect her from invaders: The weeds… simply doing their job of living… breaking up the soil – as has been their duty over millennia. The same soil that I pack down to give my seedling friend a new place to start… the weeds quickly come in to loosen.

Can I thank each of these weeds as I pull them this summer?
Can I thank them for their lives as I push them aside… killing them to maintain a place… where this life that will bring me life, can have her space?

I will allow them their short life and then their death will return them to the soil again… creating food as they incorporate into our ecosystem: the system of life-and-death is never-ending.

We live within these same natural laws as humans… though we like to pretend that we do not.
As long as we continue to ignore the natural natural law we will continue to destroy the life on this planet that sustains us.
It is only when we recognize ourselves as small cogs in the ecosystem of life that we will know our true place and begin to live in harmony with the rest of life… on which we all depend. 

Merry Garden Farm’s Beautiful Beets 8/21/18

Then… and only then.

First they ignore you.

Then they laugh at you.

Then they say you’re being controlled by an outside force.

Then they call you an idiot.

Then they yell at you.

Then they stop calling.

Then they unfriend you.

Then they start calling others to warn them about you.

Then they work to force you out of the group completely.

Then the authorities make laws to say you are a criminal.

Then these authorities lock you up.

Then they lock up anyone like you…

Until everyone is all the same again.

And there can again be peace.

Be True to You… even when they have the capacity to crush you.

But a peace of conformity… with little beauty?

A Letter to My Dentist


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Good evening!

I told Doc I’d send him something so if you can get this to him, it’s much appreciated. This song – Inches & Miles – is one of my faves and it came to mind during my numbing shot. 😉

We were also talking about the damages done by Enbridge during their construction up here and how extensive it is and how the public is largely ignorant of the impacts – as Enbridge, with the apparent help of MN agencies, has worked hard to assure. Thought I’d send more info in case other questions arise or you wanna share info with folks there. [And… it turned into a novel… Take what you like and leave the rest! I been doing this too long. And… trigger warning: There are references below to some of the human impacts to women that are not easy reading.]

PLUS… Y’all may not realize it (as there is a lot of “behind the scenes secret stuff” in infrastructure work!!) yet the newest threat in southern Minnesota is CO2 pipelines. WAY MORE DANGEROUS than these tar sands pipelines – far more risks for citizen fatalities. I know CURE is working on this issue in case it affects any of your folks. [I heard Friday that State Farm is REFUSING to insure farmers who have CO2 pipelines in their land… so, THAT’S how dangerous they are.]

Anyhow… back to the ongoing horror of Enbridge up here in Lake Country.

Y’all saw the front page Strib piece last Tuesday on DNR finally reporting on the THREE aquifers Enbridge destroyed – bleeding our landscape dry in a year of already historic drought. 😔 Two breaches are within 8 and 25 miles of me; the third is near a friend’s house on Nagaajiwanaang / Fond du Lac Reservation (the breach is just off Reservation land). So many suffered here this summer. Wells drying up… So many who had to truck in water…  Well, that’s just PART of the story. 

And the worst on these aquifer breaches is that Paul Stolen, retired MNDNR, PREDICTED the troubles in LaSalle Valley – as he’d been on a PREVIOUS FRAC-OUT FAILURE… (see page 40 in the link; photos below). This testimony was from November 19, 2014. Six years before construction began.

Enbridge has worked very hard, spending millions, to assure most Minnesotans have no idea what they’re up to in Indian Country.  

Friends of the Headwaters FB Post 3/23/22

They talked of all the jobs they were going to bring, promising us locals HALF of them, then only delivering (MAYBE) 30% of the jobs to Minnesotans. Maybe… We don’t know. Seems Enbridge stopped reporting Minnesota jobs after their first dismal reporting on their numbers in Q4-2020. 🤔

Enbridge hides data from public on promised Line 3 job creation for Minnesotans

“The PUC should have treated the Line 3 permits like a contract: “We will give you permission to build this pipeline under these conditions. If you fail to meet those conditions, then there are consequences.” It could be a $10 million fine, permit revocation, something to make sure that Minnesota got some meager benefit from this unnecessary pipeline.”

Enbridge hides data from public on promised Line 3 job creation for Minnesotans

And then other media… keep the Enbridge lies growing:

AP buys Enbridge’s Line 3 jobs claim without needed skepticism 😩

The main concern I’m facing at present are the impacts of Horizontal Directional Drilling frac-outs that happened during construction last summer. It seems these fluids may remain in our landscape and we see citizens monitoring water crossings – as MN agencies are largely unresponsive to the risks, parroting Enbridge talking points to assure all is well. 😖

These are water samples taken March 1st in the Mississippi Headwaters a couple miles from my house (yeah, that’s my hand). The background of these photos is the Mississippi River Valley along Great River Road in Clearwater County, just a few miles north of the Headwaters crossing in Itasca State Park – as the crow flies. You can read more about this sampling in this FB Post from Indigenous Environmental Network or my blog: Minnesota Water Protectors: Now Working to save Wisconsin and Michigan Waters You can read more about the Aquifer issues in: My Birthday Blog Post… to the US Army Corps

Test Samples from Mississippi Headwaters in Clearwater County

Enbridge said in their Line 3 application to Minnesota there was a “Potential for inadvertent release of drilling fluids” and continued through the permitting process to submit evidence that the risk was “Low” at rivers like Mississippi. 

[Bottom of page 612/1059.]

Enbridge’s own documents (full of mis-statements and deception) point to the MPCA… “• According to the MPCA, release of drilling fluid is not unexpected.” {suddently they’re the experts on HDD???} instead of giving you the truth… which Enbridge knows… that frac-outs are common and expected.

Yet, even, prior to construction – during the boring process – samples taken to determine the geology of the route made clear that spills of drilling mud were common. That is not a LOW risk… but appears to be an assurance frac-outs would occur during HDD for the pipeline.

Slide from an HDD presentation by a MN Geologist to state agencies and lawmakers ~ December 10, 2021

Imagine the increase in losses for, not a small diameter boring hole but a 36″ diameter pipeline drilling 60′ below Mississippi… Now you have an idea of what is “potentially” in our landscape at the Headwaters in the aftermath of Enbridge.

Agencies have been unresponsive to citizen outcry. Though we’ve been asking for 9 months.  Even in 2022, as evidence accumulates, Minnesota Senators continue to be stonewalled.

And, moving to the clear human impacts here along the Corridor, from those faced by local citizens… to Indigenous women, who face a 10X higher risk of assault, including rape.

This story covers the frac-out experience from the perspective of a friend of mine who I refer to as “the lady at the second Mississippi crossing” while I’m the “lady” at the first. She lives on land at the crossing near Palisade, MN. Her family has been here for generations.

I personally know dozens of women who have been brutalized along this construction route. Maybe the most disturbing case to hit the public news was a woman who was raped in Bemidji outside a bar. The rapist was released on bail and… when they sent his trial notice, it came back from Idaho undeliverable. So he’s still out there somewhere. This is Enbridgeland.

The most disturbing story shared to me was of a friend brutally beaten and raped with chunks of her hair being torn from her scalp. She’s Native though. So we’ll likely never see justice for the men who raped and beat her. It’s a different system of justice for Native women than white women up here. This is why you may be familiar with the term MMIW, as, in recent years, Minnesota has finally created an office to deal with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Sorry if this is too much. My own marriage is struggling and this feels largely due to the trauma imposed by the Enbridge pipeline in our backyard. The treads on the timber matting road sound like military tanks rolling through… and the devastation they leave is worse than that feeling. My life has been consumed by working to protect the land and water, and Dan has struggled to watch as he’s unable to stop the attacks on women and the devastation to the land. It’s hard for a man in this country to live with being unable to protect those he loves. It seems to be destroying him. 😢 It’s devastated us both.

Adding Covid to the mix didn’t help. Enbridge rejoiced as they were able to work largely unimpeded or unseen by locals, who were locked down in their homes while Enbridge workers ran amok. […all except that crazy lady in her back yard who filmed most of their work there!] 

Our covid case counts and deaths along the corridor were higher than necessary because the state of Minnesota would not consider the pipeline work to be unnecessary – and delay it until after the pandemic surge. Thousands of  pipeline workers from places like Texas, Oklahoma, Montana, Michigan, North Dakota, Idaho, Arkansas… converged on Minnesota likely hurting our overall Covid performance and bringing more death locally. How much lower could these middle and third waves have been – as they correlate to the times Enbridge came (October-2021 through March-2021 & June-2021 thru October-2021).

Source: https://ourworldindata.org/excess-mortality-covid

Many felt this was another piece of the genocide as Natives were at far higher risk for Coronavirus and this pipeline runs straight through the heart of Indian Country.

Though you all know the horrors of Covid far better than I do. Dealing with infrastructure changes like plastic panels was the least of it I’m guessing. Figuring out how to do your work – IN PPL’S MOUTHS, no less! WOW. More  though, I’m guessing, was the living in fear each day as you wondered if you’d be exposed… get really sick… or, worse, carry the disease to someone you love. This has been a horror of wondering and waiting… and it feels we’re all still recovering – maybe we will be for years yet? 

I know I missed most of that foregoing my cleanings for so long. And my teeth suffered, though perhaps more from the trauma of living in a pipeline construction zone, being rumbled from bed by heavy equipment day after day, watching them clear cut the forest you love. 😣 That trauma has been key in my own physical deterioration. I can only imagine how hard it’s been for those less fortunate than us.

Not sure if you realized but one of the original corridors of consideration for Enbridge’s Line 3 replacement pipeline was along I-94. Could have brought those promised “Minnesota jobs” to Alexandrians… so I guess you guys lucked out on that one? Cold comfort when you come here and see the impacts. Thousands of trees have been culled from the landscape. I’ve heard from ppl along the corridor that their vacationing/cabin neighbors and visitors to Lake Country have been pretty astounded to see some of the changes. And we still have equipment present near Fond du Lac. 

Thanks again for all your good work. You guys Suck the Best!! ;D
This eyetooth is still a bit sensitive this morning so I’ll keep an eye on it. Maybe that’s normal for a few days? Looking forward to seeing y’all again in May. And if anyone you know is interested, send my info to them as I’m always glad to help educate people about what Enbridge and other polluters are working to bring to Minnesota. 

Huber Frontier Mill in Cohasset seems the next big unnecessary debacle… a new OSB plant built a few miles down the road from an existing OSB plant that’s closing… 😡 again, screwing over the Native Nations in our fair state (the tree take circle includes most of the Reservation lands here). And… wait for it… 🤑 MN taxpayers forking over $80M to help it happen! 

This time, the decision was made – not by a state agency but a CITY COUNCIL – with NO Environmental Impact Statement! AND without public input allowed at the vote… though MANY had shown up to have their voices heard that day! 😳 WTF? There goes our Democracy??? 😩

It’s really getting scary how government is working to sell off our state resources as fast as they can… this time, more of our Tree Nation. 😭

I’ll end with another of my favorite Heywood Banks selections… this one is pretty appropriate for the above rantings? 🤔

My Birthday Blog Post… to the US Army Corps


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Dear USACE, 

It is TROUBLING that the Army Corps of Engineers are considering another Enbridge project in the precious watery lands of the Northern Midwest. It seems Enbridge is at war with the U.S. Midwest as they continue to TRENCH through our lands and make plans for further devastating invasions of our most precious and beautiful landscapes.

My only hope is for you to deny their application as their new route does not meet the requirement of the Bad River Band – to move the pipeline from the watershed – and it does not protect Lake Superior. Instead, it only threatens MORE of the natural beauty and resources (some of us call them relatives) of Northern Wisconsin as it REMAINS a threat to the watershed of one of the largest remaining freshwater sources in the world – Gichi-gami.

It is BAFFLING to this engineer (University of Cincinnati Metallurgical Engineering ’91) that you guys at the USACE seem unable to find a way to comprehend that the time for fossil fuel development is OVER. 

HOW ON EARTH, with the events happening all over the globe, including horrifically worse outcomes and damages than in previous decades, costing individuals/companies/towns/cities/states/nations and corporations billions more each year, as our planet seems on the brink of tipping past a point of no return on protecting our atmosphere for human habitation, can you all not seemingly find yourselves able to DENY FOSSIL FUEL INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS? Is this the time you finally will? Can you awaken to the reality around you?

Are you not seeing the preciousness of water – now a commodity on Wall Street?

Is that the problem for you all in recognizing the inherent gift of Water’s existence – as the SOURCE OF ALL LIFE – that humans have now named Her a “commodity”? If so, you ignore this truth to your own peril. And to the peril of your children. And theirs.

Allowing Enbridge to pursue ANY PROJECTS WHATSOEVER after the STAGGERING DAMAGES that Minnesotans are only NOW learning about from our Department of Natural Resources seems a sure way to continue destroying, NOT PROTECTING, our natural resources. 

Clean land, water, and air on which all humans depend. These are the things that ought be protected. And based on Enbridge’s rushed construction and poor performance to promises made in Minnesota, ANY PROJECT they submit requires refusal, at a BARE MINIMUM, until they can clean up the messes from their latest pipeline re-route.

Just in time to submit for your consideration… here’s what we’re seeing in Minnesota today:

DNR Update on Line 3 Aquifer Breach Investigation and Enforcement

As you can see in this screenshot above, I cannot yet bring myself to open the LaSalle Crossing document. 😞 THE EXACT LOCATION PAUL STOLEN Retiree of MNDNR TESTIFIED WAS THE WORST PLACE FOR A TAR SANDS PIPELINE (see page 40 in the link).

My own video documentation of the concerns throughout the project depict issue after issue, capturing the dangers. We documented the real time response by Enbridge to a potentially fatal incident in LaSalle Valley in this video: Enbridge Line 3: Equipment In Icy Water at LaSalle Creek Wetlands – filmed 2/6/2020, when an Enbridge worker – again, unfamiliar with our landscape – found himself submerged in his own equipment, his co-workers unable to free him, requiring the destruction of a beaver dam to relieve the water levels so he could be pulled to safety.  At least he didn’t die, like this worker, killed days into the Enbridge Line 3 project. Enbridge talks a big game but in reality, their attention to safety lacks real substance when it’s applied on-site.

IT IS NOT AS IF WE HAVE NOT WARNED of these dangers. 

This newly reported breach in the LaSalle Valley is just 7.5 miles down the corridor from my backyard where the Enbridge Line 93 (‘New’ Line 3) sits – a danger to me every day. The Clearbrook Aquifer breach is 23.8 miles back toward Canada as the crow flies. So here I sit, in between, horrified that the agencies and government representatives that are charged to protect our land and water have either 1) shirked their duties to responsible and thorough review… or 2) been duped or motivated by Enbridge ideology or money to move ahead in SPITE of the science and the missions demanding Enbridge permits be denied.

Any decision to permit this Line 5 re-route will find you culpable for destroying this landscape. Will YOU take that accountability? If you are a decision-maker, IT IS YOURS, whether you deny it or not.

As with the approval of Line 3 – ALL WE TRIBAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ADVOCATES WARNED… has come to pass. Time will tell what criminal and civil liabilities result. Though it does seem the decisions are coming in more and more for Tribes and for Mother Earth these days… so, approve at your own risk?

This is just ONE of THREE KNOWN Aquifer Ruptures resulting from Enbridge’s LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF OUR TERRAIN:

Enbridge’s revised Groundwater Investigation Plan

And what do they care? This isn’t Canada, eh? 

For more on the originally revealed Breach in Clearbrook, MN – Enbridge’s company town, no less, see:

As is clear in the BOLD video, the DNR was ill-prepared for the mismatch in promises made and the reality Enbridge delivered in monitoring and reporting during construction… a dichotomy that truly revealed Enbridge’s practices in prevarication.

What do you think this bodes for Wisconsin?

Aquifer breaches were one kind of risk Water Protectors all along the Enbridge corridor were working to prevent. And, today, our suspicions of Enbridge damages were validated… AGAIN…😖11/10/21 Enbridge at Work: Mississippi Headwaters and LaSalle Valleys as we see the LaSalle Valley containing one of the THREE aquifer breaches by Enbridge. [3:24 into the video, I call the aquifer breach on 11/10/2021 – though we didn’t hear anything on it from our state agency reps until… TODAY! 😡]

The USACE should find any application/documentation/plan submitted by Enbridge to be suspect for falsehoods and rife with thoughtlessness for natural beings and the natural world. For this reason alone, at a minimum, documentation should require as much detail as possible to hold Enbridge accountable to standards, and should include as many borings as possible to assure Enbridge has sufficient data to understand the landscape in which they plan to work. 

There must be allowances for rescinding any and all permits when violations are discovered. As was seen in the Aquifer Breach in Clearbrook, Enbridge CLEARLY LIED in reports to the state DNR. THIS DISCOVERY in mid-June, should have allowed ALL permits for the construction to STOP CONSTRUCTION for the project. Perhaps if it had, we’d not see the devastation we have now in Minnesota?

What can you do? Learn from this: 
Line 3 Hot Potato: Permit Process Failure and what we can do about it.
Pay close attention at 50 seconds… when ‘Enbridge’ hears truth from the ‘Federal Government’. 

It’s not only State Agencies, but Federal folks like the USACE that are required to be accountable to their missions in reviewing risks and determining if projects are helpful or harmful to the people and the land. The dangers presented by Enbridge are too high to risk as we move into the future. 



Please assure my comments, with functional links appear in your public dockets, file management systems, and other places where the public at large can use them to understand the risks of this proposed re-route of Enbridge’s Line 5 pipeline in the Lake Superior watershed.

Thank you for your consideration. 

Jami Gaither
Enbridge Line 93 Abutter
Clearwater County, Minnesota

You can email your comments to: CEMVP-L5WSR-PN-Comments@usace.army.mil

For Minnesotans interested in learning more about the DNR investigations into these three Enbridge Aquifer breaches: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Update on Line 3 Aquifer Breach Investigation and Enforcement