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Natural Resources

Lake Superior

Natural Resources

LWV Minnesota has a long history of advocating for our natural resources. Our formal position is to promote an environment beneficial to life through the protection and wise management of natural resources in the public interest. LWV since its inception expressed concern about depletion and conservation of natural resources when the League undertook a study of flood control, erosion and the creation of the Tennessee Vally Authority. In later decades LWV built a broad national program focused on protecting and managing the interelated aspects of air, water, land use, energy and waste management. League activists help pass the landmark Clean Water Act of the early 1970s and helped to expand and strengthen it in the 1990s. Water issues, from groundwater protection to agricultural runoff, to the Safe Drinking Water Act have energized many of our members to action at the local, state and national levels. 

Here in Minnesota, in the most recent years, we have been following the impact of frac sand mining, agricultural runoff, pipeline proposals, and  groundwater quality to name just a few areas of interest. LWV Minnesota is not only concerned with effects of our natural resouce policies on our eco-systems, but the process in which the governing authorities communicate to the public and whether violators of our laws are held accountable for damaging these precious resources.  

Specifically our positions are as follows:


  • Support a system of sustainable agricultural production which provides safe, healthful food and which preserves and protects the state’s human and natural agricultural resources and enhances the environment; research and technical assistance in farming practices and rural economies that improve the economic viability of family farms, environmental health, and the quality of life of family farmers and their communities.

Air Quality

  • Support measures to reduce air pollution from vehicular and stationary sources.
  • Support measures to reduce vehicular pollution, including development of more energy-efficient transportation systems.


  • Support energy goals & policies that acknowledge the U.S. as a responsible member of the world community
  • reducing energy growth rates
  • using a variety of energy sources with emphasis on conserving energy & using energy-efficient technologies
  • predominant reliance on renewable resources
  • policies that limit reliance on nuclear fission

Land Use

  • Support an overall land use plan with maximum cooperation and implementation at the regional and local level, with state help in developing and exercising land use management,with opportunity for maximum local decision making, and with regional planning and regulation for matters of more than local concern.

Solid Waste

  • Support measures to reduce generation of solid waste and ensure safe treatment, storage and disposal of all wastes.


  • Support a comprehensive long-range planning; wise decision-making that incorprates consderation of environment, public health, social and economic impacts
  • Better acccess to housing and jobs
  • Suport measures to reduce vehicular polluiton
  • Support maintaining a viable statewide transprotation system, including public transit

Water Resources

  • Support a state role in the preservation and management of Minnesota’s water resources through protection, allocation, conservation, pricing and interbasin transfer policies protective of Minnesota’s current and future needs.
  • A state water conservation plan which emphasizes preservation and efficient use of water resources.
  • Water-pricing policies which include full costs of production and delivery in water prices, as well as a rate structure which encourage conservation and user fees or taxes to cover costs in state water management

Great Lakes Eco System

  • Supports preserving and enhancing the environmental integrity and quality of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Ecosystem. We support the attainment and maintenance of high water quality standards throughout the Great Lakes Basin, with emphasis on water pollution prevention. Water conservation should be a high priority of all governments in the Basin.

ILO-Upper Mississippi River Region

  • In October 2015, the newly formed Independent League Organization (ILO) will meet to pass by-laws and set out its strategic plan for protecting the Upper Mississippi River Region. This ILO will incorporate local Leagues from 4 states: Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa. This group will conduct broad outreach to their communities to educate on specific land use, agricultural, industrial, residential effects on the water quality of the entire watershed will call the Upper Mississippi River Region. Partnering with governing officials and other concerned organizations, the goal is to improve and protect the water quality of this remarkable eco system. 
  • Learn more by visiting the ILO-UMRR page on our website.