Last winter, former Minnesota state representative Frank Moe ran a team of sled dogs from Grand Marais to St. Paul to raise awareness about sulfide mining in northeastern Minnesota.
Sloshing through a thin layer of snow on the St. Paul city streets, his sled sparking on dry spots on the pavement, Moe carried around 13,000 petition signatures opposing the proposed expansion of sulfide mining. Environmentalists have criticized the mining for polluting the surrounding ecosystem with high levels of sulfuric acid.
His destination was the Minnesota state capitol, where he got off of his sled and presented the petition to Governor Mark Dayton.
Moe’s journey was made into the documentary Sled Dogs to Saint Paul: The Race for Clean Water by Grand Marais filmmakers Kelly Schoenfelder and Patrick Knight. The film highlights Moe’s race and features interviews of landowners, legislators, environmental advocates and community members who’ve been affected by the proposed sulfide mining.
Moe, along with members of the film’s production team, came to the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs Saturday for the Twin Cities premiere of the film. He addressed a crowd of students, friends and community members about the issues he mushed against in the documentary.
“It was a surreal experience,” Moe said. “It was really exciting to be able to travel through different parts of Minnesota on a dog sled.”
He said he hopes the film will get people thinking about the issues around sulfide mining.
“I want people to think about how important clean water is to Minnesota.”