Attention writers! Submit your thoughts about the Strata blast & crush proposal by April 16

Clark in Strata Zone

Clark Mastel and the Strata Zone.

Big Stone Quarry Public Hearing
April 17, 2012 7 PM
Ortonville Armory
309 Madison Avenue
Ortonville MN 56278

The last public hearing on Strata Corporation’s blast and crush proposal is April 17. If you can attend the hearing, please stand with the residents of Ortonville Township as they speak out for the future.

Obviously, not everyone  who opposes this type of unsustainable development can attend. But, we still need your help. We want you to send us your writing. It can be an essay, a story, poem, memory, or “vision for a better future”. Submit photos if available. Remember, art can be a powerful way to influence leaders.

We wish to influence Big Stone County officials to Stop Strata.

Here are some suggestions to help you frame your thoughts about the blast and crush proposal.

Wrong Project – Wrong Place – Wrong Time

Wrong Project:
This project proposes to continue a pattern of extraction and unsustainable development that can never be an economic and quality of life positive for our community. It is a project of arrogance and destruction brought to Big Stone County by Corporate Carpet Baggers. It is supported by some out of the desperation, desperation for any economic development.


Great Blue Herons have started a new rookery in the Strata Zone.

Wrong Place:
The area should never have been included as a potential site for aggregate extraction in the county land use ordinance and zoning mapping for Big Stone County. Granted, the proposed site is a stone’s throw from two other blast and crush operations, but it also likely ads substantially to the cumulative bad effects of blast and crush operations in general. Three is one quarry too many.

The area to be mined is a rare granite outcrop zone and should be set aside to preserve its special features.

The footprint of the new quarry rests adjacent to the Minnesota River, borders the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge on one end and the City of Ortonville on the other. The footprint encompasses the rare plant habitat of Ball Cactus and many other rare plants and rare wetlands. The new $1M plus bike trail runs adjacent to the site.

The area is currently home to abundant wildlife including nesting eagles and a new Blue Heron Rookery.

Eighteen homes line the edge of the proposed project and a family farm cattle operation currently shares the outcrop zone with the natural community. The farmer expects to be put out of business.

White-face Angus

It's unlikely that dust from the blast & crush operation would be good for this heifer's diet.

The economics of this project do not add up. The losses do not balance any gain. This type of project represents development by desperation. It flies in the face of thoughtful development and good design, sustainability based on quality of life indexes, and the protection of current stakeholders; plants, animals, elderly neighbors, farmers, the refuge, the town, and the river.

Wrong Time:
The time for this type of near laissez faire decision making is past. In a world of diminishing resources, near depleted habitat, and general lack of community regard – development by the greedy and lazy needs to stop. Build a future that keeps our assets intact.

Please email your submission to by end of day Monday, April 16. Compiled works will be submitted for the record the night of the hearing.

Photography by James Robins.


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