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Citizens Trying to Block Minnesota Quarry

A citizens group is trying to block a proposed quarry on the western edge of Minnesota, saying it will spoil a scenic landscape of rock outcroppings and prairie. Strata Corp., Grand Forks, N.D., wants to develop a 104-acre quarry adjacent to the Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge between Ortonville and Odessa.

The quarry would be part of a 478-acre property that hosts nine species of rare and endangered plants, including ball cacti found nowhere else in Minnesota, the West Central Tribune of Willmar reported.

Project Manager Bill LaFond said Strata is committed to limiting the environmental damage as much as possible and to reducing the impact on the rare plants and the a neighboring farm. But he says the regional construction industry needs the crushed rock the quarry will provide. “At this point in time we have to develop our natural resources in a wise fashion,” LaFond told the newspaper.