The curious case of Cuyuna: Re–Envisioning former extractive sites to stimulate local communities

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4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Thirty years after the closing of the iron ore mines in the Cuyuna Range, the last of Minnesota's three great “Iron Ranges”, a grass-roots, locally-led initiative set about to re-envision the range and the region through the establishment of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area. Their goal was not only to stimulate local economies after mining, but also to preserve and protect the region's mining heritage and its natural environment. The objective of this study was to track the history of the Cuyuna SRA to understand better how former extractive sites can be re-envisioned and re-appropriated to benefit local communities and the natural environment long after mining ceases, and how the curious case of Cuyuna can be applied to other former extractive sites. Findings suggest that former extractive sites can be re-envisioned through ecological revitalization to benefit local communities and the natural environment, and that the closure of mining activities does not necessarily signal the demise of adjacent communities. However, each mine and its surrounding communities are at the mercy of their individual and collective context, including local decision making and the will of stakeholders, and it is this context that ultimately determines the success or failure of such endeavors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)860-868
Number of pages9
JournalExtractive Industries and Society
Volume4
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Community development
  • Economic development
  • Iron ore mining
  • Mountain biking
  • Recreation
  • Tourism

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