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Gov. Walz reappoints school trust lands director

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EYE ON MINING -- Governor Tim Walz has announced the reappointment of Aaron Vande Linde as School Trust Lands Director.

The state's school trust fund benefits heavily from the iron mining and timber industries.

Data from the Minnesota DNR shows roughly 2.5 million acres of School Trust Lands and an additional one million acres of severed mineral rights remain.

Each year mining contributes millions of dollars to every public school in Minnesota.

The numbers for this year aren't available yet, but according to the DNR, last year taconite iron ore pellet operations from school trust lands added up to more than $37.5 million. That's up 42 percent from the previous fiscal year.

The most significant source of school trust iron ore mined in the biennium was at U.S. Steel’s Minntac operation in Mountain Iron, Minnesota.

Following the reappointment announcement Vande Linde said in part,

“There is significant work ahead to optimize school trust benefits for Minnesota’s public school students, and I look forward to continued collaboration with all trustees and stakeholders to ensure current and future beneficiaries receive the benefits they are entitled to."

Vande Linde has served in this role since 2015. This term will last through 2024.

Kristen Vake

Anchor, Reporter

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