Steve Giorgi
Executive Director
Phone: 218-780-8877

Image "Hull Rust" by Amy Flanigan

RAMS hearing 1940

Scheuring Speed Sports Aurora, MN photo by Paul Pluswick

Commissioner Mark Phillips 2015 Annual RAMS Meeting Vice President Jim Fisher /Director Steve Giorgi

Kawishiwi Falls - Ely MN photo by Adrian Koski 2016


Tower Airport photo by Adrian Koski

Moon over Queen City photo created by Matt Herberg

RAMS delegation with Senator Klobuchar

2016 Press conference on US Forest Service - Virginia, MN

Mayor Novak Ely Whiteside Park

Pioneer Mine Ely MN photo by Adrian Koski


Twin Metals MN and MN Power, two companies with strong ties to northern Minnesota, have decided to become Corporate members of the Range Association of Municipalities & Schools.  Corporate members often are vendors or companies that work hand in hand with our public sector members and MN Power is certainly that.  Twin Metals has been a wonderful addition to the Ely community and the region and RAMS has been working hand in hand with both of these companies in the fight to have the US Forest Service renew leases for the Twin Metals project.  RAMS is delighted to add these two new members to our growing list of membership.  On behalf of the board, I thank you for joining our ranks.  “ONE RANGE – ONE VOICE “ 

Fostering economic development across Minnesota’s Iron Range

One Range… One Voice

Ensuring the voices of our Range cities, townships, and schools will be heard on the issues of economic enhancement and quality of life.

Serving Cities, Townships and Schools since 1939.

The Range Association of Municipalities & Schools (RAMS) was created in 1939 by the joining together of the Range Civic Association and the Range Municipalities Committee to promote legislation beneficial to its membership.
The main function of RAMS is to monitor proposed State and Federal legislation and determine how it may affect Association member units of government. The Range Association of Municipalities & Schools (RAMS) works closely with the Iron Range Delegation, the Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRRB) , and area economic development entities to further community development and quality of life for all member units.

Virginia School Board Director

Kim Stokes, Virginia School Board

Message From the Board

Someone recently asked me why I chose to live on the Iron Range. It was a thought-provoking question for me, given my determination after high school to leave for the big lights and big city, vowing never to return to the Range or marry a Ranger. Little did I know that a few years later I would I end up back home with a new job, AND married to that Ranger I met while working in the Twin Cities. Turns out it was a good decision.

It was a good decision to live here and raise a family because of what the Iron Range has to offer.

Shared values ~ Range values.

Range values are the kind of values our grandparents brought with them from “the old country” – Greece, Slovenia, Croatia, Italy, Germany, and Finland to name a few. They had a vision for a better life not only for themselves, but for the grandchildren they hoped to meet someday. They were risk takers who knew the value of hard work, determination, and perseverance. Their emphasis on education and belief in good citizenship are trademarks still with us on the Range.

We know the importance of family and Sunday dinners after church, the joy of a polka mass, and the value of education and hard work.

We know that voting is both a right and a privilege – and we vote in higher numbers than nearly anywhere else in the country.

Rangers aren’t shy about telling you exactly how they feel – sometimes whether you asked them or not. They tell it like it is. No hidden agendas.

We understand that we need to stick together to make things happen and that community service is required of us to give back a little of what we were given already.

Rangers help other Rangers.

We experienced the generosity of Rangers first hand after we had a house fire. And every weekend on the Range there are numerous fundraisers and benefits community members organize for others in need. This kind of help from Rangers isn’t confined geographically to the Range. For nearly three decades, transplanted Rangers in the Twin Cities have raised thousands of scholarship dollars for Iron Range students, and most recently, $12,000 for the Buddy Backpack program in our schools via the annual RangerSpiel in St. Paul. Once a Ranger, always a Ranger.

Recreational opportunities abound!

We live where we play! Right outside our doors we can hike-bike-walk-ski-swim-snowshoe-fish-camp-hunt. Northern lights dance in our skies on summer evenings and we enjoy them after a good hot sauna and while relaxing around a campfire. What’s not to like?

We face some economic challenges these days. And we will meet those challenges with our hard work, determination and perseverance. RAMS is one vehicle where we can and will speak as One Range. One Voice.





Twin Metals MN, a potential copper/nickel mining project near Ely has been seeking a renewal on leases from the US Forest Service and mineral leases from the Federal Bureau of Land Management. The Forest Service processes the first step of the renewal by issuing surface leases for the land.   This is an administrative process that can take some time (simple bureaucracy) but follows simple guidelines for appropriate usage of the lands and gets approved. Once that happens then the BLM conducts a more thorough review of the lease request to determine if mineral mining or exploration is appropriate. In the case of the Twin Metals project, the leases in question have been approved and granted over 50 years, most recently in 2004, with the endorsement of the US Forest Service, stating that the leases’ “terms, conditions and stipulations are sufficient to protect the resources of the United States” and were “adequate to prevent or mitigate unacceptable impacts.” The two previous lease renewals have not resulted in any adverse environmental impacts, and BLM has conducted appropriate NEPA review on all proposals for activities on these lease lands. Now, the US Forest Service has decided to “modify” the NEPA regulations and add a 30 day public comment period in regards to these leases. This is an unprecedented decision by the Forest Service as there is no science or environmental basis for this hearing. To further compound the issue, they have decided to conduct the hearing in Duluth on July 13th from 4:30 pm to 7:00 pm. This makes the hearing difficult for Iron Rangers to attend and once they get there they have to sign up for a lottery that will determine who gets to speak for the allotted three minutes! RAMS held a press conference on Wednesday to bring this matter to the attention of the public and to make a public request of the US Forest Service to move the public hearing to a location on the Iron Range where it would afford our residents a better opportunity to comment on the proposed leases for the project which will be located on the RANGE – not Duluth! The Forest Service has responded that time does not allow them to relocate the hearing and there are no facilities large enough to accommodate the anticipated 2000 people. Have they ever heard of the Hibbing Memorial Building? Here is a link for you to connect to that will allow you to submit a statement in support of the leases. Please take the time to complete the form and send it in. RAMS will also have post cards available if you prefer that method. Mining and mining exploration cannot be stopped in the Rainy River Watershed because of fear mongering environmentalists who do not believe modern science, technology and safe mining is possible.   I know that we have chosen to live and recreate on the Range for many reasons. We need to have a say in our future and our children’s future and not sit back and let metro environmentalists determine what happens in our backyard.    

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