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CORRECTION: Sierra Club will not endorse bridge impact statement

A recent article, entitled "Bridge stakeholders end meetings with environmental approval in sight" and concerning the final meeting of the St. Croix River Crossing stakeholders' group, misrepresented the Sierra Club's position on the project.

The RiverTown Newspaper Group misquoted meeting moderator Mike Hughes as saying that the environmental-advocacy group "will be endorsing" a St. Croix River Bridge project. A review of our audiotape reveals the opposite -- Hughes said the organization will not be endorsing the project through a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement the group helped shape in three years of meetings.

Sierra Club representative Mat Hollinshead did not attend the July 14 meeting, at which others representing the group's 28 member organizations offered comments on impact statement, an immense document that details ways the project could change the surrounding area, as well as ways for which some of those changes will be mitigated.

Hughes' corrected quote should read:

"[The Sierra Club] is not going to participate in an agreement that has a build alternative," said moderator Mike Hughes of Keystone Center, a company hired to mediate the group's discussions, relaying Hollinshead's sentiments. "The Sierra Club won't be an endorser, supporter, signer of any kind."

Furthermore, the article's mention of Hollinshead's work on light rail "litigation," was inaccurate, and was due to a notation error. Hughes said that Hollingshead was absent because he was "very hard at work on light rail between the downtowns of St. Paul and Minneapolis."

Finally, the article's mention that the Sierra Club has "no plans to sue" is misleading. The organization has not announced any plans regarding litigation. Extended comments by Hughes on Hollinshead's behalf indicated that the organization -- while opposing the proposed bridge, and absent from the stakeholders' meeting -- supported the stakeholders' decision-making process.

On Monday, Hollinshead told the Courier, "We do not release and have not released information about any legal activities we may or may not be considering."

The RiverTown Newspaper Group apologizes for the mistakes.

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