Interview Abstract - Richard Flint

PROJECT TITLE: Minnesota Foundational Environmental Laws Oral History Project

NARRATOR NAME: Richard Flint


INTERVIEWER NAME: Stephanie Hemphill

DATE and LOCATION OF INTERVIEW: Flint Conference Room at Gray Plant Mooty


Young lawyers group at Gray Plant Mooty. Charles Dayton introduced Joseph Sax book. Enjoyed testifying for MERA at legislature, explaining to legislators (many were lawyers) how it would work, then going to bar with other advocates to strategize. Need to placate ag interests. Bill preferred by MN Environmental Control Citizens Assn. (MECCA) was “too tough,” the lawyers’ "moderate" bill had a better chance of passage. MERA has been used frequently and is regarded as a reasonable statute with a legitimate purpose. He later worked on the state Wild and Scenic Rivers Act and the federal Wilderness Act of 1978. Evolution from Sierra Club to MN Citizens for Environmental Action (MCEA). Reads from poetic statement of his hope that Minnesota should "always be a place where we can go to sleep someplace in the state hearing the call of the loon and the howl of the wolf."