Brownsville, MN, aerial photography provided by Robert J. Hurt

What We Do

We provide educational sessions and materials for families that want to engage and protect their homes, neighborhoods and scenic countryside from frac sand mining. We impact change by providing informative resources and encourage consumer engagement.

Frac Sand Concerns:

Economic impacts: Decreased home values, displacement of other economic activities such as farming, recreation, tourism.

Safety: Increased truck traffic poses a high level of risk for accidents and increases costs related to road over-use. Rail transport of frac sand mining has also increased dramatically and places demands on railroad infrastructure, posing growing risks of derailments.

Beauty: The scenic bluff-country environment would be permanently damaged by frac sand mining.

Health: Respirable crystalline silica dust is a proven carcinogen which increases risk for the life-threatening disease silicosis. Frac sand dust from mines can be carried through the air. The precautionary principal should be in effect which means if an activity raises threats of harm to human health or the environment, measures should be taken to prevent the activity.

Our Mission

Families Resisting Energy Extraction (FREE) strives to protect the land, land, and water for the health, safety and well-being of the people ofthe Upper Midwest.  Based in Southeastern Minnesota, we educate people about frac sand mining and encourage residents to demand rational decisions from government officials.


“When one tugs at a single thing in nature,
he finds it attached to the rest of the world.”
— John Muir


  • Contact each County Commissioner by phone, email or personal discussion.
  • Ask the commissioners to BAN FRAC SAND in Houston County.
  • Tell the commissioners that silica sand mining is wrong for Houston County.
  • Learn from Wisconsin communities like Trempealeau and Hixton, who are being torn apart, literally, by large scale frac- sand mining.
  • Urge governmental agencies to apply the "precautionary principal" - If there is the possibility of undue harm from a project, do not initiate it.
  • Study about the frac sand industry and the risks to communities.
  • Visit
  • Call the Commissioners--ask them to ban frac sand mining in Houston County.