Before a big energy corporation threatened to turn the bluff behind her house into a sand mine in early 2011, Amy Nelson’s idea of civic activism was to volunteer at the United Way.

A Ronald Reagan fan and former provost at Southeast Technical College in Red Wing, Nelson now stands on the front lines of an anti-frac sand movement that is spreading rapidly across southeastern Minnesota. She and her fellow “fractivists” plan to rally at the State Capitol Tuesday as the Legislature takes up a set of regulatory proposals in the effort to balance the economic benefits of the burgeoning industry against concerns about air, water and health.
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