Plan would renew two mineral leases on edge of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
WASHINGTON, Dec. 20, 2018 ---- Today, the Trump Administration released its plan to renew two expired mineral leases on the edge of America’s most visited wilderness area, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota. The action appears to be a brazen favor for a foreign mining company with ties to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, and paves the way for one of the world’s most polluting industries – sulfide-ore copper mining – to contaminate the Boundary Waters’ interconnected lakes and rivers and decimate the sustainable amenity-based economy of northeastern Minnesota.
This move by the Trump Administration is the latest politically motivated attempt to remove protections for the nation’s public lands at the behest of special interests and without adequate environmental analysis or public scrutiny. The notice for the lease renewal also begins a woefully inadequate public comment period of only 30 days over the holidays and New Year on an equally inadequate environmental assessment. This is a blatant attempt to suppress the public’s input and ignore the overwhelming science and economics that support continued protections for the Boundary Waters.
Statement from Alison Flint, Wilderness Society Litigation Manager:
“The science, economics and public’s position are well established: permitting sulfide-ore copper mining near the Boundary Waters is simply too great a risk. By proceeding with a barebones environmental assessment that fails to consider the very serious impacts mining will have on the pristine and vulnerable Boundary Waters ecosystem and the sustainable economy built around it, the Trump Administration is flouting the law and attempting to suppress public scrutiny. We’re already challenging the Administration’s initial illegal attempt in May 2018 to resurrect the expired leases in court, and will do the same if the Administration proceeds with lease renewal. The American people who own these lands will not sit idly by while our iconic wilderness areas are sold-out to the highest bidder.”
The Wilderness Society, founded in 1935, is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. With more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. www.wilderness.org.
Michael Reinemer, Communications Manager, 703-966-9574, [email protected]
Alison Flint, High Profile Litigation Manager & Senior Policy Analyst, 303-802-1404, [email protected]
The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands. Visit www.wilderness.org.