Minnesota

Mining: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

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Mining: Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Take action

Erik Fremstad

Mining threatens Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is the most visited wilderness area in America. Located in northeastern Minnesota, this wilderness area has a vast system of over 1,000 lakes and rivers that provide many recreation opportunities. 

Canoeing, hiking and fishing are all options to enjoy at Boundary Waters. With 1.1 million acres of interconnected lakes and streams, the opportunities are vast.

However, the nearby Superior National Forest is being threatened by sulfide-ore mining that could pollute this treasured place forever and wreck economic havoc on this recreation-dependent region.

Why this place matters

The Boundary Waters has irreplaceable wilderness and wildlife, including moose, black bears, wolves, otters and mink.

1.1 million acres
of Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
1,175 lakes
in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The Wilderness Act of 1964
named the Boundary Waters as one of its first wild places.

The threat

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Superior National Forest are under threat of a sulfide-copper mine being proposed nearby. This mine, proposed by the Twin Metals Minnesota mining company, would introduce pollution into a peerless wilderness. It would put the clean water, wildlife and wilderness values of Boundary Waters at risk.

The Boundary Waters region also relies on the wilderness area for jobs and economic benefits. Paddling, hunting, fishing and hiking all create jobs for the region, which is why this mining could result in 27,000 lost jobs and 1.4 billion lost economic activity.

Beyond that, reinstating the expired mineral leases that would allow Twin Metals Minnesota to mine was a potentially illegal act, and the Trump administration is now pushing to cancel the environmental review of mining impacts in the Boundary Waters watershed.

What we're doing

  1. Advocating in court

    Challenging the effort to reinstate the expired mineral leases in court.

  2. Urging public input

    Advocating the public to stop the sulfide-ore mine proposed by Twin Metals Minnesota, and supported by the Trump administration.

  3. Asking Congress to protect Boundary Waters

    Asking Congress to protect the Boundary Waters Wilderness for another 20 years.

What you can do
Tell your lawmakers to support the Boundary Waters. Sign up for WildAlert emails or sign up for texts.
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