On Thursday, December 15, 2016, federal agencies announced that Twin Metals mineral leases were denied and that an environmental review of the Boundary Waters watershed would commence. The Bureau of Land Management stated in its release, “Citing broad concerns from thousands of public comments and input about potential impacts of mining on the wilderness area’s watershed, fish and wildlife, and the nearly $45 million recreation economy, the agencies today took actions that denied an application for renewal of two hard rock mineral leases in the area, as well as initiated steps to withdraw key portions of the watershed from new mineral permits and leases.”
We’re proud of our work, which led to these two decisions. But it couldn’t happen without the help of all of our dedicated supporters and our amazing partners. Read NMW Vice Chair/Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters National Campaign Chair Becky Rom’s statement below (read the full release from the Campaign here). Keep in mind, there’s more work to be done. Stay tuned for an announcement of a 90-day comment period to determine whether the watershed of the BWCA is the wrong place for sulfide-ore copper mining and should be removed from the federal mining program altogether. And act now to urge Minnesota’s senators to support permanent protection for this watershed.
“The Boundary Waters is a special place for Minnesotans who love hunting, fishing and recreation and who depend on thousands of jobs sustained by America’s most-popular wilderness. Science has clearly shown that copper mining would inflict devastating harm on this priceless wilderness. Today’s decision reflects strong support from a majority of Minnesotans who want to prioritize the wide-ranging value our communities gain from a healthy Boundary Waters, rather than open an industrial mining zone less than a mile from the wilderness edge. It’s a strong first step, but there is still a lot of work to do to ensure we can protect the BWCA for future generations. Our coalition keeps growing as sportsmen, veterans, businesses and other interests sign on to support our efforts.”
— Becky Rom, National Chair of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.