Protect the Boundary Waters
Nearly 900 people packed a stuffy high school auditorium in northeastern Minnesota, Tuesday evening, to give emotional testimony both for and against the contentious issue of mining in and around the Boundary Waters. Polluter profiteers are pushing to conduct a toxic form of mineral extraction called sulfide mining next to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Runoff from this kind of mining can create sulfuric acid and mercury contamination — both of which could pollute the pristine Boundary Waters.
“With all of the development in our world there aren’t a lot of places like this anymore and it deserves to be protected,” said Tonia Kittelson at Tuesday’s meeting. “There has never ever been a mine like this copper nickle sulfide mine in the country that has not resulted in serious pollution. Every mine to this day has polluted both surface and ground water at toxic levels. The risk for this particular area is a water rich environment, it won’t be able to prevent pollution from flowing not just to the boundary waters, but also to Lake Superior, and the Mississippi head rivers, which are located close by. Serious concerns about where that pollution is going to go, not whether or if, but when and where.”
With the help of some of our friends, like Save the Boundary Waters and Friends of the Boundary Waters, we dropped off more than 65,000 petition signatures opposing the mining plan at the Superior National Forest headquarters in Duluth, MN.
The mineral exploration and a future mining project would be done outside the protected Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but even Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton, says a Twin Metals project in that watershed area poses the same threat as if it was in the Boundary Waters.
The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) will decide whether to renew two federal mineral leases near Ely. While the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is the holder of the Twin Metals leases, USFS has a right of consent to any lease renewal because the land is in the Superior National Forest. In a letter to BLM last month, USFS said it could withhold consent for renewal of the leases.
Until they do, we’ll keep the pressure on to save the Boundary Waters – and you can help! Share this blog post and update with all your friends, and tell them to go to http://bit.ly/BoundaryWaters to join our campaign!