Environment America submits more than 17,000 comments calling on protections for the Boundary Waters

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Public opinion supports protecting Minnesota wilderness area

Environment America

WASHINGTON — With the federal comment period for the proposed protection of more than 225,000 acres in the Superior National Forest ending Wednesday, Environment America and partners submitted comments from 17,665 supporters to the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). If the proposal succeeds, new copper mining will be banned for 20 years in the watershed of Minnesota’s coveted Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This proposal would reverse a 2019 Trump-era decision to renew leases for Antofagasta’s Twin Metals copper and nickel project. 

“Americans are speaking up and their message is clear: Leave the Boundary Waters alone,” said Environment America Public Lands Director Ellen Montgomery. “For the sake of our wildlife, who have fewer and fewer protected areas to hunt, breed and live, this wilderness must be protected from mining pollution.

The United States’ most popular wilderness area, the Boundary Waters’ lakes, ponds, fens and cliffs are home to a variety of species from old growth pine and moose to wolves and hundreds of types of birds. These all remain in danger as long as these mines are open from the toxic pollution that comes from leaks, spills and mine waste. 

“We hope that future generations can canoe and kayak through clean waters, fish without fear of toxic pollution and experience the silence of being in the wilderness,” Montgomery added.  “We ask the Bureau of Land Management to protect this area for 20 years and we urge Congress to take the next step and enact permanent protection. “


Environment America is a national network of 29 state environmental groups. Our staff work together for clean air, clean water, clean energy, wildlife and open spaces, and a livable climate. Our members across the United States put grassroots support behind our research and advocacy.

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