After years of hard work by Broads and partners, the Biden administration has finally taken the first step to halt the proposed Twin Metals sulfide-ore copper mine on federal land adjoining Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) by applying for a 20-year moratorium on the project while environmental impact studies are completed.
But despite the administration's move, the work to protect BWCAW is far from done. The BLM is now conducting a 90-day public comment period on the application, and your voice matters!
- Protecting the greater BWCAW watershed is critical to conserving a unique, intact ecosystem that many species of endangered wildlife call home.
- BWCAW is America's most-visited wilderness area—welcoming over 150,000 visitors every year—and is a vital, irreplaceable part of the local economy.
Sulfide-ore copper mining is one of the most toxic industries in America.
- In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service concluded that sulfide-ore copper mining in the BWCAW watershed would pose an "unacceptable" risk to the wilderness, and terminated Twin Metals' leases on the land.
- In 2018, despite the Forest Service ruling, the Trump administration unlawfully reinstated and renewed those expired mining leases—potentially threatening this fragile ecosystem all over again.
The public comment period for this application runs through January 19, 2022.
Please tell the BLM to...
- Deny all applications for new federal mineral leases and federal mineral lease renewals within the Boundary Waters watershed, and terminate the two unlawfully reinstated and renewed Twin Metals leases.
- Withdraw the federally owned minerals within the Boundary Waters watershed from the federal mineral leasing program for the maximum-allowed period of 20 years.
- Take any additional measures necessary to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and the Boundary Waters’ watershed from the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining.
Email your comments to BLM_ES_Lands@blm.gov (Please include "Superior National Forest Withdrawal Application" in the subject line!)
Check out our PDF sample letter here.