The Trump Administration is rushing to ruin the Boundary Waters by ramming through two federal mining leases for Antofagasta’s Twin Metals Minnesota.

Tell the BLM to stop their reckless assault on the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Tell the BLM to stop this reckless assault on America’s most popular Wilderness before it's too late.

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February 22, 2019
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Banner Photo: Jim Brandenburg

Science Matters: Don’t Let the Trump Administration Suppress Science

Proposed Sulfide-Ore Copper Mining Threatens Aquatic and Terrestrial Ecosystems of the Boundary Waters Region of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the Superior National Forest, Voyageurs National Park, and Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park, and public health and the regional economy of northeastern Minnesota


The Trump Administration is rushing to ruin the Boundary Waters by ramming through two federal mining leases for Antofagasta’s Twin Metals Minnesota. These mineral leases were terminated in 2016 and cannot lawfully be resurrected and renewed. The Trump Administration’s action follows an abrupt cancellation of a promised assessment of a proposed 20-year ban on copper mining on Superior National Forest lands near the Boundary Waters. The Trump Administration said there was no new scientific information, even though dozens of reports and studies were submitted during the public comment period. Cancellation of the assessment and the rush to resurrect federal mineral leases are all part of an effort to suppress good science and sound economics and decisions based on the best available science.

Antofagasta has a history of corruption in Chile and the Trump Administration’s action is an attempt to put this Chilean mining conglomerate above America’s laws. 

More than 55 science and economic studies document the significant and long-lasting harm to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the surrounding Superior National Forest, and the Arrowhead region if copper mining were to occur in the headwaters of the Boundary Waters. In 2016 the Forest Service concluded that copper mining in the Wilderness watershed would be an unacceptable risk to the lakes, rivers, and wetlands of the Boundary Waters and the Superior National Forest.

The Boundary Waters is America’s most visited National Wilderness Area.

The Boundary Waters, a 1.1 million acre lakeland wilderness area, has over 1,000 lakes and 1,200 miles of rivers and streams containing clean, drinkable water. It offers unmatched fishing, hunting, and recreational opportunities for all Americans to enjoy. 

Photo: Steve Piragis

The Boundary Waters is the heart of the sustainable and growing amenity-based economy of northeastern Minnesota. An independent economic study documents that the region would generate dramatically more jobs and income over 20 years if copper mining were banned from the watershed of the Boundary Waters, and the regional economy would be worse with a Twin Metals mine.  

Below you will find scientific and economic reports that the Trump administration says do not exist. Suppression is the response of the Trump Administration to a clear and compelling case that public lands in the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Voyageurs National Park, and Canada’s Quetico Provincial Park are the wrong place for sulfide-ore copper mining.

Please do your part to protect the Boundary Waters and other protected lands and waters by using and sharing this science:

SUMMARY: Boundary Waters Science

Technical Memorandum: Twin Metals Mining and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, Risk Assessment for Underground Metals Mining (2014)
Technical Memorandum: Potential Metals Mining and the Voyageurs National Park Risk Assessment for Upstream Metals Mining
Acid mine drainage risks – A modeling approach to siting mine facilities
in Northern Minnesota USA
Technical Memorandum Twin Metals Mine and the Peter Mitchell Pit
Technical Memorandum: Twin Metals Mining and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area
Wilderness, Identifying Flow Pathways
POTENTIAL ECOLOGICAL IMPACTS OF THE TWIN METALS MINE
Scoping Comment on N. MN Federal Mineral Withdrawal
Increase in Nutrients, Mercury, and Methylmercury as a Consequence of Elevated Sulfate Reduction to Sulfide in Experimental Wetland Mesocosms
The Evolution of Sulfide in Shallow Aquatic Ecosystem Sediments: An Analysis of the Roles of Sulfate, Organic Carbon, and Iron and Feedback Constraints Using Structural Equation Modeling
Forest and terrestrial ecosystem impacts of mining
MAMMALS AND MINING FOR MINERALS IN SULPHUR-BEARING ROCK FORMATIONS IN NORTHEASTERN MINNESOTA
Potential for Acid Mine Drainage in the Duluth Complex Magmatic PGE Deposits
White Paper:An Overview of Mine Facilities and Issues
Follow-Up Report: Acid Mine Drainage and other Water Quality Problems at Modern Copper Mines Using State-of-the-Art Prevention, Treatment, and Mitigation Methods
Cumulative Effects Analysis on Wildlife Habitat and Travel Corridors in the Mesabi Iron Range and Arrowhead Regions of Minnesota
The Minnesota regional copper-nickel study, 1976-1979
Mercury Levels in Blood from Newborns in the Lake Superior Basin
Public Health and Economic Consequences of Methyl Mercury Toxicity to the Developing Brain
Medical Professionals’ Scoping Letter to USFS&BLM
Physician comment letter to USFS re Mineral Withdrawal
The Four Townships Area Economic, Housing, and Development Survey
Minnesota Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment 2014
Minnesota Climate and Health Profile Report
Comment Re: Northern Minnesota Federal Minerals Withdrawal
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area….Wealth Generator 
The Economic Role of Metal Mining in Minnesota: Past, Present, and Future
Regional Economic Impacts of Boundary Waters Wilderness Visitors
Township residents power Ely-area economy
Township Impact: In copper-nickel debate, we all should consider economic costs as well as gains
An Econometric Analysis of the Effect of Mining on Local Real Estate Values
A Review of “The economic impact of ferrous and non-ferrous mining on the State of Minnesota and the Arrowhead Region”
Earthworks – US Copper Porphyry Mines
THE RISK, PUBLIC LIABILITY, & ECONOMICS OF TAILINGS STORAGE FACILITY FAILURES
A Review of the “Report on Mount Polley Tailings Storage Facility Breach, Independent Expert Engineering Investigation and Review Panel”
Long Term Risks of Tailings Dam Failure
Earthworks – Polluting the Future
Strategies for reducing the carbon footprint of copper: New technologies, more recycling or demand management?
Comparison of Predicted and Actual Water Quality at Hardrock Mines
Adverse effects from environmental mercury loads on breeding common loons
Acid Mine Drainage and Effects on Fish Health and Ecology
Common Loon Reproductive Success in Canada – the West is best but not for long
AFS Position Paper and Policy on Mining and Fossil Fuel Extraction
WaterLegacy Petition Withdrawal of Program Delegation from the State of Minnesota for NPDES Permits Related to Mining Facilities
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FACT SHEET
FACT SHEET
The science, summarized.

Tell the BLM to stop their reckless assault on the Boundary Waters Wilderness

Tell the BLM to stop this reckless assault on America’s most popular Wilderness before it's too late.

Take Action

Pebble enviro impact statement proves EPA right, mine incompatible with salmon

February 22, 2019
Latest News