By Spencer Shaver, Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters
Northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has something to offer every backcountry enthusiast. Unfortunately, a proposed sulfide-ore copper mine threatens the most-visited Wilderness in America. Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters need your help to protect it.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) is full of opportunity – over 1 million acres of lakes, rivers, streams and trails are available to hunters, anglers and paddlers for adventure along America’s northern border. More people visit this Wilderness each year than any other, making it the most popular Wilderness Area in the country. More than 1,000 lakes here are dotted with secluded campsites perfect for an authentic backcountry experience. For generations, Minnesotans and Midwesterners have been making their way north for walleye shore lunch, the distant call of a loon and sunsets over the Boreal forest.
As a federally protected Wilderness, the Boundary Waters has some of the highest protections possible and are a clear public lands success story. Despite this, the edge of the BWCA lacks the same security. A proposed sulfide-ore copper mine upstream of the Boundary Waters has given hunters and hikers alike pause. This type of mine has never been built in Minnesota and has a terrible track record of polluting nearby ground and surface water.
Wildlife habitat, the clean, clear water of the BWCA and the 17,000 northeastern Minnesotans whose jobs are supported by the Boundary Waters are all at risk – this mine is guaranteed to pollute. While a sulfide-ore copper mine absolutely puts local jobs at risk, the Boundary Waters contribute to a regional economy across Minnesota and a larger outdoor-recreation economy across the country.
Without places like the Boundary Waters protected, future generations will not be able to use, enjoy or experience the iconic landscapes that define the outdoors in America. As hikers, hunters and stewards of these landscapes, it is our responsibility to ensure they’re passed from generation to generation unscathed, from the Grand Canyon, to Yellowstone to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Backpacker’s Pantry and hundreds of other businesses who’s bottom lines depend on the back country and America's ability to use it unimpeded are standing up to defend the Boundary Waters. Together hunters, anglers and hikers alike are standing shoulder to shoulder to protect the Wilderness.
Stand with them here, and send a message directly to decision makers in Washington D.C. using this form – The Boundary Waters are too important to risk. It’s up to us to defend our public lands, waters and sporting heritage.