Tell the U.S. Forest Service to protect the Boundary Waters
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Late last month, the Trump administration made yet another move that puts the Boundary Waters at risk from sulfide-ore copper mining on the Wilderness edge.
Sign our urgent petition demanding a thorough and science-based review and a ban on mining near the Boundary Waters.
Last month's decision means the promised U.S. Forest Service Environmental Impact Statement has been downgraded to a simple Environmental Assessment. Officials had formerly planned a comprehensive, in-depth scientific and economic Environmental Impact Statement of the Boundary Waters watershed under scenarios with copper mining and no copper mining.
The former plan showed respect for Minnesotan’s strong interest in careful decision-making when it comes to the Boundary Waters and its vital role in driving Minnesota’s economy and defining America’s public lands and outdoor heritage. Now, the Forest Service has reduced that process to a simple Environmental Assessment that includes less opportunity for public input and little room for rigorous scientific analysis.
Comment to USFS
United States Forest Service,
I strongly urge you to take all actions necessary to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (Boundary Waters) and Voyageurs National Park (Voyageurs) and to prevent sulfide-ore copper mining in the headwaters of these national treasures.
1. Prepare a rigorous and comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement that thoroughly studies the devastating impacts of sulfide-ore copper mining on Superior National Forest lands in the Rainy River Drainage Basin. Provide the scientific, economic, and social basis for a withdrawal of 234,328 acres of Superior National Forest lands. Document why only removal of these lands from the federal mineral leasing program would protect the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs.
2. Submit a strong recommendation to Interior Secretary Zinke asking that the Department of Interior order the removal of 234,328 acres of Superior National Forest lands from the federal mineral leasing program for 20-years, the maximum period allowed by law.
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