Reaction to Biden Administration’s mining ban for BWCA watershed

Reaction to Biden Administration’s mining ban for BWCA watershed
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 8:46 PM CST
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

DULUTH, MN. -- ”This really puts America on the path of giving this wilderness area the protection that it desperately deserves,” said Ingrid Lyons, the Executive Director of save the Boundary Waters.

Very happy environmental groups, like Save the Boundary Waters, said the Biden Administration’s move Thursday will not just protect precious waterways, but also uphold tribal trust, and boosting the local recreation economy.

“This type of mining is extremely acid generating, and extremely polluting,” said Lyons. “It poses a threat that’s far too large to the Boundary Waters. The Boundary Waters is too exceptional of a landscape to be devastated by this type of mining.”

But for most Northern Minnesota lawmakers, Thursday’s move was deeply disappointing, as they say it blocks several federal government goals.

“The delegation of the Northern Minnesota, Iron Range delegation, is not very happy,” said Republican Representative of Grand Rapids, Spencer Igo. “We are hearing from our constituents in impending letters and working with congressmen to try and fix this situation.”

A decision directly impacting the Twin Metals proposal.

“Jobs, sustainability, domestic supply chain, safety, security, all of these things have been affected by President Joe Biden’s decision,” said Rep. Igo.

The Twin Metals mine would’ve been near both Babbitt and Ely.

Leaders there said they were hoping to reap the rewards of a big project in the area.

“I appreciate the fact that every school district in the state gets money from the school trust land,” said Ely’s Mayor Heidi Omerza. “That’s money that every district uses and needs right now.”

Mayor Omerza said that although it is upsetting, this news is nothing new to the area.

“Pretty much same old, same old, and it’s very disappointing,” said Mayor Omerza