Letter to the Editor: Applauding steps to protect

Published 6:30 am Saturday, April 3, 2021

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A unique wilderness, home to precious species like the Canada lynx and the gray wolf, the Boundary Waters is a top destination for canoers, hikers, and all types of outdoor enthusiasts from across the country.  I myself have taken 14 trips and spent approximately nine weeks camping and fishing in the wilderness over the last 12 years.  Sen. Tina Smith’s letter urging the Biden administration to further evaluate the environmental and economic impacts that sulfide-ore copper mining would have on the area is a critical step in permanently protecting this treasured place.

As America’s most-visited wilderness area, the Boundary Waters is at the heart of Minnesota’s tourism economy, which generates close to $1 billion in revenue every year. By fighting to protect this Wilderness, you are standing with the more than 17,000 Minnesotans who depend on outdoor recreation to support their families and small businesses. In fact, studies show that protecting the Boundary Waters from the toxic effects of the proposed sulfide-ore copper mine would actually create thousands of more jobs for Minnesotans.

Thank you, Sen. Smith, for putting the economic and environmental well-being of Minnesota first and for championing the nearly 70 percent of Minnesotans who support a ban on sulfide-ore copper mining near the Boundary Waters! I am hopeful that the Biden administration will follow your lead and support permanent projections for the Boundary Waters Wilderness. Together we can save this prized landscape.

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John Sand

Austin, MN