112 Businesses Join Together to Call for Boundary Waters Protections

Photo: Alex Falconer

This morning, we joined forces with priority campaign grantee Save the Boundary Waters and the Boundary Waters Business Coalition to deliver a letter to congressional offices from both parties to send a clear message to Congress: The Boundary Waters deserves immediate and long-term protection. In the letter, we made the case that America’s most visited wilderness shouldn’t be put at risk by open pit mining operations and that Congress must act swiftly to protect this special place.

From the outdoor industry to brewers, bankers, sportsmen, and renewable energy companies, our member companies succeed when we take bold steps to conserve outdoor spaces together. Today, the voice of 112 businesses from across the country was heard loud and clear. We hope to move this critical legislation forward in the waning days of this Congress and we will be working around the clock to achieve our goal. Download the letter or keep reading below:

 


December 6, 2022

Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi
1236 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Congressman Steny Hoyer
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Senator Chuck Schumer
322 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Dick Durbin
711 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

 

Re: Supporting Legislation to Permanently Protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from Sulfide-Ore Copper Mining 

Dear Congresswoman Pelosi, Congressman Hoyer, Senator Schumer, and Senator Durbin,  

On behalf of the 112 undersigned businesses, we write to advocate for a permanent mineral withdrawal of federal lands and minerals in the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. Representative McCollum’s legislation, H.R. 2974, The Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Act, does precisely that. It is critical for elected officials like you to lead the fight in protecting the Boundary Waters now rather than later—which is where we need your leadership. Therefore, we respectfully request that you hold a vote for Representative McCollum’s legislation and vote in support of H.R. 2794.

Our businesses are concerned for and invested in the future productivity of the Boundary Waters, but the Federal Land Policy & Management Act limits the Administration to a withdrawal of up to 20 years. As a result, permanent protection of the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs needs leaders to support a Congressionally mandated ban on this toxic mining from the Rainy River Drainage Basin (the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs watershed). 

On June 23, 2022, the U.S. Forest Service released an exhaustive draft Environmental Assessment (EA) encompassing all the available science, economics, public health, and public opinion. The 93-page assessment—summarizing twenty resource reports—documents the irreversible damage sulfide-ore copper mining would cause to the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park and in result, proposes a 20-year mineral withdrawal on federal lands and minerals in the watershed.

Not only is the science clear, the public support is also broad. Polling conducted earlier this year by Impact Research (formerly ALG Research) found that nearly 70% of Minnesotans support legislation for permanent protection from sulfide-ore copper mining for the Boundary Waters. Additionally, a new poll from Change research found that 7 in 10 midterm voters in Minnesota still support legislation to protect the Boundary Waters. In what we all recognize as a highly polarized political climate, finding an issue that genuinely cuts across party lines with this level of support is rare. 

Businesses like ours are relying on you to recognize the enduring economic and recreational benefits the Boundary Waters provides by finishing the job of protecting this cherished place now. We stand by to support your vote on HR 2794. 

Sincerely,
The Undersigned Businesses
(All businesses viewable in the linked document)