Rep. Emmer’s mining bill would endanger the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Jul 26, 2017

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.

Dave Freeman
The Wilderness Society opposes discussion draft legislation proposed by Rep. Tom Emmer (R-Minn.) that would clear the way for sulfide-ore mining in the Superior National Forest near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota.

A hearing on this unnumbered bill is scheduled for Thursday, July 27 in the Energy and Minerals Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee.

Statement by Jamie Williams, President, The Wilderness Society

“The Emmer mining bill is yet another dangerous attack on our public lands. Anti-conservation interests are determined to push Congress to sell or lease to private profiteers our nation’s natural treasures that are owned by all Americans. The vast majority of Americans oppose this public land sell-off agenda, which favors pollution and profits over protecting wild places for future generations. 

“In addition to opening the door to sulfide-ore mining in the priceless Boundary Waters watershed, the bill undermines bedrock conservation laws including the Antiquities Act, used by Republican and Democratic presidents alike to protect places of historic or natural significance.  The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is one of the original places protected by the 1964 Wilderness Act, is America’s most visited wilderness area, and its waters must be protected from industrial mining. “


The Wilderness Society is the leading conservation organization working to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. Founded in 1935, and now with more than one million members and supporters, The Wilderness Society has led the effort to permanently protect 109 million acres of wilderness and to ensure sound management of our shared national lands.


Michael Reinemer, Wilderness Society, 202-429-3949,