Today is the last day to sign a petition or send an email to the Forest Service asking that they not renew or extend the leases for Twin Metals Mining to do copper sulfide mining near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. Read on for how to help.

Midday Matinee is our people watching, people doing and people being feature. Join the Woodland Creatures for an afternoon break.

Last night the Forest Service had a listening session for members of the public to give their input. The high school auditorium was packed and standing room only. Speakers were allowed 3 minutes and when your time was up, they cut your microphone. If you wanted to speak you put your name on a piece of paper and into a box. It was a lottery. If your name was on the big screen at the back of the stage you were selected to speak but could cede your time to someone else. I got picked and ceded my time to the Communications Director for “Friends of the BWCA.”

The speakers were a broad cross section of humanity. Several PhD’s with real science, one guy quoting Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations on the dangers of mining, several business owners who make their living guiding trips and selling gear and provisions, a couple of state senators and representatives, wilderness guides and of course miners. The mining company bussed in supporters on a huge tour bus and held a rally in the city park before the listening session.

One woman my age was against renewing the leases. It was heartbreaking to listen to her. She was born here, the daughter of a miner and the sister of a miner. She has lived here her whole life. Some of her family and friends will no longer speak to her.

It doesn’t matter if you’ve never been to the BWCA or even like canoeing and meeting Minnesota’s famous ‘state bird’ the mosquito. This is a National Wilderness and people from every state and some foreign visitors are signing petitions and emailing the Forest Service.

Here’s a summary of the project.

This link will take you to a petition to the Forest Service to deny the lease renewals.

If you’d rather email the Forest Service directly, email them here. TwinMetalsLeaseInput@fs.fed.us.

I have had campers over the past 9 years here from Germany, Denmark, Spain, Italy, Japan and China. The young man from China showed me his tattered copy of an old National Geographic with the BWCA on the cover. His first trip to America was to visit “the wild.” Campers have stopped here from many states on their way into or out of the Boundary Waters.

Copper sulfide mining has never been done without damaging the water. Never. Think about that. Over a million acres of pristine wilderness plus Lake Superior all at risk for a foreign owned mining company. Copper is not exactly scare and there are other places it can be mined.

Please get over whatever resistance you have to signing petitions and sign now.

Thank you!

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Credit: Adobe Stock Images. Standard License.