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Help protect Boundary Waters from industrial mining

Supporters Spoke up in this Action
Delivery to Connie Cummins, Forest Supervisor, United States Forest Service

Action Ended On

August 12, 2022

What Happens Next

Thank you for taking action with Earthjustice.

What was at Stake

The Boundary Waters area in Minnesota remains at risk of being permanently ruined by a dangerous copper mining project. Although the Biden administration recently threw out the mine’s illegal permits, we need your support to protect this irreplaceable landscape and ban mining next to the Boundary Waters for the long term.

Mining will destroy the wild haven of the Boundary Waters. With more than 1 million acres of protected land, more than 1,100 lakes, and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams, the Boundary Waters are a natural resource unlike anything else. The area also draws visitors, making this unique wilderness a source of support for the local economy and a robust outdoor industry.  

Twin Metals, a mining company, was poised to build two toxic sulfide-ore copper mines alongside lakes and streams that flow directly into the Boundary Waters. But now the Biden administration wants to hear from you about the Forest Service’s proposal for a mineral withdrawal that would lead to a 20-year-ban on mining. 

It’s time for a total ban on mining in the Boundary Waters region — a place too special and fragile to mine. 

As we move to a clean energy future, we must protect people and special places by rejecting the false choice that the mining industry presents. We can source critical minerals in sustainable ways that meet our clean energy goals while protecting environmental treasures and impacted communities. 

Help protect the Boundary Waters from mining pollution and take action today!

The sun setting over Alder Lake in the Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area
John Zilka / Getty Images

The sun setting over Alder Lake in the Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area

Your Actions Matter

Your messages make a difference, even if we have leaders who don't want to listen. Here's why.

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You level the playing field.

Elected officials pay attention when they see that we are paying attention.

They may be hearing from industry lobbyists left and right, but hearing the stories of their constituents — that’s your power.

Our legislators serve at the pleasure of the people who gave them their job — you. When you contact your elected official, you’re putting a face and a name on an issue. Whether or not you voted for them, they work for you, for the duration of their term.

Make sure your elected officials know whose community and whose values they represent. (Find your local, state, and federal elected officials.)

Your action is with us in court.

If a federal agency finalizes a harmful action, the record of public comments provides a basis for bringing them into court.

Throughout each of the public comment periods we alert you to, Earthjustice’s attorneys are researching and writing in-depth, technical comments to submit — detailing how the regulation could and should be stronger to protect the environment, our communities, and our planet.

We need you to join us — your specific experiences, knowledge, and voice are crucial to add to the Administrative Record through the comment periods.

Lawsuits we file that challenge weak or harmful federal regulations rely on what was submitted during the comment period. The court can only look at documents that are in the Administrative Record — including the public comments — to decide if the agency did something improper.

Your actions aid our litigation. Taking action and submitting comments during a comment period is substantively important.

It’s the law.

Federal agencies must pause what they’re doing and ask for — and consider — your comment.

Many of us may have never heard of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), but laws like these require our government to ask the public to weigh in before agencies adopt or change regulations.

Regulations essentially describe how federal agencies will carry out laws — including decisions that could undermine science, or weaken safeguards on public health.

Public comments are collected at various points throughout the federal government’s rulemaking process, including when a regulation is proposed and finalized. (Learn more about the rulemaking process.) These comments become part of the official, legal public record — the “Administrative Record.”

When the public responds with a huge outpouring of support for environmental protections, these individual messages collectively undercut politicians' attempts to claim otherwise.

What this means is each of us can take a role in shaping the rules our government creates — and ensuring those rules are fair and effective.