Save the Boundary Waters
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Boundary Waters
 Great Lakes Region

Save the Boundary Waters - Great Lakes

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA or BWCAW) is located within the Superior National Forest in Northeastern Minnesota and is the most visited Wilderness Area in the nation. The 1,090,000-acre wilderness has over 1,100 glacial lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers and streams that can be experienced only through non-motorized means. The value of this wilderness resource was recognized early and protections have existed since 1902. 

Twin Metals Minnesota has proposed creating an underground copper-nickel mine about 5 miles outside the BWCA. This site is near headwater tributaries that flow into the BWCA then to Voyageurs National Park, Rainy Lake and Lake of the Woods, all recognized as world class fisheries. Potential acid mining drainage could create significant damage to this irreplaceable wilderness.


FFI's Actions

  • 07/12/2022 – Acting NFS Administrator Hollen – Public Comment supporting the NFS draft EA and proposed application for a 20-year withdrawal of 225,504 acres of the Rainy River watershed within the Superior National Forest from disposition of federally owned minerals.  The withdrawal is intended to protect the natural and cultural values within the area of withdrawal and other areas within the Forest that include the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 
  • 01/10/2022 – Deputy State Director of Geospatial Services, BLM Eastern States Office – Letter requesting mineral leases be withdrawn from approximately 225,000 acres of National Forest Service Lands in the Rainey River/Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness for a period of 20 years and environmental analysis of the action.
  • 2/3/20- HR 5598 Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act. Signed on to a letter with other conservation partners supporting Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act (H.R. 5598). H.R. 5598 withdraws 234,328 acres of public land and waters in the Rainy River Watershed of the Superior National Forest in the State of Minnesota from mining.
  • 5/20/19 - Boundary Waters - BoundaryWatersTRCPLetter-May201
  • 1/10/19 Signed on to Sportsman for the Boundary Waters letter requesting the Bureau of Land Management to extend the renewal application and comment period for the two Twin Metals mineral leases from the current 30 days to 60 days.
  • 10/12/18- FFI signed onto a letter to Sonny Perdue, Secretary of Agriculture;James Hubbard, Under Secretary for Natural Resources and Environment; and Vicki Christiansen, expressing disappointment about the Department of Agriculture’s actions cancelling the U.S. Forest Service’s application for a withdrawal of 234,328 acres of Superior National Forest lands in the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from mineral leasing, and to open those lands to hardrock mineral leasing and mining.
  • 9/1/18- Social media post regarding unfavorable rulings on Boundary Waters mining permits.
  • 7/16/18- Social media post regarding favorable ruling on Boundary Waters mining-reposted their plea for signatures.
  • 5/31/18 - Boundary Waters - BWHA-Twin Metals Mine Sporting Group Letter - May2018
  • 8/11/17 - Boundary Waters - FFI_Comments_Boundary_Waters_11AUG2017


Learn about the fight to save one of America’s most pristine wilderness areas! Join FFI Conservation Chair Dave Peterson and Spencer Shaver of Sportsmen for the Boundary Waters to learn about the fight to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness from a copper sulfide ore mine.  Spencer, who leads the effort, will tell the compelling story about the effort to protect this 1.1 million acre wilderness and its incredible fisheries.

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BWCA - Photographer Bruce Wilson