John Crampton, Izaak Walton League of America
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a special place for Minnesotans and Americans who love hunting, fishing, paddling and camping in an unspoiled wilderness. It is also a strong generator of jobs and small businesses in the area. We know from scientific studies and devastating firsthand experiences from around the world that sulfide copper mining almost certainly will inflict irreparable damage on this beautiful, water-rich environment for thousands of years. Sulfide mining never has been done anywhere without causing catastrophic environmental harm to adjacent watersheds and natural areas. (Duluth News Tribune, December 27, 2016)
Carl Haensel, Owner, Namebini
Clean, unspoiled waters are at the heart of what fly anglers love and cherish. We need waters like the BWCAW not only for our clients to fish around the region, but to highlight the wild lands and clean waters we have lost elsewhere. Mining and industrialization on the doorstep of the most visited Wilderness in America will undoubtedly impact the Wilderness and change its character. Some of the most traveled routes in the BWCAW are directly in the downstream path of any pollution from the proposed Twin Metals sulfide-ore mine. If acid and heavy metals from the mine pollute this area, the recreation value that is the real lifeblood of Northeastern Minnesota will be affected. Mining at the edge of the BWCAW is not a risk worth taking.
Erik Packard, Veterans for the Boundary Waters
When I returned from my 2008 deployment to Iraq, I began to struggle with PTSD, alcohol, depression and suicide. On the insistence of my wife and friends, I finally went back to Boundary Waters. What I found back in the BWCA was a sense of peace that I thought I had lost forever. I could feel the poison that had infected my soul from the horrors of war being drawn out of me. The trip started the healing process, and when I could make it back it would always refresh me.
Jeffrey D. Rome, M.D.
Concerned citizens cite many reasons for protecting the BWCA from sulfide-ore copper mining on the perimeter of this 1.1 million acre wilderness treasure. Prominent among these reasons is the threat to human health from heavy metals contained in acid mine drainage. Waste rock tailings from sulfide-ore mining generate sulfuric acid when exposed to water. Sulfuric acid in mine drainage leaches heavy metals such as lead, mercury, and arsenic from the tailings. Contaminated water from the mine site will inevitably make its way into surrounding rivers, lakes, and groundwater and human health will suffer as a result of exposure to these heavy metals in drinking water and food. Because of the very real threat to public health, sulfide-ore copper mining should not be permitted in the water-rich environment of the BWCA.
Joseph Goldstein, age 15
Wilderness is important. It is important for its own sake. It is also important for the sake of all of us. My dad says that wilderness is a place to learn and grow and be challenged to be more. My mom says it’s a place that can heal who we already are. I think they both are right. I know that the BWCA is a place I want all my friends to see and experience. It is a place I want my brothers to grow up with, too. It is a place I want my kids to know and love someday. It is a place that can change who we are, for the better. It also is a place that can’t protect itself – wilderness relies on us to understand its importance in our lives and guard it for the future. (March 10, 2015)