Target: Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr
Goal: To protect the fragile Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northeastern Minnesota.
Established in 1909 as an effort to protect Minnesota’s natural splendor, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was established as a 1,090,000 acre protected reserve along the Superior National Forest. This area ranks among the most frequently visited wilderness areas in the United States, proving its worth as an ambassador for all parcels of nature in need of protection.
Unfortunately ongoing economic hard times have lead to the state’s efforts to open 44 million acres of land within the northern reaches of the forest. Much of the acreage to be opened immediately adjacent to this protected wilderness is for the intended purpose of sulfide mining.
Used to extract metals such as copper and nickel from sulfide ores, the process of sulfide mining is already considered to generate more toxic waste than any other nonrenewable excavation as it results in sulfuric acid leaching from metals and chemicals which can then destroy entire ecosystems.
Sulfuric acid leaching from this extraction process can contaminate lakes, rivers, and groundwater which then spreads far beyond the original point of contamination to harm human life, fish, and other wildlife.
The ramifications of this could be an environmental travesty impacting nearly the entire protected wilderness area. Areas like this cannot be allowed to fall victim to external influences simply because the initial point of contamination stems from just outside the protected region’s borders.
Utilizing the allure of a revenue uptick in these distressed times, PolyMet Mining Corp and Glencore International have partnered together with the intent of strip-mining the entire region. This is not a singular isolated mine project seeking to inject some quick revenue but rather the beginning of a detailed and elaborate project that could cause widespread harm among the entire Minnesota wilderness.
Please lend your voice in urging the Minnesota Department of Natural resources to not permit these companies to destroy northern Minnesota.
Dear Commissioner Landwehr,
The great natural wonder of the Minnesota natural environment was sought to be preserved in 1909 when the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness was created. The goal was to save this pristine wilderness for all future generations.
It has served that role admirably for over a century now, as well as acting as an ambassador for all other wilderness areas by being the most frequently visited wilderness area in the Nation. This important role shows those visiting just why these wilderness areas are in need of protection.
Unfortunately the intent of the Minnesota government to allow 44 million acres of Minnesota’s northeastern region to be opened up for various projects, most notably strip mining, undermines the entire purpose of protecting this region.
To allow sulfide mining along stretches of land bordering the protected Boundary Waters Canoe Area would be tragic and potentially devastating to the environment. This process of mining, which attempts to separate metals such as nickel and copper from sulfide ore is perhaps the most environmentally harmful of any nonrenewable extraction methods.
From out of this process toxic waste products such as sulfuric acid can be introduced into the environment, leaching into groundwater, rivers, and lakes. This process of toxic pollution then has the potential to reach far beyond the point of initial introduction, and can stretch for vast areas, wreaking havoc upon entire ecosystems.
Put plainly this sulfide mining project has the potential to completely devastate the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness ecosystem.
The intent by the Glencore International and Polytet Mining Corp partnership is not an isolated, limited scale mining operation that will have minimal environmental impact. These corporations are seeking to conduct a massive mining project that could destroy much of northeastern Minnesota’s ecology.
I urge you, please do not allow these companies to conduct their mining operations. Deny their permits before the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is irreparably damaged by the toxic byproduct of their sulfide mining operations.
[Your Name Here]