The Boundary Waters Canoe Area, America’s most visited Wilderness, is under imminent threat from sulfide-ore copper mines proposed along its border within its watershed. The BWCA contains 1.1 million acres of pristine water and unspoiled woodlands, and, along with the Superior National Forest, it contains 20 percent of all the fresh water in the entire National Forest System.
This toxic mining practice has never before been allowed in Minnesota. Sulfide-ore copper mining is much more toxic than Minnesota’s taconite mining. It produces giant waste piles that, when exposed to air and water, leach sulfuric acid, heavy metals and sulfates. Sulfide-ore copper mines pollute groundwater, rivers and lakes.
In the history of sulfide mining, pollution has never been avoided. This type of mining has been labelled “America’s most polluting industry” by the EPA, and contributes to more superfund sites than any other activity.
Saving the BWCA is most critical to us KIDS who will be inheriting whatever mess gets left behind. This is our future – our water, our public lands, our resources, our health, our country – that is at stake. That means it’s time for us kids to get on the front line of the fight for the Boundary Waters.
We need a whole army of Wilderness Warriors, armed with their love of the BWCA and with the knowledge and resources to defend it. There’s nothing easy about this work, but there is joy in the fight especially when you’re scrapping for what is right, what is just, and what is fair.
We all have a huge stake in protecting this wilderness, and beyond that, in learning to effecitvely and efficiently navigate the political system. Today, we vote with our dollars and our voices, but very soon we will be voting with our ballots. The more engaged we become as teenagers, the more we understand our power and our ability to effect change, the more likely we are to stay engaged and to vote effectively when our time comes.
Sometimes life only gives you one chance to get it done, and this is it. This is our one chance to defend our beloved wilderness. So join us, Wilderness Warriors, in protecting the Boundary Waters for ourselves and for every generation to come.