On January 20, Rep. Betty McCollum of Minnesota introduced the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act (HR 5598). This bill would withdraw federal public lands and minerals in the 234,328-acre Rainy River watershed in northeastern Minnesota from mineral exploration and development. The Rainy River watershed includes much of the 1.1 million-acre Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW) and the 219,000-acre Voyageurs National Park.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is America's most visited and water-rich Wilderness. Its 1.1 million acres contain more than 1,000 pristine lakes and 1,200 miles of rivers and streams. Unfortunately, the BWCAW is currently threatened by a number of open-pit mines, including the proposed PolyMet and Twin Metals mines.
In particular, the lakes, rivers, and streams of the Boundary Waters watershed are among the cleanest waters in North America, and are especially sensitive to acids and heavy-metals found in open-pit mining pollution.
Over the past five years, Wilderness Watch’s members and supporters have literally written tens of thousands of letters to defend the Boundary Waters Wilderness from the threats posed by these open-pit mines and the Boundary Waters needs your help again!
The good news is that HR 5598 currently has 23 co-sponsors from both political parties. Please write your representative and urge them to co-sponsor the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act and work for its passage in the U.S. House!
There are no officials for you to contact on Twitter.
Please visit our website at www.WildernessWatch.org to see what other actions you can to protect and defend America's National Wilderness Preservation System.