Save the Boundary Waters Organization and 52 Other Groups Oppose Superior National Forest Restoration Act

Published On: May 1st, 20242 min readCategories: Local News, News

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Extreme Anti-Boundary Waters Bill, H.R. 3195, “Superior National Forest Restoration Act,” introduced and promoted by U.S. Rep. Stauber (MN-08), was voted on by the full House of Representatives last night. Unfortunately, it passed, although by a narrow margin.

This bill would rescind the Biden Administration’s 20-year mineral withdrawal, which protects 225,504 acres of the Superior National Forest in the Boundary Waters headwaters from mining development and degradation. 52 organizations sent a letter to Congress opposing this legislation

After the vote, Save the Boundary Waters Executive Director Ingrid Lyons issued the following statement:

“Rep. Stauber’s bill H.R. 3195 is a giveaway of America’s public lands to a foreign mining company and sets a dangerous precedent for the conservation of America’s most sensitive ecosystems. By attempting to undo Secretary Haaland’s prudent decision to ban sulfide-ore copper mining in the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, H.R. 3195 directly contradicts the robust science, favorable public opinion, and sound legal basis of the Secretary’s decision. Seventy percent of Minnesotans want the Boundary Waters protected from sulfide-ore copper mining, including over half of Rep. Stauber’s district. The mineral withdrawal is a sound science-based decision and is the will of the people.”

The Biden Administration issued a Statement of Administration Policy on Monday. April 29th, in strong opposition to H.R. 3195 saying it “would undermine decades of local efforts to protect the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness – a spectacular network of rivers, lakes, and forests that comprise the most heavily visited wilderness in the United States – from pollution from mining in its watershed.”

H.R. 3195 would not only reverse Secretary Haaland’s mineral withdrawal – it would also automatically force the issuance of federal mineral leases to Chilean mining giant Antofagasta without review, place an arbitrary and truncated 18-month review on any environmental review and project permits, and block any judicial review of prospecting permits and mineral leases within the watershed of the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park.

70% of Minnesotans support a ban on sulfide-ore copper mining in the Boundary Waters headwaters.  A vast collection of peer-reviewed science shows that if Antofagasta’s Twin Metals copper-nickel mine were built along the rivers and streams flowing into the Wilderness, pollution and environmental degradation would be certain.

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