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Biden stops mining project near Boundary Waters wilderness area by barring mineral leasing

Years of concern that the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness would be harmed by nearby mining were alleviated when the Biden administration withdrew 225,504 acres of the Superior National Forest from mineral and geothermal leasing for 20 years.

Roughly 80 miles east of Voyageurs National Park and about 70 miles west of Grand Portage National Monument in northern Minnesota, conservationists feared the Boundary Waters would be adversely impacted by a copper-nickel mine proposed to be built in the Rainy River watershed. The U.S. Forest Service last summer called for the withdrawal, warning that mining could impair the Boundary Waters. In a draft environmental assessment the agency said "the protection and preservation of cultural resources, wilderness character, water quality, scenic integrity, important wildlife corridors, and high-quality recreation values is a longer term need" than mining.

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