Grijalva Commends Biden Administration, DOI, for Protecting Boundary Waters, Superior National Forest

Washington, D.C. – Today, Chair Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement following the decision from the Biden administration to cancel two mineral leases adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. 

“I applaud the Biden administration for thoughtfully reviewing the shady legal underpinnings of these two leases and coming to today’s decision. These potential mines threatened the health and safety of the American people, as well as one of our most cherished natural places,” Grijalva said. “The record is clear, putting this type of mining right next to the Boundary Waters would have been an environmental disaster. I will continue working with my colleagues to make sure the Boundary Waters is permanently protected so that future generations of Americans can similarly enjoy this pristine area.”

The Natural Resources Committee held a legislative hearing in 2020 to examine the Trump administration’s unlawful actions to allow mining in this area. Additionally, the committee passed legislation by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.) to provide permanent protections

The Boundary Waters in northern Minnesota is the most visited wilderness area in the United States. Its pristine water resources, expansive wildlife habitat, and unique recreational opportunities all help support a thriving local tourism economy.

Separately from today’s announcement the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management (BLM), which manages the subsurface rights in the Superior National Forest, have prohibited the issuance of new Federal mineral leases within 225,378 acres within the Rainy River Watershed for two years.

Pending an environmental review, public comments and tribal consultation, these lands could be withdrawn administratively for up to 20-years, ensuring that the next generation of Americans can enjoy these pristine waters without the threat of toxic mining nearby. 

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