Gov. Steve Bullock, Rep. Tim Ryan Announce Support for Boundary Waters Protection

Updated: Oct 24, 2019

Bullock and Ryan join growing list of presidential candidates supporting protection for Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness

October 23, 2019

Des Moines – Democratic Presidential candidates Steve Bullock and Tim Ryan have joined the growing number of presidential candidates supporting protection for Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Wilderness from the threat of sulfide-ore copper mining. The Boundary Waters, America’s most popular Wilderness, is currently under attack from Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta’s Twin Metals project, a sulfide-ore copper mine proposed right on the Wilderness edge.

The Obama Administration had terminated the project after a thorough scientific review determined the mine posed an almost certain risk of “irreparable harm” to the Wilderness, but the Trump Administration revived the project after Antofagasta’s owner, Andronico Luksic, bought a Washington, DC, mansion and rented it to Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump. The administration has since cancelled environmental reviews and used unlawful legal maneuvers to push the project forward.

In committing to support protection of the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park from sulfide-ore copper mining in the Rainy River watershed, Gov. Bullock said:

“I support a thorough and complete environmental assessment before any mining project is approved. In the case of the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs, we must ensure these waters are protected.”

In Bullock’s state of Montana, a federal mineral withdrawal study was allowed to go forward, which protected the gateway to Yellowstone from toxic mining. The same kind of study that would have shown the Boundary Waters deserved that same protection was cancelled.

In voicing his commitment to protecting the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park from sulfide-ore copper mining in the Rainy River watershed, Rep. Ryan pledged to complete the cancelled mineral withdrawal study for Boundary Waters watershed and said that he would work with Congress to permanently protect the Boundary Waters.

“We’re excited that Governor Bullock and Congressman Ryan are joining the growing list of presidential candidates pledging Boundary Waters protection,” said Alex Falconer, Boundary Waters Action Fund Director. “Presidential candidates are increasingly recognizing that Boundary Waters Protection is the right thing to do.”

Seventy percent of Minnesota voters do not want sulfide-ore copper mining near the Boundary Waters, including 91 percent of Democrats.

In Minnesota’s 8th Congressional District, where the mine would be located, nearly 80 percent of Democrats are opposed. Overall, 56 percent of 8th Congressional District voters are opposed, while only 39 percent are in support.

The Action Fund is asking campaigns to make clear statements on this issue so the public can make informed decisions when it comes time to decide whom they will support. To date the Action Fund has nearly 4,000 Iowa supporters and continues to activate supporters in Iowa and other states.