ICYMI: Why presidential candidates are talking about the Boundary Waters

October 17, 2019

Ely, MN – Yesterday, MinnPost published an article about the Boundary Waters Action Fund’s work to educate presidential candidates about the threat to America’s most popular Wilderness and why it needs their protection. This effort has successfully earned the support of over a half dozen presidential candidates, and that list continues to grow.

Why presidential candidates are talking about the Boundary Waters

MinnPost | October 16, 2019

Elizabeth Warren. Pete Buttigieg. Tom Steyer. Different in ideology, background, and approach to politics, all three presidential candidates have something in common: They support a moratorium on mining near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, one of the most visited wildernesses in the United States.

Just before a visit to Minneapolis in August, Warren said she would “stop all mining on federal public lands, including the Minnesota Boundary Waters.”

After Warren, other candidates followed suit. “These resources belong to all Americans, yet the current administration is trying to open up many such areas to potentially harmful projects. My administration will reverse that and preserve these lands for future generations,” Buttigieg said in a statement last month.

And Steyer’s campaign told MinnPost earlier this month: “Tom opposes mining in Minnesota Boundary Waters. He wants to protect our public lands from the corporate greed that has endangered fish and wildlife, local economies, and water supplies; and deprived U.S. taxpayers of fair royalty payments.”

Mining near the Boundary Waters might seem like something for the Minnesota governor, state agencies and the Legislature to deal with. That it’s showing up as an issue in the Democratic presidential nomination contest likely has to do with the lobbying efforts of the Boundary Waters Action Fund. The Action Fund, the political arm of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, has shifted from just targeting Minnesota politicians to setting up shop in Iowa to talk to presidential candidates about the Boundary Waters.

“This is probably the biggest public lands issue in the Midwest,” said Jeremy Drucker, the spokesperson for the Action Fund and Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters. “And making [sure] that campaigns and their candidates understand [that] is a key part of our effort.”