Earlier this week the Boundary Waters Action Fund (BWAF), the advocacy arm of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, launched it’s 2020 election program. BWAF was founded in 2018 to help elect pro-Boundary Waters candidates and offset the political machines of the special interests that have for years exercised their influence over the Minnesota's elected officials and pushed anti-Boundary Waters views, views that run diametrically opposite the will of Minnesota’s voters to protect the Boundary Waters.
On Tuesday Action Fund Director Alex Falconer wrote a column in the Minnesota Reformer outlining the rationale behind BWAF’s activity:
[The Boundary Waters] is a watery paradise for more than 150,000 visitors every year who go to experience the wondrous solitude of nature, challenge themselves in ways they never thought possible, and return refreshed, renewed, and reinvigorated. It is a centerpiece of Minnesota’s youth programming, where thousands of kids learn confidence, deepen their connection to the natural world, and learn the life lessons that will form the bedrock of strong character and daring imagination. And it is an economic engine for communities on the Wilderness edge, the great beating heart out of which flows the livelihoods of thousands of outfitters, small business owners, and the myriad others drawn to the magic of Minnesota’s great northwoods to live and work.
And yet, inexplicably, we are on the precipice of throwing this all away.
And for what? For a toxic sulfide-ore copper mining operation that promises a handful of jobs? For a cadre of special interests who have bizarrely staked their political capital on the destruction of one of this country’s most valuable natural resources? For a billionaire Chilean mining mogul with the money, power and connections to pull strings at the highest levels of the most corrupt federal government in modern American history? It would be farcical were it not so tragic.
The good news is that Minnesotans are wise to the act. New polling out by the Boundary Waters Action Fund, the advocacy arm of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, confirms that by nearly three-to-one margin, Minnesotans are opposed to sulfide-ore copper mining near the Boundary Waters. Nearly 70 percent want permanent protection to prohibit risky sulfide-ore copper mining near the Wilderness. Democrats, Republicans and independent voters are united in their love of and desire to preserve the Boundary Waters for future generations.
Despite the overwhelming will of the people, despite the clear science and economics, and despite the obvious tricks and schemes being used to push this risky mining operation forward, many Minnesota politicians — with notable exceptions like U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum and the co-sponsors of her Boundary Waters protection bill pending in the U.S. House — continue to sit on their hands while the Trump administration hands over our Boundary Waters to special interests.
There is a maxim in politics: “Politicians don’t see the light until they feel the heat,” and it is time to turn up the heat.
You can read the full piece here.