Reader John Hesterberg responds to Trump's pollster: Even Iron Rangers oppose mining near the Boundary Waters:
It makes sense to me that a majority of people are against this specific type of mining (sulfide-ore copper) in this specific location (BWCA watershed) at this point in time (the next 20 years).
That's all this is about. It isn't anti-mining. It is about careful and appropriate stewardship of a invaluable and sensitive resource.
A 20-year moratorium on sulfide-ore mining in this location is simply common sense. Sulfide-ore copper mining has never been done without polluting. Never.
If new technology is developed that can prevent pollution, the BWCA watershed is not the right location to experiment. Why bet our quality of life and the sustainable tourism jobs on something that has never before worked? The jobs would last a few decades, but the damage would last centuries!
Now, if it can be proven to work in less fragile and sensitive locations, then the copper here will still be there. We get to extract it once. Let's wait until it's clearly safe.
I am sympathetic to out-of-work miners. I am out of work myself. But sulfide-ore copper mining in the BWCA watershed at this time is not worth the risk. The consequences of almost certain pollution is simply unacceptable.
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