Reader's View: The deal included mining outside BWCAW
I was a substitute teacher and a volleyball coach at the Tower-Soudan school (back when those communities still had a high school.) My husband has worked in the mining industry for more than 40 years. We sent three kids to college by saving minin...
I was a substitute teacher and a volleyball coach at the Tower-Soudan school (back when those communities still had a high school.) My husband has worked in the mining industry for more than 40 years. We sent three kids to college by saving mining paychecks. Our honeymoon was a 57-mile canoe trip near near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and we’ve made our home on the doorstep of the Boundary Waters. Our garage is filled with canoes, kayaks, fishing rods, and decoys. Over the years, I’ve made frequent use of the BWCAW, catching walleye, picking berries, and even guiding several canoe trips.
I never would be in favor of mining inside the BWCAW, and it’s ridiculous to imply anyone wants to mine there. We can safely mine outside the Boundary Waters, though, and protect the environment at the same time.
We have the minerals that are crucial to life in the 21st century. When the BWCAW was created, we were promised we would be able to continue to mine outside its borders. That was the deal. That was included in the bargaining process during the creation of the Boundary Waters, that we could continue to mine outside of the BWCAW. If mining and mineral exploration outside of the Boundary Waters wasn’t explicitly included in the negotiations, the Boundary Waters may never have been created.
Those of us who live here love using the Boundary Waters. We truly do live in a beautiful area. But our land use outside of the Boundary Waters is imperative to our way of life.