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Councillor concerned about boundary waters

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A town councillor is concerned about the future of the Rainy River watershed as there is an ongoing effort to bring sulfide-ore copper mining activity within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Members of the “Save the Boundary Water” campaign will be visiting Fort Frances in the summer to educate the town in-depth on the issue, Coun. Douglas Judson said during Monday evening's council meeting here.

“They will provide an opportunity for all of us to protect our shared wilderness and waters and this should help Canadian stakeholders and local residents determine how and whether to get involved in advocacy on this topic,” he noted.

The “Save the Boundary Water” campaign is made up of local residents in and around Ely, Mn. who are dedicated to creating a national movement to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and its watershed from toxic pollution caused by mining activities.

In September of last year the Trump administration cleared way for renewed mineral leasing and potential mining in about 365 sq. miles of the Superior National Forest which is within the boundary waters watershed.

A study to determine the potential environmental impact of mining in the region, was canceled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture which put a stop to the proposed Obama-era ban on exploration and mining in the area.

The study proposed a 20-year mining ban in December of 2016 based on concerns that mining activities in the boundary waters watershed could lead to irreversible impacts on natural resources.

More information about when the “Save the Boundary Water” campaign will come to town hall will be made available this summer.

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