Minnesota prides itself on being “the Land of 10,000 Lakes.” At least 1,100 lie in the far northeastern part of the state, along the border with Canada, where more than a million acres of pristine waters and unspoiled woodlands are interspersed with canyons, steep cliffs and huge rock formations shaped by glaciers during the last ice age.
Today this region, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, looks almost exactly as it appeared 10,000 years ago when Paleo-Indians lived there.
Sigurd Olson, the naturalist and writer who guided there for three decades, called it “the most beautiful lake country on the continent.” Few who see it would disagree. Today it is the most visited wilderness area in the United States.
But now this special place is at great risk. Late last year the Interior Department concluded that the two expired leases held by a Chilean-owned company, Twin Metals Minnesota, should be reinstated for copper and nickel mining near the border of the Boundary Waters.
This reversed a decision made at the end of the Obama administration, which rejected the leases after the Forest Service concluded that a mine there “posed an inherent potential risk” that threatened “serious and irreplaceable harm” to the wilderness.
For the rest of this article: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/17/opinion/trump-mining-boundary-waters-wilderness.html