McCollum Statement on Trump Administration Limiting Environmental Review of Mining Near BWCA
Congresswoman Betty McCollum (DFL-Minn.), Ranking Member of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, released the following statement after the Washington Post reported that the U.S. Forest Service will cancel the Environmental Impact Statement on the withdrawal of lands from mining in the Superior National Forest adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and instead conduct a less-stringent abbreviated Environmental Assessment:
“The U.S. Forest Service has the absolute responsibility to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. That responsibility drove their commitment to conduct a thorough review of whether mining in the Superior National Forest threatens the BWCA’s 1.1 million acres and 1,000 pristine lakes. Unfortunately, the Trump administration's decision to abandon a comprehensive and public Environment Impact Statement appears to demonstrate that an Interior Department hell-bent on advancing toxic mining is calling the shots about the future of this untouched wilderness.
“Given his recent actions, it is apparent that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke cares more about helping mining conglomerates than about protecting the BWCA. Today’s decision is yet another part of the Trump-Zinke agenda to turn our public lands and natural treasures into industrial wastelands for private profit."