March 28, 2023

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Dec. 22, 2017) — U.S. Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-4) on Friday said condemned the Interior Department’s decision to reverse itself and reinstate leases for dangerous sulfide-ore copper mining on federal lands adjacent to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

“I spoke with the Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke on the phone yesterday and he reiterated to me directly just how precious the waters of the BWCA are and the need for ongoing environmental study,” McCollum said. “Twenty-four hours later, he broke his word and issued mining leases footsteps from the BWCA to a foreign-owned mining company. Clearly, the numerous assurances I received from Secretary Zinke about protecting the BWCA were worthless and deceitful.”

The Trump administration is blatantly dishonest and cannot be trusted, McCollum said.

“They are determined to sell, exploit, and destroy the American people’s natural treasures like Bears Ears National Monument, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and now our own Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park. For every Minnesotan and American who believes in conservation and values our national resources, the battle lines are drawn,” she said.

McCollum is Ranking Member of the House Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee. Congresswoman McCollum represents Minnesota’s Fourth District in the United States House of Representatives.

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