Campaign on to save boundary waters

Press Release

On Wednesday, Aug. 14 from 7-8:30 p.m., the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters will hold a public event to share information with Fort Frances area residents on the threats posed by sulfide-ore copper mining to Canadian waters in the Rainy River drainage basin.

The presentation–the first for the campaign in Canada –will take place at the Fort Frances Public Library (601 Reid Ave.) at the invitation of Fort Frances town councillor Douglas Judson.

These waters, which include Quetico Provincial Park in Canada and Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in the United States, are threatened by proposed copper mining from Chilean mining giant Antofagasta’s Twin Metals project.

The Trump administration has played a role in expediting this project since it took office.

Pollution from the proposed mine would go directly into lakes, rivers, and streams that flow into these highly sensitive and valuable ecosystems. Once pollution enters these waters it will be impossible to contain or mitigate.

This pollution will change forever these valuable landscapes, and wreck not just their natural beauty but also their benefit as generators of strong-wilderness based economies.

The lands and waters in question also form part of the traditional territories of a number of First Nations communities.

A Facebook event page can be found at “Save the Boundary Waters in Fort Frances.” Local community stakeholder groups have been invited to take part in this educational and information-sharing opportunity.

“In 2016, the U.S. Forest Service concluded that proposed sulfide-ore copper mining in the headwaters of the Rainy River drainage basin poses a significant risk of harm to the boundary waters and downstream waters,” said Becky Rom, National campaign chair, Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.

“U.S. National Forest lands in the watershed were placed off-limits to this toxic form of mining while a long-term ban was considered,” she added.

All protections have now been reversed by the Trump administration.

“The federal government of Canada, the International Joint Commission, and Lac La Croix First Nation justifiably are concerned about cross-boundary water pollution if mining is permitted,” noted Rom.

“The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters has achieved significant national media coverage south of the border for their efforts to protect our common watershed,” said Coun. Judson.

“Fort Frances and its neighbouring communities on the Canadian shores of Rainy Lake and Rainy River share a concern for the wellbeing and environmental safeguard of our waterways, and I hope that area residents and stakeholder groups will take advantage of this opportunity to learn more about these issues and the potential risks facing our communities,” he added.