ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A leading group in the opposition to a copper-nickel mine on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has hired a former state agency chief who approved another controversial mining project in northeastern Minnesota.
The Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters announced Tuesday that former Department of Natural Resources Commissioner Tom Landwehr is its new executive director.
As DNR commissioner, Landwehr approved the key permits for the PolyMet mine near Hoyt Lakes. But he draws a sharp distinction between that project and the proposed Twin Metals mine near Ely, just upstream from the Boundary Waters. He says that’s not a place where mining should be considered.
“One can be supportive of mining, but also recognize that this is not the kind of place you should be putting a mine,” Landwehr said. “In any project like this you can’t guarantee 100 percent success, 100 percent non-degradation, but we just simply can’t take that chance with this wilderness area. We’re very adamant that [The Twin Metals] project not move forward.”
Save the Boundary Waters National Chair Becky Rom says Landwehr is the “right person at the right time” to lead the group.