Friends Of The Boundary Waters Wilderness

A nonprofit organization

For almost 50 years, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness has brought together individuals dedicated to the protection of the Boundary Waters. While we come from different backgrounds and have different life stories, we are united by a shared love for this special place. 

We began as a group of friends pooling together our time and talent to protect the wilderness. And that's who we are today: Friends. 

If you love the Boundary Waters, you're in the right place. You're among Friends. 

This year, rather than try to raise a certain dollar amount, we have a goal of attracting 1,500 individual donations. 


Because we know firsthand how powerful people can be when we join together. 

We know the power of the Boundary Waters community. 

Through mobilizing paddlers and outdoor lovers, we helped pass the 1978 Boundary Waters Wilderness Act, which gave the BWCA the protections it has today. 

Through uniting people from around the country, we’ve prevented toxic copper-sulfide mines from opening near the Boundary Waters and polluting out precious waters.


How your donation will help 

Though we have made incredible progress in stopping the two copper-sulfide mines that threaten the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior, there is still much work to be done.

Having fought to protect the Boundary Waters for almost fifty years, we know how crucial it is to get people involved. 

Here’s how your support will protect our clean water for years to come:

  • With your perseverance, we will build a grassroots and political coalition to pass the Prove It First bill. This commonsense law would prevent copper-sulfide mining. 
  • With your commitment, we will strengthen our legal team and resources to push back against attacks from multibillion dollar mining conglomerates intent on breaking down clean water protections.
  • With your passion, we will continue to reach out to diverse groups — hunters and vegans, rural snowmobilers and urban professionals, and everyone else — to build a community invested in the long-term protection of the Boundary Waters.

We’re in this for the long term. We have science on our side. We have the vast majority of Minnesotans on our side. We have clean water on our side. 

We have you, we have friends, on our side.

Donate Now!

Our Work Includes

Leading the fight against copper-sulfide mining. Proposed copper-sulfide mines on the edge of the Boundary Waters represent the biggest threat this area has ever faced. If opened, these foreign-owned mines will leak sulfuric acid into millions of acres of interconnected lakes and rivers, causing irreversible damage to the some of the most pristine waters in the country. Sulfide mining is an existential danger to the Boundary Waters and we are on the front lines in the fight against this highly toxic industry. 

In 2022, the federal government canceled Twin Metals’ mineral leases and through decisive legal victories, we stopped PolyMet’s attempts to push through a toxic mine plan that would pollute our waters. However, when it comes to protecting the environment, it’s been said that victories are temporary, but defeats are permanent.

No Boundaries to the Boundary Waters. As public lands, the Boundary Waters is open to everyone to use and enjoy. There should be no barriers to those who wish to experience the best of the north woods. Through scholarships and our education programs, we bring kids from underserved communities into the Boundary Waters, supporting the next generation of wilderness stewards. 

Land Conservation. A patchwork of private land at the edge of the Boundary Waters threatens to fragment this water-rich ecosystem by cutting off important wildlife corridors and restricting public access. Through our Edge of the Wilderness Fund, we identify and purchase at risk conservation properties adjacent to the Boundary Waters. The goal in this endeavor is to preserve the health of the ecosystem and expand public access to lands surrounding the Wilderness.

Wilderness restoration. Hiking routes, portage trails and campsites all need to be maintained. Through a partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, we bring volunteers into the BWCA to clear out fallen trees, debris and clean up campsites to make sure everyone, from day-trippers to intrepid travelers, can explore the far corners of this northern wilderness.

About the Friends 

For almost 50 years, Friend of the Boundary Waters Wilderness has worked to protect, preserve and restore America’s most visited Wilderness Area. Our supporters are part of a legacy of individuals who have stood together to protect the pristine waters of this unique, and sacred ecosystem. 

In a stressful, hyper-digitalized world, we need the solace and quiet of wilderness. In turn, the wilderness relies on people to speak up and give the wilderness a voice. Such a harmonious relationship, between people and nature, is at the heart of everything we do.

Organization Data


Organization name

Friends Of The Boundary Waters Wilderness

Tax id (EIN)





2550 University Ave W Suite 180S
Saint Paul, MN 55114


612 332 9630

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