Friends Of The Boundary Waters Wilderness

A nonprofit organization

$358,057 raised by 1,154 donors

100% complete

$300,000 Goal

You're reading this because you care about the Boundary Waters.

Maybe you take an annual canoe trip, or have memories of how your parents or a badass aunt took you on a life-changing adventure here when you were a kid.

Whether it's the smell of pine, the call of a loon, staying up to watch the aurora borealis dance across the stars, or a passion for wild spaces and clean water, thousands of people from all backgrounds and walks of life are united around a shared love for this unique place.

Over 45 years ago, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness began as a group of friends who got together 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.

Be part of a community

How has the Boundary Waters shaped you?

Though the beauty and wonder of the Boundary Waters has transformed thousands of lives, it's under threat.

Two copper-sulfide mines threaten northern Minnesota's clean waters: Twin Metals and PolyMet. If opened, these mines would spew toxic acid mine drainage into surrounding water sources, permanently polluting this pristine ecosystem. 

With you're support, we are turning the table on the big polluters and protecting the Boundary Waters and Lake Superior.

In April, 2021, the Minnesota Supreme Court struck down PolyMet’s permit to mine.

Then, only a few weeks ago, the Biden administration announced its intention to place a 20-year ban on copper-sulfide mining on federal land surrounding the Boundary Waters. 

Because of your passion and commitment, the future of Minnesota's clean water, and the Boundary Waters, is brighter.

With your support, we will make these victories permanent by:

  • Make protecting clean water the law. Let’s protect the BWCA and Lake Superior against future mines and pollution-friendly politicians by passing a Prove It First law in Minnesota. The law is simple: Before any sulfide mine moves forward in Minnesota, show at least one example in the United States where sulfide mining has been done safely, without pollution. No proof? No mine. 
  • Mobilize on all levels. From organizing grassroots actions to assembling a passionate legal team to fight for Lake Superior and the Boundary Waters, we champion clean water on all levels.
  • Introduce a new generation to the wilderness. To stay wild, the Boundary Waters needs people, it needs a new generation to fall in love with it. Our No Boundaries to the Boundary Waters program introduces thousands of students from diverse and underserved backgrounds communities to the wilderness.

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 on our side.


For over 45 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.


  • 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.

  • 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 our Thomas Flint Memorial Canoe Trips and wilderness curriculum programs, we bring kids from underserved communities into the Boundary Waters, supporting the next generation of wilderness stewards.

  • 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 BWCAW 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.

From introducing young people to the wilderness to taking on some of the most powerful industries in the world, we believe advocacy comes in many forms. 

Above all, it is the work of passionate individuals like yourself who have made this wild place what it is, and who will ensure it stays this way for generations to come.

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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