Save the Boundary Waters

A nonprofit organization

Banner Image credit: Jim Brandenburg

Save the Boundary Waters leads the effort to protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining. 

Want to make a gift without the GiveMN fees? You can donate through the Campaign's site here.

You can help protect America’s most visited Wilderness. 

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) is America’s most visited Wilderness, consisting of 1.1 million acres of interconnected waterways, uninterrupted forests and diverse wildlife. The Boundary Waters attracts more than 155,000 visitors each year who come to paddle, hike, ski, snowshoe, hunt and fish. Your donation to Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness will support the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters, the group leading the effort to ensure permanent protection for the Boundary Waters, Minnesota's crown jewel, from proposed sulfide-ore copper mining.

Sulfide-ore copper mining threatens the Boundary Waters

Proposed sulfide-ore copper mines in the watershed of the Boundary Waters, near the southern edge of the Wilderness, would severely and permanently harm the BWCA. Pollution from acid mine drainage would flow into the heart of the Boundary Waters destroying thousands of acres of land, massively disrupting wildlife, increasing traffic, and creating noise and air pollution. It would also hurt the existing sustainable amenity-based economy that brings in $913 million dollars annually to the surrounding communities. The downstream flow of acid mine drainage would also threaten Voyageurs National Park, the Superior National Forest and Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. Sulfide-ore copper mining this close to the Wilderness is inherently dangerous and will cause damage that cannot be prevented or fixed. 

The Boundary Waters is too special to put at risk.


We need your help.  2021 is our best chance to permanently protect the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining. 

We continue to work on several fronts focused on permanently prohibiting sulfide-ore mining in the Boundary Waters watershed. Our path to permanent protection includes:

  • re-initiating a federal mineral withdrawal

  • passing a permanent protection bill in Congress and the MN legislature

  • ongoing litigation to terminate the unlawful leases

  • using science to push back against the proposed mine plan 

  • revising the state's rules regulating mining


On April 22, MN Rep. Betty McCollum introduced a bill entitled “The Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act” in the U.S. House of Representatives (all bills are given a “House Resolution” number for easier tracking, and this one is H.R. 2794). We are thankful for the continued leadership demonstrated by Rep. McCollum. 

Organization Data


Organization name

Save the Boundary Waters

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PO BOX 625
ELY, MN 55731



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