"Feds Hit Brakes — Again — On Mining Near Boundary Waters"

"Legal decision on validity of company's mineral leases is still pending."

"President Joe Biden's administration is seeking a 20-year moratorium on mining in Superior National Forest near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, restarting a process that started, and stopped, under previous administrations.

The U.S. Department of Interior and U.S. Department of Agriculture — which together regulate mining — said in a joint statement Wednesday that they want to protect Minnesota's Boundary Waters, which they called a "unique natural wonder."

The Forest Service has applied to the Bureau of Land Management for a 20-year mineral withdrawal of more than 200,000 acres of federal land in the greater watershed that includes the Boundary Waters. Such a withdrawal of land puts a moratorium on new mining permits and leases. Only Congress can enact a permanent ban.

As part of the action, the Forest Service will restart a previously canceled study of the environmental, cultural and economic impacts of mining near the Boundary Waters."

Jennifer Bjorhus reports for the Minneapolis Star Tribune October 20, 2021.

Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune, 10/21/2021