Trump USFS Downgrades Review Of Obama Mining Ban Near Minn. Wilderness

"The Trump administration will curtail a detailed review of how cordoning off 230,000 acres of U.S. Forest Service land in Minnesota from mining development will affect a neighboring wilderness area, according to documents obtained by The Washington Post.

The decision to convert the study launched in the final days of the Obama administration into a less-stringent environmental assessment could have major policy implications. Last January, the Interior Department blocked mineral extraction for two years in the swath of forest near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, a glacially carved region west of Lake Superior that is speckled with lakes and popular with canoers.

At the same time last year, the federal government announced it would review whether to bar mining in the U.S. Forest Service-managed land for a longer stretch, the next 20 years. Interior officials decided not to renew existing leases for a copper and nickel mining operation there."

Dino Grandoni and Juliet Eilperin report for the Washington Post January 26, 2018.

Source: Washington Post, 01/26/2018