Press Release

League Welcomes Biden Move to Protect Boundary Waters Canoe Area: Let's Not Spend another 100 Years on it


WASHINGTON, D.C. October 20, 2021 ---- The Izaak Walton League praises the Biden administration for announcing steps today to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from a proposed copper-sulfide mining operation just upstream from the wilderness. 


Comment from Scott Kovarovics, executive director of the Izaak Walton League of America 

“We welcome this important step to prevent water pollution from a dangerous form of mining near this canoeing and fishing paradise. The League has been working to protect the Boundary Waters region for nearly 100 years, and we were instrumental in securing the Boundary Waters as one of the original wilderness areas protected under the 1964 Wilderness Act. While we applaud the Biden administration’s steps today, the time has come for permanent protections for the entire watershed that feeds the Boundary Waters. We cannot spend the next 100 years fighting to keep dirty mining practices out of this unique and pristine landscape that sustains so much of our outdoor legacy. Congress can take a tangible step toward permanent protection by passing the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act, H.R. 2794, introduced by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-Minn.)."


Pollution from the sulfide mining operation in this watershed would harm this pristine system of waterways and forest that compose the wilderness area. By proposing a 20-year pause on mining activity for the national forest land upstream from area, the administration aims to protect the fragile natural resources, ecological integrity and wilderness values in the Rainy River Watershed and the Boundary Waters.


As our nation’s most visited wilderness area, the Boundary Waters is an economic, ecological and cultural engine for northeastern Minnesota. The Boundary Waters and associated outdoor recreation economy is responsible for 17,000 jobs and $900 million in annual economic activity for the region. The surrounding Superior National Forest contains 20 percent of the freshwater in the entire National Forest System and supports one of North America’s great fisheries. 


For nearly 100 years, the Izaak Walton League has fought for clean air and water, healthy fish and wildlife habitat and conserving natural resources for future generations. Today, the League plays a unique role in supporting local community-based conservation and shaping national policy. Visit



Michael Reinemer, Communications Director;

301-548-0150  3x 220


  • Conservation