Tina Smith's office

Senator Tina Smith shares thoughts on BWCA analysis, potential legislation

There has been a great deal of news about the possibility of copper-nickel mining in Northeast Minnesota, here in the state, as well as on the federal level.

At the end of March 2021, Senator Tina Smith sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack and U.S. Secretary of Interior Deb Haaland, asking them to complete and release an analysis of the environmental and economic impacts of a ban on copper nickel mining on lands near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

The study, which includes consideration of a 20-year mining ban, was first initiated in 2016, but stopped in 2018 by Sonny Perdue, the Secretary of Agriculture under President Donald Trump.

In her letter, Senator Smith noted that the analysis was “ended early and without any real explanation.” See Senator Smith’s letter here.

WTIP’s Rhonda Silence was able to ask Senator Smith a few questions about the concerns raised in her letter.