Coleman column action alert

“This kind of mining has never been done without problems,” says Paul Danicic, executive director of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness… “Minnesotans are going to have to make a choice here: Are 20 years of mineral extraction worth risking generations of wilderness recreation and clean water?”

Dear friend,

Perhaps the biggest obstacle we face in protecting the Boundary Waters and the surrounding region from toxic water pollution from sulfide mining is a lack of public awareness. That’s why a column published yesterday in the Minneapolis Star Tribune by the writer Nick Coleman is such a victory:

“Mining companies that quietly have been exploring northern Minnesota for copper, nickel and other precious minerals are moving toward active operations in and near the Superior National Forest that environmental groups fear may cause lasting damage to the lakes and rivers of the north country, possibly including the fragile ecosystem of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.” Read the column »

This column represents an important opportunity for you to take action. The Star Tribune needs to hear from its readers that you want the in-depth coverage the issue deserves. The paper could provide a valuable service by assigning a reporter to analyze the PolyMet Draft EIS and inform the public if the company’s claims “hold water.” Additionally, a flood of letters should get the attention of the DNR, legislators and other decision-makers.

Please write a letter-to-the-editor today!

Send a letter–it’s quick and easy!

To submit a letter to the Star Tribune, use these tools:

Online form

Editorial Department
Star Tribune
425 Portland Av.
Minneapolis, MN 55488

Here are some ideas of things to write about:

  • The lakes, rivers and streams of northeastern Minnesota are treasured resources that we have an obligation to protect for future generations.
  • The clean water of our state is part of our core values and identity and should be our highest priority.
  • PolyMet represents a choice between short-term jobs and clean water that may be polluted for up to 2,000 years.
  • The PolyMet Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) is too dependent on new, unproven technology. If that technology does not work like it’s supposed to, there is no contingency plan to prevent massive pollution problems.
  • Northeastern Minnesota’s long-term economy is threatened by a rush to bring copper-nickel mining to the state.
  • This is a state-wide issue because all Minnesota taxpayers will end up paying to clean up mining messes unless we ensure companies put up a sufficient “damage deposit.”
  • Elected officials like Sens. Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar have “pre-judged” the proposal by supporting the project without adequately understanding the DEIS or the risks the project poses.
  • The citizens of Minnesota deserve an open, transparent evaluation of this new industry, not pep rallies and political pressure on the agencies that are supposed to protect our resources.
  • The Star Tribune ought to provide in-depth examination of the PolyMet DEIS to help citizens and leaders understand it.

Tips for writing letters:

  • Keep your letter short (150-200 words, maximum)
  • Stick to one or two main points
  • Include your full name, address and phone number

If you want to submit something, but don’t have the time to write it  yourself, please contact me at for a template letter.


Greg Seitz
Communications Director
Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

p.s. – We’re very pleased that Coleman also mentioned “Precious Waters” and provided information about showings scheduled this week and next at REI stores in Minnesota. This is a great time to share “Precious Waters” with your friends, family and colleagues. Just send them the link to or request a DVD and resource packet if you’d like to organize a showing!