Gov. Mark Dayton: 'Will you join me in defending the Boundary Waters?'

Mar 30, 2022
Gov. Mark Dayton
Governor Mark Dayton receives the Wilderness Warrior Award at the 2019 Boundary Waters Gala.

During my 45 years in public life, I came to know our great state from border to border. Minnesota is blessed with so many spectacular natural areas, none greater than the Boundary Waters.

We inherited this pristine wilderness from previous generations who bequeathed it to us to benefit not only ourselves, but also our children, our grandchildren, and their children and grandchildren. Now it is our responsibility to protect this fragile ecosystem from those who would exploit it for their own selfish purposes.

When I was governor, I made it clear that I support mining where it can be conducted safely, but not where it threatens fragile, irreplaceable ecosystems. In March 2016, I wrote to Twin Metals and stated my opposition to copper-nickel mining next to the Boundary Waters. Any leakage from its proposed mine’s residue of highly toxic sulfide ore into the nearby waters would cause catastrophic and irreparable damage.

Thanks to the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters’ work with the Biden administration, Twin Metals’ leases have been canceled, resulting in what will likely be a 20-year administrative ban.

However, a temporary ban is not enough. The only acceptable goal is permanent protection from copper mining near the Boundary Waters.

This year, we have a rare opportunity to make this dream of permanent protection a reality. Your support is crucial to the Campaign’s efforts to pass Representative Betty McCollum’s historic bill of enduring and permanent protections for the Boundary Waters.

Many of us have been fighting for this for over a decade and now we are on the precipice of victory – but only if we continue to act. Please join me today in supporting the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.


Mining jobs come and eventually go, but the pristine wilderness of the Boundary Waters has survived for thousands of years. Depending on the actions we take now, this priceless landscape could either be irreparably damaged, or thrive for thousands more years. The choice is up to us.


My best regards,

Mark Dayton
40th Governor of Minnesota