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Boundary Waters Canoe Area (Minn.); Wilderness areas; Nickel mines and mining


A conflict in potential land use of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) exists between those who wish to see the area open to mining and those who want it retained as a natural wilderness. A review of information available to the public which relates to possible nickel mining within the BWCA suggests that the BWCA itself in its natural state is a more valuable resource to the people of the United States than it is as a source for nickel. The high U.S. rate of consumption of nickel, our use of nickel in products in which it is non-essential, and the low nickel content of the rocks in the BWCA point to nickel mining in the BWCA as only a short-term, stopgap effort to maintain a steady supply of this metal for U.S. needs.

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