A new video from the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters highlights former Vice President Walter Mondale’s fierce advocacy for the Boundary Waters and calls on the current generation of Minnesota and national leaders to pick up the torch. In a commentary published earlier this month, northeastern Minnesota native Richard Moe, Vice President Mondale’s Chief of Staff and a special assistant to President Carter, wrote:
Mondale remained devoted to permanently protecting the Boundary Waters, calling it “the obligation of each generation;” he consistently implored public officials to meet that obligation through the final weeks of his life. Saving the Boundary Waters was a personal mission for Walter Mondale, as it is for countless others who love its beauty and wildness.
The video features Mondale reading from his writings on Boundary Waters protection and vintage clips, as well as photos of the former Vice President with President Biden and Sens. Klobuchar and Smith.
The Biden administration is currently reviewing the history of the Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta’s Twin Metals leases, as well as the Trump administration’s actions surrounding the Twin Metals project, including the unlawful reinstatement of terminated mineral leases and the last minute cancellation of a study to determine the impact of sulfide-ore copper mining in the watershed of the Boundary Waters.
The Boundary Waters is the most heavily visited Wilderness Area in the United States, attracting more than 160,000 visitors from all over the world, and helps drive more than $900 million in annual economic activity and helps support over 17,000 jobs. A peer-reviewed independent study from Harvard University showed that protecting the Boundary Waters from a proposed Twin Metals sulfide-ore copper mine would result in dramatically more jobs and more income over a 20-year period. Nearly seventy percent of Minnesotans support a ban on sulfide-ore copper mining near the Wilderness to permanently protect the Boundary Waters.
The video script reads:
“Are we generous enough, secure enough, mature enough to refuse short-term gain in order to avert long-term calamity? Our childrens’ legacy depends on the answer.”
Here, miles of streams weave their way through a million plus acres of pristine wilderness rich with wildlife, untouched forest, and lakes left behind by glaciers of a two billion year old geology.
The Boundary Waters supports lives and livelihoods as a driver of a robust outdoor recreation economy
and offers itself up to anyone from any walk of life who wishes to share in its riches.
This land is beloved, which is why Minnesotans have fought so hard to protect it —
few, perhaps, with the fervor and determination of Walter Mondale.
He saw the preservation of the Boundary Waters as a responsibility — a solemn obligation to take up against great and continued peril.
Water is the lifeblood of these pristine lands and Sulfide-ore copper mining within the Boundary Waters Wilderness watershed is a risk we simply can’t take.
America’s most toxic industry has no place next to America’s most popular wilderness.
That our precious lands are intact and safe today is no accident.
Walter Mondale leaves behind an enduring legacy that calls upon us to carry the torch
— to protect the Boundary Waters for those of us here now and for generations to come.
“Get in a canoe and paddle that thing and see for yourself how magnificent it is. And then ask yourself what you can do to protect it.”