This was not a surprise, but it still sucks.
Paul Danicic, Executive Director of the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, issued the following statement in response:
“The transfer of thousands of acres of Superior National Forest land to PolyMet is a bad deal for taxpayers, premature, and not in the public interest. No exchange of land can undo the damage that PolyMet would do to this area. The land that PolyMet seeks to mine contains thousands of acres of high-value wetlands that are irreplaceable.
The standard for federal land exchanges is that the exchange must be in the public interest. PolyMet would create polluted water that would require expensive treatment for hundreds of years. PolyMet would be the largest permitted destruction of wetlands in Minnesota history. The risk to the St. Louis River, Lake Superior, and downstream communities from this mine proposal demonstrates why it is not in the public interest…
Meanwhile, copper and nickel prices remain at long-term lows in a glutted market, and the inevitable Trump recession will only drive them further into the depths.