Trump moves to toss a ban on mining a pristine Minnesota forest

Credit: Tony Webster/Flickr

Before leaving office, President Obama imposed a 20-year ban on industrial activity in 234,000 acres of Minnesota’s remote Superior National Forest, with a two-year moratorium for federal researchers to conduct a comprehensive study on the environmental consequences of mining there. Big surprise: President Trump is now itching to undo it. In a recent rally in Duluth, Trump promised to take the first steps toward rescinding the ban. The move is particularly welcome news to Twin Metals Minnesota, a company that has been trying (and failing) to mine copper and nickel in the region but recently had their leases reinstated by Trump's Interior Department. Whether or not Trump will be able to pull this off is unclear (something he even admits himself), but this past January, his administration downgraded the environmental impact statement for the national forest to a less-intensive environmental assessment, and some environmentalists speculate that he may try to formally trash the ban before even the assessment is complete.

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