Bicyclists Tow Canoe to Protest Mine Near BWCA

May 05, 2015 06:35 PM

Some bicyclists are taking a very visual approach in their campaign against a proposed mine near the Boundary Waters.

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They're biking across Minnesota, towing a canoe behind them and asking people to sign it. The canoe is a ceremonial petition to keep a proposed copper-nickel mine from the edge of the Boundary Waters. They're also bringing a real petition, asking for permanent protection for the watershed.

The bikers, from Save the Boundary Waters, say they're concerned about the sulfiric acid byproduct.

They stopped by UMD on Tuesday, and they plan to wrap up their journey on Mother's Day in Ely. Erin McCleary, one of the four bikers, said they have big plans for that day.

"We've biked this around for 740 miles, and every day we think about paddling it," McCleary said. "So it has been paddled less than one mile, so we're going to put her right in Birch Lake. And we named her Betty Jo, and we think that she needs to have a maiden voyage on Birch Lake."

Before they hit Ely, they'll be at Bent Paddle Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. The public is welcome to stop by and sign the petition, or the canoe.


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