Skip to main content

After 2,000-mile anti-mining canoe trek, Minnesota couple arrives in DC

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

So strong is their opposition to a proposed copper mine in northeast Minnesota, an intrepid couple paddled, sailed and portaged a canoe 2,000 miles to make a point.

Northland duo Dave and Amy Freeman finally paddled up the Potomac River in Washington D.C. Tuesday, bringing to an end a canoeing odyssey that started in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness more than three months ago.

The Duluth News Tribune reports the pair's effort was in protest of the proposed Twin Metals copper mine project east of Ely, Minnesota, which they fear will cause acidic pollution to leak into the Boundary Waters wilderness.

Their trek took them from Minnesota through the Great Lakes into Canada on a sailboat, back into the canoe through rivers and canals that took them to the East Coast, where they then paddled through New York before making their way down to the capital.

They were met in Washington by around 40 supporters who had flown over from Minnesota to greet them.

"We had some ... wild stretches, along the Ottawa River in Canada and even the Hudson River in New York, there were some spectacular stretches there," they told the News Tribune. "And we also paddled right through the most urban area of all, New York City, past the Statue of Liberty and dodging ferry boats."

This embed is invalid

Wilderness protection

The couple are no strangers to adventure, or canoes.

They were named the National Geographic's 2014 Adventurers of the Year after a decade in which they completed a 11,647-mile trek across North America, paddled a 1,100-mile loop around Lake Superior, and completed numerous other journeys featuring kayaks, canoes, dog sleds and backpacking, the Star Tribune reports.

They spend their summers in Lutsen and their winters in Ely, the newspaper notes, and are fiercely protective of the natural beauty of northern Minnesota, hence their trip to Washington.

"Our goal all along has been to draw attention to what a special place the Boundary Waters is, and tell people why this new kind of mining in a sulfide ore body is not appropriate for such a special place," Dave Freeman told the Pioneer Press.

While in the capital the Freemans will be meeting with members of Congress, federal officials and youth groups, as well as raising awareness of their campaign through media interviews.

On their Save the Boundary Waters website, they also say they carried out the trek to mark 50 years since the signing of the Wilderness Act, which established the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

Supporters of the Twin Metals mine say it would bring a boost to the local economy and employment levels, with the project expected to create 3,500 construction and 850 permanent jobs.

It would see 50,000 tonnes of ore mined each day over a 30 year period, with copper, nickel, palladium, platinum, gold and silver produced.

Next Up

Richfield High School

Richfield High School cancels weekend events after shooting

Two men were shot outside the school's football stadium

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 10.21.38 PM

Sound of shots, mass panic at Richfield football game streamed live on YouTube

Gunfire caused panic at a varsity football game Friday night.

J. Gordon

K-9 search leads to $36K fentanyl seizure during traffic stop

A traffic stop was made after the vehicle was seen speeding through the area.

Screen Shot 2022-09-23 at 5.20.08 PM

Gov. Walz reacts to Tuesday death of Mankato West student

The governor is a former geography teacher at the high school.

court room

Teen pleads guilty to Minneapolis carjacking, admits to others

The man was yanked out of the vehicle by witnesses before fleeing the scene.

Federal court house

Three plead guilty to roles in murder on Red Lake Reservation

The 2019 murder left another person seriously injured.

image

Sheriff: Heifer shot and butchered on farmer's pasture near Aitkin

Anyone with information regarding the incident is encouraged to call the Clearwater County Sheriff's Office.

SwearegeneMugDouglasCoJail

Minneapolis murder suspect arrested in Wisconsin

The man has been wanted by police since the shooting happened in April.

police lights squad car dark - Unsplash

Charges: Man kidnapped woman at gunpoint, forced her to withdraw $1,500

The 56-year-old suspect is accused of forcing the woman to the Seward neighborhood in Minneapolis.

police lights

Police arrest suspect in Oakdale after 10-hour standoff

The standoff with police lasted over 10 hours Friday.

WHS_SHPO_Canoe 2_Recovery054

Oldest canoe ever found in Great Lakes region excavated in Wisconsin

The boat was recovered in Lake Mendota on Thursday.

Related