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Wilderness Society sues Trump administration over mine rules



This Sept. 16, 2017 photo shows two canoes along a lily pad-lined bog in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The area protects more than 1,200 miles of canoe trails over lakes and rivers fringed by pine forests. (Giovanna Dell’Orto via AP)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — The Wilderness Society is suing the Trump administration to try to force the release of documents on its decision to lift restrictions on mining upstream from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota.

FILE – In this Oct. 4, 2011 file photo, a prospecting drill rig bores into the bedrock near Ely, Minn., in search of copper, nickel and precious metals that Twin Metals Minnesota LLC, hopes to mine near the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northeastern Minnesota. The federal Bureau of Land Management has reinstated mineral rights leases for a proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine in northeastern Minnesota. The leases cover land in Superior National Forest 9 miles southeast of Ely that encompasses reserves of copper, nickel and precious metals. Environmental groups are fighting the project, fearing mining would spoil the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness. Twin Metals Minnesota plans to submit its underground mine proposal in the coming months. (AP Photo/Steve Karnowski,File)

The Trump administration last year canceled a proposed 20-year ban on mining in the Boundary Waters watershed and an associated environmental study that were ordered in the final weeks of the Obama administration. Last month, it renewed the mineral rights leases for the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely.

The Wilderness Society says in its lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court in Washington that federal agencies have failed for months to respond to its requests under the Freedom of Information Act for the documents.

The Interior Department says it can’t comment on ongoing litigation.

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