This piece on the threat of a large copper mine to Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is a sign a failure in the larger wilderness debates, which is not creating buffer zones of limited industrial activity that would allow some economic functions but also keep the core area ecologically secure. To be able to place a destructive and awful copper mine on the edge of a place like the boundary waters would have a huge impact on the water quality in the wilderness. Similarly, the plans of developers to build thousands of housing units on the edge of the Grand Canyon National Park would have been utterly disastrous. Luckily, the government stepped in to stop the latter project. I do believe that the Department of Interior won’t allow this mine to be developed, but it shouldn’t come to this. We need stronger buffer zones around wilderness areas.