This all seems so familiar…

There’s a saying that goes like this: You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.
Another attempt to pull the wool over the eyes of the people of northeast Minnesota will be seen for what it is: bunk. This past week another group against mining popped up. But it’s by and large the same people who are in multiple other anti-mining groups.
The new Boundary Waters Business Coalition fits right in with other groups since it’s membership base looks just like “Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness” or “Save the Boundary Waters” or “Sportsmen For the Boundary Waters.”
In fact, the membership form has this statement at the bottom: “This form was created inside of Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness.” The email address listed is for Sportsmen For the Boundary Waters.
The names carry across from one group to another. In fact, these groups could save on postage by sending a multi-group membership form so people could send one check instead of two, three or seven.
One thing we did find surprising was one of the Ely outfitters being listed as a member of Boundary Waters Business Coalition. The owner was surprised as well when we asked him about it.
“News to me,” he said. “Nobody asked me to put my name on there.”
We won’t list the names of those involved for concern they may or may not have given approval to be listed as a supporter.
You can look the group up online if you so choose. If you’re wondering, this is the mantra listed on the home page: “Local, state, regional and national businesses support permanent protection for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from risky sulfide-ore copper mining proposed on the edge of this iconic wilderness.”
Certainly each one of us has a right to voice our opinion on issues that affect the Ely area. But if the same people make up multiple groups, doesn’t that seem just a little preposterous?

SOUND FAMILIAR?
In the Ely Echo of February 24, 1997, twenty years ago, the headlines were:
• Closed-door BWCAW “summit” brings little progress, mediation resumes Thursday; Paul Forsman, attorneys Brian O’Neill, Becky Rom among those present;