The deepest and largest lake in Minnesota’s BWCA, Lake Saganaga, lies on the Canadian border and is protected by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Minnesota, Quetico Provincial Park and Verendrye Provincial Park in Ontario. At a depth of 280 feet with a surface area of 13,832 acres, this lake lies in Cook County of the Rainy River Watershed and the Hudson Bay Drainage Basin.
The highly sensitive environments of both this drainage basin in the watershed of the Rainy River and the Lake Superior Drainage basin in the watershed of the St Louis River are under threat of copper mining. Deposits lie along the boundary of the BWCA and in the area of Babbitt where Polymet proposes its NorthMet Project (copper mine).
Exploratory drill sites are already in operation along the southern boundary of the BWCA, in Birch Lake, and surrounding Birch Lake and the Kawishiwi River. These waterways are part of the Rainy River Watershed and share their waters with the Boundary Waters Canoe Wilderness Area.
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