The Star Tribune’s Jill Burcum has been named a Pulitzer Prize opinion writing finalist for a piece that ran last Nov. 23 on the proposed Twin Metals copper-nickel mine near Ely.

The judges lauded Burcum “for passionate, persuasive writing about a pristine wilderness area, accessible largely by canoe, to demonstrate to readers why a proposed mine would do incalculable environmental damage.”

In 2015, Burcum’s “Separate and Unequal” series on dilapidated Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools was a Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial writing.

That series, and Burcum’s subsequent testimony before Congress, led to increased federal and state funding for BIE schools nationwide, as well as construction of a new high school on the Leech Lake Indian Reservation in Minnesota.

When she learned today’s Pulitzer news, Burcum quickly credited the team at Star Tribune Opinion, particularly assistant commentary editor David Banks, for supporting her work on the BWCA project.

The Pulitzer Prizes in journalism were first awarded in 1917 and are considered the field’s most prestigious honor in the United States.