Registration for the lottery drawing for permits to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area is underway until January 15, officials at the Superior National Forest have announced. The drawing opens registration for the 2010 BWCA season.
Registration for the lottery drawing for permits to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area is underway until January 15, officials at the Superior National Forest have announced. The drawing opens registration for the 2010 BWCA season.
In 2006, Quetico Provincial Park’s French River proved impassable by kayak—so Ken Lister crawled upriver through the slippery, overgrown underbrush. His destination? French River Rapids. Lister suspected that an oil painting by Canadian artist Paul Kane portrayed the rapids. If correct, he would disprove widely held notions about the painting’s origins, and possibly discover a new understanding of the fur trade.
The Fall 2009 issue of Wilderness News (the print edition) is here! If you’re a subscriber, watch for your mailed copy soon. Or download a PDF of the full issue, and read all of the stories, with full-color photographs, and help us save on mailing costs.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency passed new regulations aimed at reducing haze over northern Minnesota, including Voyageurs National Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The MPCA board voted 7-1 in favor of the new rules, despite calls for tighter restrictions.
The first of two public meetings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet Mining Company’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Babbitt is history. Roughly a thousand citizens converged on Aurora last night to support or question the project.
Environmental advocates are expressing concern about the format of the public meetings on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet Mining Company’s proposed NorthMet project.
The two public comment meetings for PolyMet Mining Company’s proposed NorthMet projct take place tomorrow and Thursday in Aurora and Blaine, Minnesota respectively. The meetings are part of a 90-day public comment period for what could be Minnesota’s first copper mine.
Ely Mayor Roger Skraba has been charged with three counts of federal wilderness violations in the BWCA. He is accused of entering the wilderness area without a permit, possessing a motor vehicle within the wilderness, and removing property.
Ely-area outfitters recently voiced concerns about U. S. Coast Guard regulations for businesses that guide clients on federally navigable waters. The agency requires that outfitters be licensed and that they and their employee know first aid and CPR as well have background checks and undergo drug testing.
Time and money seem to be working against efforts to establish a new state park along the shores of Lake Vermilion. The State of Minnesota isn’t expected to renew efforts to buy land for the park from U.S. Steel until the spring of 2010.
The 2010 International Lake of the Woods Water Quality Forum is set for March 10 and 11, organizers announced yesterday. The forum will be held at Rainy River Community College in International Falls.
Part-way through the firearms deer hunting season, harvest numbers are down in Northestern Minnesota. Wildlife managers say the reduction reflects a decrease in deer population.
With the stated goal of becoming the second operating copper-nickel mine in the Duluth Complex of Northeastern Minnesota, Franconia Minerals Corporation announced today that it is initiating waste rock characterization studies on its the Birch Lake deposit.
“Precious Waters,” a film producers hope will help sway public sentiment against sulfide mining in Northeastern Minnesota, debuts Wednesday. The film will be shown at 7:00 p.m. at the John B. Davis Lecture Hall, Ruth Stricker Dayton Campus Center at Macalester College in St. Paul.
Two public meetings to hear comments on the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet Mining’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Babbitt have been scheduled, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced.
The heads of Voyageurs National Park and the Superior National Forest asked Minnesota Pollution Contol Agency board members to tighten restrictions on taconite and coal-burning power plants as the state impliments new haze reduction regulations.
Environmental organizations are pouring over the more than 1500-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet Mining’s proposed NorthMet copper-nickel operation. The groups are preparing for the start of the 45-day public comment period which opens on Monday, November 2.
The much-awaited Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet Mining’s proposed copper-nickel mining and processing operation near Hoyt Lakes, Minnesota has been released by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources.
The release of the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine near Babbitt has been delayed, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced.
Officials from Quetico Provincial Park and the town of Atikokan are considering a plan to move the Ontario park’s headquarters to Atikokan’s Main Street. Currently, the park headquarters are located in the Ontario government offices on the edge of town.
With the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for PolyMet Mining’s NorthMet mine due this week, observers are preparing for an argumentative comment period over what could be Northeatern Minnesota’s first non-ferrous mining operation.
Field studies for the Namakan River Hydro Development Project proposed by the Ojibway Power and Energy Group have been competed, the organization announced recently. OPEG expects publication of its Draft Environmental Report on the project in November.
Negotiations between landowner U.S. Steel and the State of Minnesota for the purchase of what would be the first new State Park in 30 years stalled when the parties disagreed on the value of the property. Is there still hope for a new park on the shore of Lake Vermilion?
The Cook County Board of Commissioners recently voiced its opposition to the establishment of a buffer zone near the limits of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The statement comes as the U.S. Forest Service considers the impact of snowmobile noise in the siting of a new trail to South Fowl Lake.
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement for Poly Met Mining’s proposed copper-nickel mine near Babbitt will be released the week of October 19. A public comment period on the project will commence on November 2, which will include public meetings in Hoyt Lakes and the Twin Cities.
Voters in Cook County will decide on a sales tax in November that would support the construction of a fiber optic network and the expansion of high speed internet to the North Shore. Proponents argue that Internet connection is vital to economic sustainability.
Timber put up for sale by public landowners is often going unsold to loggers who find themselves with reduced opportunities to sell cut wood due to the depressed market for new homes and the closure of some northern Minnesota wood mills.
Prescribed burns planned for the Gunflint Ranger District in September were canceled due to budget short falls, but continued fuel reduction in the blowdown is planned – weather permitting.
With National Parks getting a lot of attention these days, Minnesota Public Radio took a close look at the past, present, and future of Voyageurs National Park, Minnesota’s only National Park.
Grey wolves in Minnesota were recently put back on the federal endangered species list. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service published a notice last week formally re-establishing the animals’ protected status.
The Bell Museum of Natural History hosts the premier of Twin Cities Public Television’s “Minnesota’s National Park Legacy” this Thursday, September 24th. Join the film’s producer and National Park Superintendents to be among the first to view the film.
A colony of non-native mussels has been found in Isle Royale National Park’s Washington Harbor, park officials revealed yesterday. The discovery raises concern over the island park’s large native mussel populations.
Join Superior National Forest staff and friends this Thursday at St. Paul’s Wellstone Community Center for a celebration of the Forest’s 100th anniversary.
Volunteers met at Voyageurs National Park last weekend, September 11 – 13, to plant native trees and wildflowers and restore disturbed shoreline within the Park. Part of the Fall 2009 Volunteer Rendezvous, they are part of a growing effort by Voyageurs National Park Association and friends and supporters of the park to contribute to a healthy and vital park and community.
A forum yesterday previewed the discussion that’s likely to take place in more official precincts when the Draft Environmental Impact Statement for northeastern Minnesota’s first non-ferrous mining project is released later this fall.
University of Minnesota forestry experts recently published findings predicting the transformation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to Oak Savanna.
In 1964, Fred Winston received an inquiry following Wilderness News’ inaugural publication: “I can see that there are many sides to Minnesota’s wilderness problem. But which side are you on? What are you trying to prove?” In his reply, Fred Winston set the tone for the Quetico Superior Foundation’s role in the ever changing wilderness debate and set an example of activism.
A northern Minnesota resident writes about her concerns over the declineing moose population in northeastern Minnesota. She outlines the steps moose experts believe are needed to support one of the Quetico-Superior’s signature species.
In a city-park partnership that would have been unthinkable a decade ago, plans are set for the city of International Falls to construct a headquarters building for Voyageurs National Park. The city intends the building to be the starting point for a multifaceted recreational development.
Last week several environmental groups asked federal agencies and the state of Minnesota to take a more active role in preventing air pollution that contributes to haze over Voyageurs and Isle Royale National Parks and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
Non-ferrous mining in Minnesota will be the topic of an afternoon-long discussion hosted by the Minnesota Environmental Initiative on September 15. Registration for the program is open until September 8, as space allows.
Despite 100th anniversary activities, the number of people visiting Quetico Provincial Park is down some 10% this year. It’s the second straight year that Quetico visitor numbers have declined.
Fall Lake Property on the Edge of the Boundary Waters to be Protected An 11-acre parcel of land on Fall Lake outside of Ely, Minnesota, will be protected thanks to the joint efforts of the landowners, the Forest Service and the Trust for Public Land (TPL). Located just across the lake from a Forest Service…
The Forest Service is accepting public comments on the development of a new snowmobile trail from McFarland Lake to South Fowl Lake in far northeastern Minnesota. The new trail was necessitated by the closure of the Tilbury Trail which crossed land included in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
As Voyageurs National Park reopens eagle nesting sites closed to visitor use, the park reports a general increase in successful breeding and the overall health of the VNP eagle population.
The Minnesota DNR has allowed for an additional thirty days of public comment on a resources management plan intended to promote forest health in four northern Minnesota ecological subsections.
A regional haze plan developed by the Minnesota Pollution Control agency seeks to address visibility impairment and haze in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. The plan is open for public comment until September 3.
A Moose Advisory Committee charged with making recommendations for the management of Minnesota’s moose population released its report yesterday in Duluth.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have created a web site where the public can report moose sightings in northeastern Minnesota.
Environmental Assessment report for the Namakan River Dam Project proposed by Ojibway Power & Energy Group has been delayed.
Voyageurs National Park officials plan to burn an area on Tar Point near Blind Indian Narrows in Namakan Lake Thursday. The burn is intended to help determine what effect fire has on archeological artifacts and help determine the effects of fire on vegetation.
A federal appeals court recently reversed a Bush administration ruling allowing commercial activity in more than 50 million acres of pristine national forests.
Invasive spiny water fleas have been present in northern Minnesota waters since 2006, but scientists have yet to see negative impacts from the plankton of European origin.
The celebration of Quetico Provincial Park’s 100th Anniversary continues … in book form! Renowned nature photographers Gary and Joanie McGuffin have produced Quetico: Into the Wild after nearly three years of photographic and paddle-and-portage effort.
Temperatures in the Quetico Superior region were colder than normal in July, with International Falls breaking a record for lowest average temperature for the month. July was also a dry month across the region.
In a comemoration of the great mid-summer rendezvous of the fur trade era, Grand Portage National Monument will host the 2009 Rendezvous Days and Pow Wow starting this Friday.
Forest fire danger in northern Minnesota and western Ontario is low, but that doesn’t mean area firefighters are keeping busy. Wild-land fire fighters from the Quetico-Superior region are helping fight fires currently burning in British Columbia.
Lake sturgeon, a fish species that has lived in its present form for some 100 million years, will be the topic of tomorrow evening’s program at Voyageurs National Park.
It’s the 100th aniversary of Quetico Provincial Park this year, but 2009 is also the 25th birthday for the Friends of Quetico Park, an organization whose objective is “the preservation of Quetico Provincial Park as a unique wilderness area.”
Mark Hummel has been named the Superior National Forest’s new Deputy Forest Supervisor. Hummel comes to the Superior National Forest after working in Alaska and Nevada.
Betty vos Hemstad’s new book “Wildflowers of the Boundary Waters: Hking Through the Seasons” is more than just a lovely coffee table book, according to one reviewer who found the book to be “an invaluable resource.”
The Summer 2009 issue of Wilderness News, the sister publication of Wilderness News Online is available now. Read highlights and download your copy today.
Last spring, the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness welcomed new director Paul Danicic. Paul recently shared his thoughts on the state of the wilderness and the Friends’ role in protecting it with Wilderness News contributor Alissa Johnson. Originally published in part in the Summer 2009 issue of Wilderness News, read the full interview here.
Grand Portage State Park will only be open on weekends until mid-August, due to site preparation work for a new 5800 square foot visitor center. The park will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays, but parking will be limited.
The Spring 2008 issue of Wilderness News covered a proposed dam at High Falls on the Namakan River west of Quetico Provincial Park in Ontario. A project with environmental impacts on both sides of the border, the Ojibway Power and Energy Group (OPEG) is preparing to release its Environmental Assessment as part of a proponent-led approval process.
The Quetico Superior Foundation board recently voted to formally oppose the Namakan River Dam proposed by Ojibway Power and Energy.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is continuing it’s aerial spraying efforts to stop the spread of invasive gypsy moths in northeastern Minnesota.
A law passed in May that will allow loaded firearms in Voyageurs and other national parks is not in effect yet. That’s the message Voyaguers officials are spreading, noting that the law doesn’t take effect until February 22, 2010.
Ely’s Dorothy Molter Museum got a $16,000 facelift recently, thanks to an $8000 grant from Minnesota Iron Range Resources, the and matching private donations. The museum that recognizes the last person to live in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area now has a remodeled interpretive center.
This year’s mayfly hatch on Lake Vermillion was one of epic proportions. Hatches of the short-lived native species are normal in mid-summer, but this year’s hatch of the insects called for extra measures to remove the piles of dead creatures.
In his weekly radio address, Governor Tim Pawlenty spoke to his belief that hopes for a new State Park on the shores of Lake Vermillion are slim.
Thunder Bay author Jon Nelson has published a new book celebrating the people and history of Quetico Provincial Park.
The first Canoe the Heart trail reports are in! View photos and learn more about this expedition across the heart of the continent.
Tomorrow marks the 10th anniversary of the famed Boundary Waters Blowdown. On July 4, 1999 a huge storm packing 90-mile-per-hour winds ripped through the BWCA, uprooting trees, blocking portages, and stranding campers. In all 370,000 acres in the BWCA were affected by the storm.
A paddling expedition that pushed off yesterday is celebrating the 100th birthdays of the Superior National Forest and Quetico Provincial Park. Representatives of the Heart of the Continent Partnership will paddle a 24-foot voyageur canoe across the region.
Two weeks ago, five wildlife protection groups filed a complaint against the removal of Great Lakes Wolves from the Endangered Species List. Today, wolves are back under federal protection as the result of a court ordered settlement between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the protection groups. According to Associated Press coverage on WCCO,…
In an effort to slow the spread of emerald ash borers in the state, National Forest officials on Friday announced tightened restrictions on firewood use and transportation in Minnesota’s Superior and Chippewa National Forests.
An on-going study of cormorants on Rainy Lake will include increased attention on birds dwelling on the Canadian side of the international water-body this summer. Cormorants have been a lightening-rod species among some anglers who fear the birds are impacting game-fish populations
Ted Gostomski, the co-author of Island Life: An Isle Royale Nature Guide and a Biologist/Science Writer at the Great Lakes Inventory and Monitoring Program of the National Park Service, will speak on Friday at Voyaguers National Park in International Falls.
Exploration for copper and nickel resources in Northeastern Minnesota has reached the borders of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of the Superior National Forest. While prospectors hope to find useful and valuable minerals, environmental advocates worry about impacts on the wilderness.
The annual drum count of the ruffed grouse indicates that the population is increasing steadily. This is good news for the state’s most popular game bird.
The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has sprayed pesticide this week along the North Shore to slow the spread of invasive gypsy moths. The agency applied BTK via aircraft near Tofte and Lutsen.
Five wildlife protection groups have filed a complaint in Federal District Court challenging the removal of federal Endangered Species Act protections for gray wolves in the Upper Midwest.
Voyageurs National Park will use $230,000 in federal stimulus funding to rehabilitate campsites over the next two years. The money appropriated through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act will support work on some 38 campsites in the park.
Visit Grand Portage National Monument this weekend—for free! The National Park Service is offering three free weekends at sites across the country this summer.
The wilderness and environmental advocacy group Friends’ of the Boundary Waters Wilderness is concerned with the climate-change impact that destruction of 1000 acres of peat bog for the proposed PolyMet copper-nickel mine in Northeastern Minnesota will have.
Canada’s Ministry of Natural Resources is funding a new study of the sturgeon population in Quetico Provincial Park. Once abundant, the sturgeon is now considered a “species at risk.”
Today’s kids do not connect with the outdoors or nature because societal changes have taken away the opportunity to do so. National park and wilderness lovers take heed; the implications are significant for child development, but they are also crucial for the long-term protection of natural places.
Copper-nickel mining projects in northern Minnesota continue to move forward as environmentalists question the impact of the proposed mines and proponents hail the economic benefits. Meanwhile, the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness notes that the land for the proposed PolyMet mine was once identified for its ecological significance.
The Minneapolis Star-Tribune is reporting that the State of Minnesota looked for ways to sweeten the deal for U.S. Steel to sell land to the state for a state park on Lake Vermilion. The paper questions whether laws were skirted to procure land for the park strongly supported by Governor Tim Pawlenty.
A new program co-sponsored by author Richard Louv (Last Child in the Woods, reviewed in the Spring 2009 print edition of Wilderness News) and the Children & Nature Network inspires families to get outdoors.
Rainy weather has confounded Voyageurs National Park’s efforts to conduct four prescribed burns this spring to further pine and oak regeneration in the International Falls-area park. While the window for spring burning may have passed, burning during the summer months is still a possibility.
Betty Vos Hemstad’s new book spotlights Boundary Waters area wildflowers in a new way. “Wildflowers of the Boundary Waters: Hiking Through the Seasons” depicts northern Minnesota’s wildflowers in various stages of development — from bud, to flower, to seed.
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a temporary order requiring all new projects in U.S. Forest Service-managed roadless areas be approved by his office. Apart from the permanently protected Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness, the Superior National Forest contains roughly 62,000 acres of roadless areas, mostly adjoining the BWCAW.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is looking for volunteers to count loons on lakes in Cook and Lake county. The one-day count by volunteers is part of the Minnesota Loon Monitoring Survey, now in its 15th year.
A three-year prison sentence for Boundary Waters terrorizer Jay Andrew Olson was upheld by the Minnesota Court of Appeals this week. Olson was one of six men convicted of participating in a drunken shooting spree that frightened campers on Basswood Lake in the BWCA in August of 2007.
A study examining the health of the Namakan Reservoir’s sturgeon population has entered its third year. The study, which could have an impact on proposed hydroelectric projects on Ontario’s Namakan River, seeks to establish baseline information on health of the species of “special concern” in both Minnesota and Ontario.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has assumed management responsibilities for the state’s gray wolf population following the delisting of the wolf as a threatened species.
A new bill will allow park visitors to carry loaded rifles, shotguns, and semi-automatic weapons in National Parks, including Voyageurs National Park in International Falls.
A recently released study of mining in Minnesota finds that its economic impact in the state is significant, tied to 34% of gross regional product and poised to grow.
Voyageurs National Park Association is taking the lead in a cross-border effort to oppose a dam proposed by the Ojibway Power and Energy Group at High Falls on the Namakan River.
The Spring 2009 issue of Wilderness News, the sister publication of Wilderness News Online is available now. Read highlights and download your copy today.
A proposal to develop a new state park on property currently owned by U.S. Steel lost steam recently when the company and the State of Minnesota disagreed on the value of the land in question. Might a closer look at the numbers put the park back on track?
Hundreds of people descended upon the Gunflint Trail outside of Grand Marais last weekend to plant thousands of pine seedlings and green up the fire impacted forest. Wilderness News Online caught up with Quetico Superior Foundation board member and Gunflint Trail property owner Dyke Williams, who had the opportunity to join the annual event. Read our Q&A.
PolyMet Mining, the Canadian company hoping to develop a copper-nickel mine near Hoyt Lakes, annouced in a media release this week that the draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project will not be released until the third quarter of this year.
The draft EIS was originally expected earlier this year.
Ice fishing, snow shoeing, canoeing and camping – cornerstones of the northwoods experience, yes, but cornerstones of drug and alcohol prevention? Project Venture North, a replica of Project Venture in New Mexico, is betting yes, serving American Indian communities in the Quetico Superior region by connecting kids with nature.
The US Forest Service recently released its Superior National Forest Prescribed Burn plan for 2009, including several locations in the Gunflint and Tofte Ranger Districts.
Third annual Gunflint Green Up is gearing up to plant thousands of white pine and coniferous seedlings in areas of Superior National Forest impacted by the Ham Lake Fire of 2007. Register now for a spring weekend of outdoor work and great fun! May 1-3, 2009.
According to a Voyageurs National Park press release, a recent survey of the park’s moose population revealted that it is holding steady. The aerial survey sited 45 moose–a pleasant surprise for park officials given the decline of other moose populations acrosss northeastern Minnesota and southern Ontario.
On the thirtieth anniversary of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978, Wilderness News set out to assess the current state of the wilderness and its management. We uncovered a transformation in the challenges facing the region. Where issues like motor use once topped management concerns, they are giving way to increasingly complex challenges that defy man-made boundaries and may have significant implications for how we think about — and manage — the Boundary Waters.
Critical habitat for the endangered Canada Lynx has been expanded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, including parts of northern Minnesota.
2009 marks the 100th Anniversary of the initial formation of what would become Quetico Provincial Park and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. What started as a long and jagged process of preservation and restoration resulted in a huge, roadless and protected forest being celebrated today.
Welcome to Wilderness News Online! We couldn’t be more excited to launch the online version of the Quetico Superior Foundation’s publication Wilderness News. Our goal is to become your online news source for the unique issues and challenges impacting the Quetico Superior region–because an informed public can practice informed stewardship of this ecologically and culturally…