Yearly Archives: 2009

Painting History

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.

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Northern Minnesota Haze Rules Passed

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.

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Voyageurs National Park Fall Rendezvous Restores Native Shoreline

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.

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Wilderness News Profile: Frederick Winston

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.

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Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness

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.

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Update: Namakan River Dam Project

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.

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Dorothy Molter Museum Remodeled

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.

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Remembering the Blowdown of 1999

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.

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Wolves Back on the Endangered Species List

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,…

Book Review: Last Child in the Woods

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.

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Mining Projects Back in the News

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.

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Report: State Sweetened Vermilion Park Deal

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.

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Time-Out Called in Roadless Tug-O-War

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.

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Sentence Upheld in BWCA Incident

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.

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Gunflint Green Up Sprouts New Life In Forest – And Community

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.

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Project Venture North

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.

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The State of the Wilderness 30 Years After the BWCAW Act of 1978

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.

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Welcome

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…

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