Meet Board Member Nell Smith


Board member since 2007

Please tell us what your involvement with the Quetico Superior Foundation means to you:

Taking care of our environment is critical to our and our children’s future. Preserving the Quetico-Superior region wilderness provides a unique opportunity for people to connect with the natural world and the not-too-distant past when our country was sparsely populated and a much stronger equilibrium existed between people, animals and the environment.  The wilderness region also preserves a natural, healthy habitat for many animals and plants.

My involvement in the foundation has followed my father’s, and his father’s, dedicated work in this area. I am proud of the stewardship of family members and friends for the foundation and the region.

What is the most pressing issue you see in the region today?

I’m very concerned about the impacts of potential sulfide mining in the region.  Sulfide mining  contaminants inevitably spread through the environment, causing serious damage to lakes and rivers, and potentially completely destroying their living ecosystems of fish, other animals and plants. The short-term gains from the mining industry would be heavily outweighed by the long-term damage to the ecosystems, which are also the basis for the strong and unique tourism industry in the region

What’s one of your favorite memories from the Quetico-Superior Region?

I learned about true wilderness on Boundary Waters canoe trips as a kid.  I remember the awe of  paddling across a seemingly never-ending lake with no other humans in sight, and the experience of stripping down our complex lives to the essentials, carrying all we needed with us.  We worked hard to fulfill our basic needs of shelter and food, while really seeing our natural world.

Read more in Wilderness News Summer 2014 issue.

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