MCEA: Taking a stand for responsible mining

When it comes to the topic of mining in northern Minnesota, there’s often a familiar pattern to the discussion: people are for it or against it. And if they’re arguing for environmental protections, they’re probably against it. “There’s a false dichotomy that you’re either pro-mining or anti-mining…”  

Voyageurs National Park undertakes study of invasive cattails

Imagine boating in Voyageurs National Park and seeing what appears to be an island on the move. It is over six acres in size, composed primarily of cattails and pockmarked by shrubs and small trees. Unanchored, this vegetative mass moves freely—a navigational hazard, a danger to docks and property, and spreading invasive species.

Sharing the wilderness with women—of any age

“There is a measurable amount of growth with every trip and every person I take out… And it really is empowering, especially for mature women who think that, physically, they aren’t capable anymore,” wilderness guide Peta Barrett says.

Uncovering the secret lives of wolves

Imagine a wolf kill, and the remains of an ungulate—a hoofed animal like a moose—probably come to mind. Yet scientists have known for some time that wolves also eat smaller prey, like deer fawns and beavers. This is particularly true during summer, when wolf packs primarily hunt and travel as individuals or pairs.

Meet Amy Freeman, Wilderness Guide

One winter day in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, an otter ran across the path of a dogsled team on Basswood Lake. Excited, the dogs picked up the pace, then Amy saw something else out on the ice: wolves…

Ken Koscik canoe builder

Canoe building: A life-changing experience

Canoe builder Ken Koscik points to a canoe hanging in the rafters and says, “We’re going to build that.” Some students shake their heads. Some don’t believe it. He reassures them: it’s easy. “I have told hundreds of people that if you can tie your shoes, you can build this canoe. And that is the truth,” he says.

Paddlesongs: How one country songwriter married his love of music and canoeing

In 1994, Nashville singer-songwriter Jerry Vandiver, whose song “It Doesn’t Get Any Countrier Than This” had just been recorded by Tim McGraw, portaged a behemoth of an aluminum canoe across a rocky and root-filled portage. He was no stranger to paddling; he’d moved that canoe from his hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, to Nashville when he set out to see if he could make it in the country music business. But this was his first trip to Quetico Provincial Park, and lugging that canoe over such a challenging portage inspired him

Sawbill Canoe Outfitters: The family behind the legacy

There is an outfitter at the end of the Sawbill Trail where customers and staff return year after year, a network of people connected to the place and the family at its center. The Hansens, and now the Shirleys, have been running Sawbill Canoe Outfitters since 1957, where annual traditions, lifelong friendships and marriages have been born.

Protecting Our Wild Rice Heritage

Evaluating Minnesota’s water sulfate standard for wild rice. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency is reviewing its standards for protecting wild rice in Minnesota. With funding from the Minnesota State Legislature, the agency conducted a two-year study to determine how sulfate—the presence of which in water has been linked to an absence of wild rice—and other chemicals affect the health of wild rice.