Ely business-owners advocate for Boundary Waters during White House event

Paul and Sue Schurke at the White House. (Photo courtesy White House)

Paul and Sue Schurke in front of the Wintergreen Display in the White House’s Green Room. (Photo courtesy White House)

The owners of Wintergreen Northern Wear, which manufactures outdoor apparel at its workshop in downtown Ely, were invited to a “Made In America” showcase at the White House last week. Paul and Sue Schurke, who also operate Wintergreen Dogsled Adventures, took the opportunity to show their goods — as well as speak up for wilderness protections.

In a blog post, the Schurkes said they were conflicted when they received the invitation, because President Donald Trump has taken several steps to remove protections for public lands.

Ultimately, they decided to do it, not only as a way to promote their products, but as a way to ask the administration to protect canoe country. They added a banner to Wintergreen’s display that highlighted the growing outdoor industry that is based on America’s parks, wildernesses, and other public land.

The booth was visited by congresspeople, White House staffers and cabinet members Alexander Acosta, Secretary of Labor, and Wilbur Ross, Secretary of Commerce. They were told Trump and First Lady Melania toured the booths after hours.

During his remarks, Trump boasted about new manufacturing jobs being created, and his administration’s actions to support homegrown industry.

“Every time a new factory opens, every time jobs are returned to our shores, every time we buy a product made by our own American neighbors, we are renewing the bonds of love and loyalty that link us all together as Americans,” Trump said.

Afterwards, the Fox Business Network asked Susan to come to its studio for an interview. Once again, Schurke used the opportunity to highlight how the business depends on public land.

“Our business is all about ‘Made in America’ and has been inspired by the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness…so I would like to see President Trump give more attention to these public lands and protection for areas where the outdoor industry is growing so rapidly,” Susan said on the program. “Our customers purchase our clothing for two reasons: we are ‘Made in America’ and they are people who love the outdoors as much as we do. All of this is important – the environment, jobs, our economy.”

Watch here:

Sue Schurke talks about attending the ‘Made in America’ event.

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