Protecting a Scenic Entrance to the BWCAW

A view of Fall Lake, photo by Timothy Eaton.
A view of Fall Lake, photo by Timothy Eaton.

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 public campground and boat access, the parcel sits on the edge of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. With 550 feet of sandy shoreline and the potential to be subdivided into two lots, its proximity to a boat access on a motorized lake made it ripe for development when the out-of-state landowners decided to sell.

Together with the Forest Service, they approached TPL for help protecting the land. TPL will acquire the property this summer through its Northwoods Initiative, a program that works to protect lands in northern Minnesota, northern Wisconsin and Michigan’s upper peninsula. Using funds from the program’s Northwoods Land Protection Fund, TPL will act as an intermediary, holding the land until the Forest Service can secure funds to acquire the property in 18 to 24 months.

According to Shaun Hamilton, the TPL representative managing the project, the procurement of this land represents an opportunity to protect and maintain a scenic entrance to the BWCAW. The process has also led to the identification of twenty acres adjoining the Fall Lake propery and abutting the BWCAW that will likely be secured during the summer of 2010, protecting the wilderness character of more than 30 acres of land in total.

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