Remembering the Blowdown of 1999

BWCA Blowdown, July 4 1999. Photo courtesy Minnesota DNR, http://www.ra.dnr.state.mn.us/bwca/

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 BWCAW, uprooting trees, blocking portages, and leaving every one of the 3,000 campers in the wilderness that day with one heck of a story to tell.  In all 370,000 acres in the BWCAW were affected by the storm.

Minnesota Public Radio’s Stephanie Hemphill returned to the BWCA with the Forest Service’s John Pierce to remember the epic day, HERE.  Pierce was fishing on Basswood Lake when the blowdown hit, seeking safety at the waters edge despite trees toppling all around him.  Since then, fires have raged through some of the blowdown areas and across the blowdown acres, new tress and new species are taking the places of those lost in the storm.

Hemphill’s piece is accompanied by THIS slideshow.

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