A Guide to Backpacking and Hiking the Boundary Waters

The hiking trails in the Boundary Waters are NOT like your typical trails. They are the real deal. In many places you are barely able to tell there is a trail at all. You can’t just let your mind wander and hike on cruise control. You have to pay attention to where you are, otherwise you might find yourself turned around, confused and scrambling to retrace your steps.

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A Call For Transparency and Open Government

The MPCA tried to steamroll science and do a big favor for a polluting industry. When the regulators are cozy with the polluters, it’s up to the people to take action. In an open letter from Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness and 30 other organizations, we ask Governor Walz to stay the permits and investigate the MPCA.

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Bad Neighbors: Who Are the Companies Seeking to Open Copper-Sulfide Mines in Minnesota?

PolyMet and Twin Metals, the two companies seeking to open copper-sulfide mines in Minnesota are shell companies controlled by larger corporations: Glencore and Antofagasta, respectively. Who are these corporate citizens? What is their history and how have they conducted business?  A look into the recent history of these companies reveals a long pattern of abuse, pollution, corruption, and misuse of power.

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Remembering Don Fraser, a Champion of Wilderness

Don Fraser (1924 - 2019) was a politician with rare moral courage. For those of us who love the wilderness and treasure the BWCAW, Fraser will always be remembered as one of the great champions of the Boundary Waters. Despite the enormous political costs, he was instrumental in bringing full wilderness protection to the Boundary Waters. Doing so cost him votes, it probably cost him the Senate seat. But he put his conscience before his career.

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Remembering the Ham Lake Fire

Twelve years ago, the Ham Lake Fire devastated the border region around the Gunflint Trail. Fueled by a dry spring, erratic winds, and tinder from the 1999 blowdown, the fire grew to be one of the largest in Minnesota’s history. For over two weeks the fire burned over 75,000 acres, destroying cabins, businesses, and family residences.

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Trail Clearing Expeditions into the Boundary Waters

One of the most novel and most satisfying ways to experience the Boundary Waters is to join a volunteer crew and spend a few days — or a few weeks — clearing trails, shoring up campsites and fighting erosion at some of the most popular campsites. You find out real quick, that there’s something about the smell pine sap and sawdust that makes for a perfect morning.


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