KEEP IT WILD
The Boundary Waters is
nothing to take for Granted
Though the BWCAW is federally protected, it faces numerous threats. It depends on the work of people like you to keep it wild. Here are some ways you can help keep the Boundary Waters wild for this and future generations
Stand up for clean water
Water is at the heart of the Boundary Waters. Of the 762 Wilderness Areas in the National Wilderness Preservation System, it is the only one with a large lake-land ecosystem. At a time with clean, fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce, it’s more important than ever that we treasure this watery wilderness. Currently, the biggest threat comes from the proposed copper-sulfide mines. If opened, the toxic waste from these mines would pollute the water and cause irreversible harm to the wilderness.
bring someone new to the bwcaw
The future of the Boundary Waters depends on people cherishing and protecting this area. Therefore, it’s vital that a new generation of wilderness stewards get to experience the life-changing effects of the Boundary Waters. If you have a niece, a nephew, a spouse or coworker who has never been, start planning a trip!
make it a national issue
The pristine lakes and the stunning precambrian geology make the Boundary Waters one of the most unique areas in the United States. Because it is federally protected, it needs supporters from around the country to ensure it continues to enjoy this level of protection. That’s why we need more people, from all over the country, to defend it like they would defend Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon or Yosemite.
Volunteer on a trail maintenance crew
To keep the Boundary Waters accessible to visitors, we work with REI, the National Forest Foundation and the U.S. Forest Service to recruit volunteers to restore, maintain and tidy up the BWCAW through our Superior Wilderness Volunteers Connections program. Volunteers usually go out for a few days to clear trails, clean campsites and enjoy a highly rewarding experience. Whether you have a group or just yourself, learn more by contacting Jamie Lowe.
how we work to preserve the BWCA
Preserving wild horizons
One of the things visitors to the Boundary Waters cherish are wild horizons, free from signs of human civilization, such as cell towers and signal lights. While many people travel the BWCAW to get away from the demands of constant communication, we know that reliable emergency communications are needed for public safety. Much of our work to protect the wild horizons of the BWCAW happens behind the scenes. We work with local residents and officials to provide alternatives early in the planning process.
The wilderness is not an island. Water, air, noise, and wildlife do not recognize human-drawn boundaries. The health of the wilderness depends on a surrounding forest that provides wildlife habitat, and protects air and water quality. The forest bordering the BWCAW allows for multiple uses and multiple forms of recreation. We actively monitor and participate in project planning that affects the BWCAW and the surrounding ecosystem.
Photo courtesy of Benjamin Olson.