For the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness to survive into the future, the communities neighboring the BWCA also need to thrive. A resilient economy with diverse industries will nurture healthy gateway communities that in turn, support the BWCAW.
While the pristine wilderness serves as an economic driver for tourism-based businesses like outfitters, resorts, and restaurants in gateway communities, it is also important to support sustainable economic growth in other markets as well. By transitioning away from natural resource extraction to stable economic opportunities that provide long-term employment, communities can flourish alongside the BWCAW.
Meet Some of the Job Creators in The Region
Made in Ely, Wintergreen Northern Wear is clothing designed for the most extreme places on earth, but looks good enough for a night out in Minneapolis. They’ve worked to return the design and crafting of apparel from overseas factories to main street America, and recently shifted to a more flexible work from home schedule that allows folks from other towns in the north to participate in their manufacturing.
Workspace for Creatives
Smack in the middle of downtown Ely, Ten Below is a collaborative workspace where people meet, discuss or just hammer away at projects. A sign of a growing and diversifying economy, right at the edge of the BWCAW.
Ely Outfitting Company
Jason Zabokrtsky and his team of wilderness guides are an example of how numerous outfitters in the area make it easy for families and people with little outdoor experience to explore the BWCA.