Sulfide Mining on the Edge of the BWCAW

Border Lakes Outfitting and Jason Zabokrtsky teamed with the Friends of the Boundary Waters recently to raise awareness for the potential environmental impacts of proposed sulfide mining operations on the edge of the Boundary Waters.  Jason guided the group of environmental advocates and media representatives, including Stephanie Hemphill of Minnesota Public Radio and John Myers…

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Ely, MN – The Coolest Small Town in America

Ely, MINN – National travel magazine Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel has named Ely, Minn. as its 2010 “Coolest Small Town in America.” The magazine received 147 nominations, then selected 21 American towns that stood out from the crowd to open up to public online voting. In online voting, 439,411 votes were received, and Ely captured 118,899 of those—27…

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Common Merganser and Ducklings on Lake One in the BWCAW

  We paddled to a quiet bay away from the main travel route to look for wildlife on a guided day canoe trip today on Lake One. Luckily, we spied this Common Merganser and her ducklings. The young were probably born in a hollow tree – where Mergansers typically nest. The mother must have just…

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Young Fern Fronds Unfurling in the BWCAW

Summer is on its way! The leaves are exploding out everywhere, and closer to the ground, the ferns are coming out in their own way. The tightly-curled immature fern fronds are called fiddleheads. As a fiddle player myself, I can verify that they do indeed resemble the top of my instrument. It only takes a…

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A Canoe Trailer That Will Last

We picked up a new canoe trailer today at Remackel Welding in Forest Lake, MN. Around Ely, canoe trailers bounce down some pretty rugged roads. Names like “Echo Trail” and “Tomahawk Trail” reflect the rustic nature of the routes here. These roads and harsh northern elements put canoe trailers to the test. Meet one of…

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Sap Remover

Five-year-old Lucas trotted out of the woods with his hands above his head shouting: “I need the sap remover! I need the sap remover!” Sure enough, the spring sap is running and he found it. But, no problem. He just needed the liquid hand sanitizer out of the toilet paper kit. It’s a good tip…

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March BWCAW Canoe Trip

It’s almost never possible to do a Boundary Waters canoe trip in March. But, with our early spring, and summer-like temps, I eagerly watched the forecast in hopes of just such a March trip. Sure enough, the rivers freed up from ice quickly and even some of the lakes were going out by the end…

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World Event Missed While On Trail – Boundary Waters Renamed

On the paddle to the takeout after a camping trip, the question often arises: “What major news did we miss while in the wilderness?” I returned from a two-day BWCAW trip late tonight and hardly considered what might have happened during such a brief jaunt out. However, I was shocked when I found this major…

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End of the Dogsledding Season

Dogsleds are done for the Minnesota season. We took a last run with the dogs by wheeled cart this weekend. The above photo is Scott from the Twin Cities driving a dog cart. His wife, Christine, is on the cart behind him. The dogs kicked up some of our springtime mud onto Christine – but…

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EPA Says Sulfide Mining Proposal is Environmentally Unacceptable – Sign a Petition for Govt Agencies to do what the EPA Says

In February, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared that the PolyMet mine proposal for a new sulfide mine in Northeast Minnesota presented unacceptable risks to the environment. The agency gave the proposal its lowest rating and termed the proposal, “environmentally unacceptable.” The EPA has only branded 41 proposals out of almost 40,000 proposals in…

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