Minnesota Boundary Waters / Iron Range 2015
Minnesota Boundary Waters / Iron Range 2014
What is the Boundary Waters Canoe Area and (Vermillon) Iron Range?
“The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), as we know it, was established in 1978 by Congress through BWCA Wilderness Act. This Act restricted logging, mining, and most motorized access to this 1,000,000+ acre area in northern Minnesota. The BWCAW is part of and managed by the Superior National Forest. The BWCAW is visited by more than 200,000 visitors who travel the more than 1500 miles of canoe routes and stay at the 2000+ camp sites. The Boundary Waters is a pristine, yet rugged wilderness. The lakes are cut from granite and surrounded in old pine growth.”
This story was aired on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) while I was in Ely, MN. I’m sure I heard a few words about the issues while I was there. Also, while listening to the podcast I felt some connection there because I consider Boundary Waters one of the best places I’ve been to in my life. http://www.mprnews.org/story/2014/09/02/boundary-waters-fight-fifty-years-later
Minnesota mining history
Native American Origins
Long before any large-scale mining took place, American Indians in Minnesota used rock and mineral resources in their daily lives. Spear points, knives and scrapers were formed by flaking and chipping chert and flint. Ceremonial paints were made from grinding different colored rocks into powder. Clays were used to make pottery. Pipestone, a red rock also known as catlinite (CAT-lynn-ite), was used to carve pipes. Legend has it that the stone was made from the flesh and blood of their ancestors. The quarry in southwest Minnesota was considered sacred ground where all Indians met in peace. Today, Pipestone National Monument, in Pipestone, is located on the site of the quarries. (More: Minnesota Dept. of Natural Resources)