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.”

Credited partly to Sigurd Olson is the creation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW), signed by President Jimmy Carter in 1978

BWCA & Ely Webcams

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

Lake Superior Agates

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)

Click here for: A timeline of Minnesota’s Iron Range