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For non-MNs, here is a little background. The senate race this year is between Paul Wellstone (super-Liberal) and Norm Coleman (one time Democrat, recent convert to the GOP). One of the issues that has arisen is whether the BWCA should be left as-is, or if it should be opened up to more motorized traffic.
Another related issue is whether or not to allow logging of the zillion or so trees that were blown down several years ago.
Wellstone, of course, wants to keep the status quo. Coleman has been accused of wanting to open it up to motors and loggers. Here is an official response from the Coleman campaign:
"Date: Mon, 5 Aug 2002 14:48:40 -0500
Thank you for expressing your concerns about the BWCAW and Norm's stance on the issue.
The reporting by a number of media outlets did not convey Norm's true stances on the issue. Norm is not in favor of opening up the pristine lands of the BWCAW to motorized vehicles, rather that issue should be left as is.
As for the blow-down of dead trees in the BWCAW, Norm believes that these trees should be cleared out due to the fire hazard they present. Given the country's recent round of forest fires, this is a wise land-management issue that will hopefully avoid a situation where more of our treasured BWCA could be destroyed. The clearing of the blow-down area mirrors a recent initiative Daschle implemented in South Dakota for the very same reasons.
Norm favors a wise-use, common sense, balanced approach to the environment. He wants to first and foremost protect and preserve our precious resources, but also wants people to be able to use and enjoy the opportunities and resources we have here in Minnesota.
Hopefully this information answers some of the questions you had about the reported information concerning Norm and the BWCAW.
If you have any other questions or concerns in the future, please feel free to contact the campaign.
Coleman for Senate"
I am not sure how I feel on logging. On one hand, I know that those trees are a huge threat, on the other hand, I have seen what the oil rig crews did to the Teddy Roosevelt Natl. Grasslands in Medora, ND and don't want to see that happen in the BWCA.
I have also heard through second hand rumor that at a certain point the blow down stops becoming a fire hazard and becomes just rotten logs. I am not sure how scientific that is, or what the length of time that is needed to make the trees less of a threat.
Anyhow, I will sign off. I just wanted to solicit some opinions on what others thought about the viability of logging the blowdown.
Jimbo I agree with the motor issue, but I think your too far back in time you have to move forward. What good are most of those fallen trees now? Logging techs have changed drasticly in the past thirty years or so. When that fire does break out you,ll have little or nothing left to look at.Time will heal most of what was damamed, but it would be nice to protect most of what,s left standing up there. I think the public eye would be all over any logging operation that went on meaning a cleaner cleanup. just my opinion.P.S. I think we have more to worry about in the groups that want to close down the bwca don't you?
I GUESS THE LOGGING ISSUE IS MUTE SINCE THE CONTROLLED BURN LAST WEEK THAT TOOK CARE OF ALOT OF BLOW DOWN. THE MOTOR ISSUE SHOULD BE RESEARCHED. I CAN UNDERSTAND THAT THERE ARE PEOPLE (HANDICAPPED OR AGED) WHO CANNOT DO THE TRADITIONAL TRIPS TO BWCA. I REMEMBER IT BEFORE THE MOTOR BAN. THE PORTAGES WERE FILLED WITH OLD JUNKERS THE RESORTS AND OUTFITTERS DROVE OVER THE ICE TO MAKE THEIR GUEST HAVE AN EASIER TRIP. IT LOOKED LIKE TOBACCO ROAD. DO WE WANT THAT AGAIN? IF THERE WERE TO BE MOTOR TRAFFIC ALLOWED, IT SHOULD BE LIMITED TO ONE PERMIT AT A TIME. BUT, BETTER NOT AT ALL AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED.
Hey here's a thought, they must have records of all our permits past and present. This would lead these people to those of us whom actually use these waters. They could ask us (the Users) how we feel about the motor issue. If they could do this quietly without all of the outsiders getting wind of their study, they could avoid the influx of special interest groups. I would gladly sit on a commitee of feloow bwca people and try and hammer out something that would be fair to everyone. The one good thing about the bwca is that much of the water is not a good bet on getting a motor into. I could see a problem when it,s frozen over and people start driving on the ice to get places. I said it once before and I,ll say it again, the bwca is a great place right now, we hardly ever see others when were out. I think somewhere out there lurks the eviromential group the will someday take controll and then its lights out for most of us.
Just started browsing this site. I grew up in Ely, but now reside on the west coast. I too remember what it was like before the ban, and conclude you must be talking about 4 mile. Lots of junkers on that portage left to rot. But most others were fairly clean. You're going to have cigarette and other tobacco trash left over now as well. I used an motor to get to Carp portage and then paddled my way to knife lake by midafternoon. I enjoyed the fact that an local person could spend an weekend in the outdoors and not need an permit to use his backwoods area. I feel the USFS has over stepped their bounds by initiating the permit problems. And finally on the logging issue. All the blowdowns make great food for the forest, and in case of fire, most is consumed. The forest takes care of itself, and will regenerate in short order. Here in Washington State, we have seen the effects of over logging. And yes, here, the USFS, has finally started doing their job (forest management)to protect what little we have left, and stop clearcutting.
anyone who claims to care about the enviornment AND wants to allow motors and logging in the BWCA must be confused!
The impact would be devistating! The BWCA is one of the last places that Anyone can go to "Get Away!" The permits allow us to share and conserve the area that is our home.
I live in Southern MN, where the fish are not safe to eat due to pollution. It will be a sad day when my children have to go to Canada to get the same oppertunity to fish and camp!
Love and charish what we have, and dont allow politics (of anything) to change the wonder that is the BWCA!!!!
peace and happy camping
ok mountainman you quit driving your motors all over southern minnesota and then i will consider not driving my motor all over..until you abolish motors around your home,i will not stop using motors in my home
I am absolutley against any motor traffic in the BWCA or any other wilderness areas for that matter. There are very few areas left that nature is allowed to run it's course undisturbed. As a boat owner i feel that there are plenty of other opportunities to boat in other locations. As far as handicapped access goes, my 75 year old uncle is in a wheelchair and he made the gabbro, turtle, clearwater, pietro, gull loop with us. It just takes a little more patience and effort on the part of your party to do it. Anyway, as long as the blowdown was from natural causes, it should be left alone. The safety issues are being addressed by the forest servce with controlled burns etc. I was in Yellowstone not long after the big fire there, and it's still beautiful, just in a different way. You just have to look at it in a different way. I think its a sad state of affairs when the politicians look at the money aspect of things before considering the beauty of these areas. Anyway, i just want my children and there children to be able to have the expierience of solitude.
If you can read this thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English, thank a veteran.
Just think for a second. BWCAW: Boundary Waters CANOE Area Wilderness. The whole point of the BWCAW is to keep it remote, or "as is", if you will. Yeah we use motors in the southern part of the state, but that's not the issue. The issue is keeping the BW's as close to untouched as possible. When using a public landing where motors are permitted you can see the gas and oil spots all too clearly. If motorized vehicles are allowed in teh BW there WILL be more littering. Motors = easier access, with easier acces comes many more people. Many more people = more littering. Not a tough equation. Plus, many of the people who use the BW for their canoeing intersts are environmentalists. Meaning that they care for the environment they are useing and stress keeping clean. Yes, there are some who don't, however, the majority do. If you put more motors in the BW you will bring in more people who don't care about the environment. What am I trying to say with all this jabbering? Preservation is good, motors prevent preservation.
I only have one comment to make on the subject of logging. The blowdown was natural. Let the the blowdown be taken care of the way nature wants it to.
Why do all you bussinessman sitting in your big houses down in illinois that come up once a year and act like you own the place? You didn;t grow up here you don't know what it was like. How would you feel if someone walked into your backyard and shut it all down. It would ruin your economy i am sure just like it has ours(logging,resorts,etc) If you wanted to go fish lakes everyday like we want to would you want to paddle 5 hours to Knife,Insula, Crooked? i think not...it is easy for you to come up once a year spend a fortune for someone to outfit you go in the woods for 6-7 days pack up and leave town So next time when you are paddling down a lake think...about what was there...most likely there was a resort sawmill or just someones cabin
No, I think what is was like before your sawmills and resorts were there. Why would I want to think of something so terrible as you sitting on the dock next to your motor boat with a logging operation going on in the background? Once again I have to bring out that the problem here is that everyone thinks they own the land, or once did. As long as you live in a land with a government, or a land with someone bigger and stronger than you, "your" land can, and probably will, be taken away from you. But that still doesn't make it anymore the next person's land then it did yours. "Pay back Caesar's things to Caesar's and God's things to God." So obey the government and respect them, but pay the more important things to God. And I don't recall God telling humankind to be greedy and selfish, taking land for themselves and declaring it theirs. We shouldn't have to view this land like it is some prime hunk of development land outside of some downtown city. And the bull about people not living in Ely, or MN for that matter, so they don't know anything or what it's like is ridculous. That doesn't matter at all. They know how special the BW is and they respect it. They don't come there to take over "your" land or rub it in that you don't have control over it. It's never going to go back to the way it was. It's either going to stay like it is now or abunch of corporate loggers and big time resorts and hotels, maybe even an amusement park, will move in. And if you think they will respect that it is "your" land more then the people that visit now do, then you have a lot coming to you. Not only will they take the BW, but they'll take "your" current land that you are living on. On a different note, the motorboat is a lot easier. Basiclly, there are hunderds of thousands of lakes around the country that allow motorboats but there are only a fistful in the BW that don't. So what's the big deal? There are plenty of lakes on the border or around the BW that allow some type of motorboat. I'd say it's pretty fair. Those who what to tool around in a motor can, and those who what to paddle around in a canoe can. It's sad that we may have to be on different lakes from eachother, but that's just the way it is. And it's not you, or your trash, or your resort, or your wheelchair that bothers me. It's your motor. I don't like that pollution, especially the noise pollution. I hear enough motors grinding in traffic everyday. And of course it would only be fair to allow snowmobiles too since not everyone can, or will, crosscountry ski or snowshoe. Oh and then of course ATVs for the summertime when people won't hike. Next will be a KOA right in the middle of it all. And if people don't like to camp then they better make it fair by putting in a Holiday Inn. And if they are going to let motorboats in the BW for lazy fisherman and handicaped people then they are going to have to pave every trail going up a mountain and maybe even a gondola. But whatever you want since it was "your" land that you probably "rightfully" took from the Native Americans before you.
Also one other thing I was curious about. I have noticed that the disgrunteled people are mostly from the Ely area. And I was wondering why there aren't any from the Grand Marais area. I am sure that Ely was affected for the worse since Grand Marais has held together economically better with the lake and the Gunflint trail and all. But they are on the border of the BW too. I am sure people were kicked out of their homes and told to take their motorboats with them just like in Ely. So why does Grand Marais seem to be more satisfied?
Listen here old jack obviously you know nothing about an ecosystem. A lake will not get polluted by motors like you think a lake like basswood or crooked will empty itself at least every 8-9 months. One Motor puts so little gas in the lake you could never notice. You think you "friends" at USFS don't run motors....sure they do when you xxxx go home for the summer they ride all over the lakes doing there thing. Going to kekakabic and crooked lake cabins and wahtever else they feel like doing. When the BWCA was closed and they cleaned it all up in the winter you think it was all packed out? I Think not it was burnt or sunk to the bottom of the lake!! In the spring portage crew goes to check things out you think they paddle everywhere with fire grates and latrines? No way they are flown in by float plane. So know the story there is more that goes on in this beutiful land than you think
I said I don't like the NOISE pollution. We, or anyone, could go around in circles about air or water pollution. But it's the noise of such things that I, and I am assuming others, go to the BW to get away from. If you can't appreciate being in a place with no man made noise then I guess I don't know what to tell you. I guess to me, it sounds like then from what you are saying about the USFS is that you need to go to work for them. That way you'd get to drive a motorboat around and fly a airplane and dump stuff at the bottom of the lakes. I do understand that you are upset that your land was taken away from you or your grandpa, the economy is bad, and you can't do the things you used to because the USFS gets to do it instead. But I don't understand how allowing motorboats would solve anything. I really don't think it would make you happy. I'm sure you would not like the hundreds of others driving around boats on your lakes because you want it all to yourself and that will never happen. You will not like the increased fees to get into the area because of all the money that they'll have to spend on upkeep. You will not like it when those lakes are fished out even worse then they are now. You still won't be satisfied because you still won't have control even though you know what's best. I just don't understand what will be accomplished by allow motorboats. The only thing I can come up with is that there is childish thinking and jealousy that you can see it but you can't have it. You can see the forest service do what they do but you can't. You can see the grownups eating the candy but they won't let you have any. And if you got the candy then you would want more. And candy rots your teeth. So my only hope for you is to make hundreds of millions of dollars. Enough to buy the entire area back from the government. I'm sure they have a price on everything. That way it would be yours and only yours.
I could say a lot but I guess the one thing that doesn't make sense to me is that those who want to allow motorboats in the area want to do it to make if fair for everyone. And that would make it fair in that sense. But it wouldn't be fair for those who just want to canoe since the BW is pretty much all we have. Like was mentioned before, there are plenty of places to use a motor. Infact I'm sure those who canoe who love it if the tables were turned. But it's not. There are alot of places where I wouldn't even think of taking a canoe because there are so my motorboats on that lake. So as a country, what you are saying really wouldn't be fair at all and I don't get that. And I wish every State had a area set aside like the BW. But they don't because not every State has so many lakes and not every State cares about their land as much as Minnesota does.
I was reading over this discussion and could not help but throw my 2 cents in. I felt a little personally attacked sense Ripitup mentioned “rich people from IL come to Ely once a year and act like they own the place”. In my opinion you people that live near or in Ely are the rich ones. Not because the size of your house or the other material possessions you have but being able to enjoy one of the most beautiful places in the country on a daily basis. Yes people come from IL to enjoy the BW but we defiantly do not think we OWN the place. As was mentioned earlier in this post can anyone really own an area like the BW? In fact like the entire US, the white man stole the land from the Native Americans anyway.
I am not a native of Ely and don't claim to know all their problems but it seems to me Ely's economy revolves around the BW. In fact Riptup kind of contradicted himself when he said “people come from IL once a year and SPEND A FORTUNE at the outfitters”. That is exactly right it is called ecotourism. If the BW allowed motorboats and hotels and all the other BIG business type things why would I drive 10 hours from IL to go there? I would just go someplace closer to home. (Especially with the price of gas) and why would somebody drive all the way from FL to the Ely if it was commercialized, they wouldn’t. I travel all over the country for my job (selling machines to the auto industry) and have to say Ely’s economy does not appear too bad. I think Riptup should visit some southern IL and IN towns. People there nearly live in tin shacks trying to make a very meager living farming.
In conclusion yes business people from IL travel to Ely once a year, and it seams to me this should be taken advantage of. The reason we travel there is the peace and quiet. Nobody from Chicago travels to Muncie, IN or Cairo, IL and spends there hard earned money in restaurants, hotels, and outfitters. If someone wants complain about Ely’s economy I think they should embrace people traveling there from all over the country once a year and spending thousands of dollars.
I would gladly trade with you any day. You can sit at a desk all day and talk on the phone, work on a laptop, travel to god forsaken places in IN and MI where the auto industry puts there manufacturing plants to take advantage of cheap labor. Have a cell phone in your pocket and expect to be reached 24/7. This is why us people from IL go to the BW to get away from all this. I would much rather make less money and do something I love everyday (unfortunately my wife would not go for this). If the BW were commercialized I would not go then what would you have?
Why in the world would it matter what state anyone is from? Actually I for one drive a little Subaru SUV, not Toyota. And if you are saying that because SUVs burn more gas, then just to let you know, my SUV gets the same gas mileage then any normal car. And plus why does it matter. The bigger the SUV, the more money they'll spend filling it up at your gas stations, which means more money for you. Which is just what you want.
Actually Honda makes all cars sold in the US in OH and Toyota makes theirs in KY, WV, and Canada. If you buy a Honda Accord in Japan it was made in Marrysville, OH. Mitsubishi builds their cars in IL. Nissan builds theirs in TN and LA. GM has a joint venture with Toyota Called NUMMI in CA. ever wondered why late 80s early 90s Toyota Corrolas and Chevey Novas looked identical? because they are, they were both built in Los Angeles, CA.
The steel does not come from China. China is using it all thats why it is so expensive. The steel comes from Europe and The US. and China does not export cars they manufacture them to be sold in China.
Now a little inside info:
Chrysler, Mitsubishi and Hyundai are starting a joint venture to build a 3.0L engine that will be the most produced engine ever 1.5million units per year. They will build 2 new plants in the US in Dundee, MI and will employee over 2,000 american workers. the plant will be completed in 2006.
I just read this discussion, and it's pretty vicious. I hate to bring up all the fire again, but here it goes. I was on a trip last week in the arrowhead region of the BWCAW. It was full of motorboats. Not in the way one would judge a large reservoir in Texas filled with bass boats, but hearing them all day long. And seeing the slicks they leave on top of the calm water. Clearwater Lake, where I put in, is an interior lake where motors allowed. Bearskin is the same way. Personally I don't want to hear or see any motors anywhere in the BWCAW. IL fisher makes a good point. Sure lazy motorboat fishermen are going to be disappointed if they are even further exiled from these waters, but MOTORS are exactly what the respectful visitors from afar are coming to avoid, and residents should too if they truly care about the Boundary Waters. Lakes where with motor bans are the exception. There are literally 10,000 lakes in MN where you can drive your noisy, polluting, littering boats. Leave us a small percent where we don't have to see it. We're coming here to avoid you.
I live in Eastern Iowa on the Mississippi River. I take the family boat out, sometimes 3x a week, to go skiing and have a good time with my friends. I understand motors are fun. There are so many places we can take and use motors we need to have some respect for a small sanctuary where they don't belong.
Although I understand there probably isn't much we can do about the border lakes with Canada, I don't know why we allow motors, however restricted, on the interior lakes. Is there anything we can do about it? We're probably just supposed to be happy for what we have. I say no. If something isn't getting better its becoming worse. Why allow motors in the BWCAW if we can change it? Who controls this the USFS? By the way ripitup, I don't believe the USFS would take shortcuts like dumping garbage into the lake. They are here to protect the wilderness, and undo the damage that careless guests inflict. Did you see them do any of the things you accused they of (Driving Motorboats, burning and deep sixing garbage)? I understand those steel fire grates that are provided would be a little difficult to portage, so I can understand the occasional use of helicopters as long as it's regulated. However I do not like to see the use of motors in the BW by normal, everyday visitors. They are more likely to litter and be careless about what they're doing. "Oh...there goes some fishing line into the water." or "Who cares if I dump the rest last couple drinks of my no longer cold beer into the lake. There goes the can when we're flying back to the dock." Most canoeing visitors wouldn't leave there fishing line around. What's more, they'll pick up what they find. Motorist don't see the BWCA in the same light as the canoe paddling visitors it was intended for as mentioned below this is the boundary water CANOE area wilderness.