Listen: Testimony excerpts from BWCA hearings in St. Paul

MPR’s Bob Potter presents public testimony excerpts regarding BWCA legislation given in St. Paul to the House Subcommittee on National Parks and Insular Affairs.


(00:00:00) The BWC a is the largest national Wilderness Area east of the Rocky Mountains. It is the last complete forest ecosystem in the eastern part of the country, which has the potential of being preserved intact photographer less black clock emphasized the value of experiencing this Wilderness first hand.
(00:00:17) What is this Great Canoe Country around which so many battles have been fought it is a thousand island filled Lakes like strings of beads connected by tumbling streams. It is high Cliffs and great Boulders and gently sloping granted beaches by campsites. It is paddling into a good Breeze with eyes wide open and never getting a speck of dust in the eye. It is sweet soft drinkable Water by the pail full right from the Lakes free of pollution and oil slicks. It's getting up at the crack of dawn for a silent paddling stalk along the shore before breakfast. It's slipping along as quietly as the fog itself. Hoping to see mink Beaver. Bear deer otter even moose. The Boundary Waters can be all of these things right to the end of the road if the Fraser bill passes. there are many thousands of lakes outside of the BWC a in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan available for motorboat and snowmobile use There are thousands of miles of snowmobile trails in these three states. But there is only one BWC a to be preserved for Wilderness canoeing and quiet canoe
(00:01:35) use Jerry brim Macomb photographer for a Time Life books series on Wilderness argued that the multiple use concept of the Oberstar bill is a myth.
(00:01:46) It just insults my intelligence to go in there and to experience the great silences in the beauties of the of the Boundary Waters area and suddenly be confronted with with a powerboat. If you've been on some of those Northern Minnesota Lakes sound travels across those Lakes. It's incredible. He go out there and an evening when the lakes are Dead Calm in the sound reverberates from Lake to Lake at an incredible speed when the Loon start calling in the evening. You can hear them from miles and miles and miles. And how anybody can conceive of allowing motorized vehicles be they snowmobiles or watercraft in an area such as that? In conjunction with wilderness camping is beyond my comprehension. It's simply will not work
(00:02:40) while the BWC a is an important Wilderness. It's also home for a large number of retired people like Kenneth - who's lived along the Gunflint Trail for almost 40 years motorized travel enables many of us to get around into many of the Lakes both on the US and the Canadian side. To deny us the use of that water is distinctly unfair and
(00:03:07) also to deny
(00:03:08) us the use of our property ultimately or a gradual erosion of values by reason of limitation of use of the water which would decrease property values. In terms of environmental impact of Motors. I've seen an oil slick from a motor as my colleagues have but the noise on a lake such as Gunflint approximately eight miles long 2 miles wide. You just don't hear Motors over that distance.
(00:03:45) Spokesman from various Chambers of
(00:03:46) Commerce in towns near the BWC a said tourism and fishing are major parts of the area's economy. When a former resident said the Resort's should shift their emphasis from fishing to nature appreciation and canoeing Gunflint Trail Resort owner. Jocko Nelson disagreed
(00:04:02) now total Wilderness we feel is it for a select few who are trying to more or less established their personal playground? We feel strongly that the resorts and Outfitters will be hurt. But mainly the Resort's who our neighbors in five years. We are told that these Resorts and our neighbors retired people homes are to phase out and just shrivel away in five years and died off. Now what I want to know is who is going to buy my neighbor's Resort who's going to buy the retired fellows cabin down the lake who's going to buy the home of the people 3 Doors Down from us who have lived there all their lives since 1911. I would like to have those people step forward because if you cannot use what you have its value drops to practically zero, so only thing I can say is let's not sit down and draw sections and straight lines and rectangles on these Maps just because they look good and could pass the Rorschach test. Let's think about what people do
(00:05:01) excerpts from testimony on BWC a legislation given in Saint Paul to the house subcommittee on national parks and insular Affairs after more hearings. Ali and later in Washington the tough job of forging a compromise will begin this is Bob Potter.


Materials created/edited/published by Archive team as an assigned project during remote work period in 2020

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