We’re coming up on a critical juncture in the fight to protect the Boundary Waters from mining interests that threaten to pollute and compromise the watershed.
The Star Tribune just did an article on Becky Rom, a driving force behind the Save the Boundary Waters Campaign. My husband forwarded me the link this evening, and just like that, I am taken back to the Wilderness. My heart aches at the thought of one of our nation’s greatest treasures being despoiled at the hands of sulfur-ore copper mining.
I have said it before, and I will say it again, but I truly believe that every American’s bucket list should contain a trip into the wilderness. A sojourn far from the noise of civilization, cut off from the world for a little while. Feet on the earth, heart in the sky. A wilderness experience changes you, it brings you a little further along the path of becoming. A wilderness experience informs the rest of your life in a way that is hard to some by anywhere else.
Some might compare getting lost in the wilds to a religious experience, and I will not deny the significance. After all, we would be hard pressed to manage a closer position to our Creator than when we remove the distractions – every one of them – and enter into Creation at such an intimate level. I’ve written on it on more than one occasion, a few here on this blog.
Yet Wilderness is becoming exceedingly rare. Thanks to Teddy, we’ve protected hundreds of millions of acres within the National Parks, but the remaining wild areas deserve no less protection for not being included in the original 1906 Antiquities Act. Thank God for that original foresight and preservation, but it was never meant to stop there.
Dave and Amy Freeman completed their year in the Wilderness. If you haven’t perused their archives, you’ve missed an epic journey. Their full blog can be found here and it is well worth your time. What an adventure! They’ve managed to raise an incredible amount of awareness, and brought the Boundary Waters 2D experience to millions, but the battle isn’t over. More people on the petition and more money behind the efforts can still help protect the Wilderness forever.
I know that I am among a privileged few to frequent the amazing wonderland of the Boundary Waters, and I can only hope that a few words here and there will encourage others to expand their horizons and embark on such an adventure for their own benefit. And possibly lay their name down, and maybe even a few dollars, for the cause of protecting this wilderness for future generations.
While I’m on the soapbox, I’ll throw out one more cause that’s been on my heart. One that I know painfully little about, but enough to know where I stand. Representatives from every Indigenous Tribe in America, along with thousands of other supporters from around the globe, are camped out at Standing Rock Reservation in peaceful protest of the impending Dakota Access Pipeline that threatens their water supplies, their sacred grounds, and their cultural lands. Their standing up for the environment and their lands has been met with hostility and persecution, and they need our support. Some of the history, and opportunities to help, are here. Many folks I know are making trips to the reservation to deliver supplies and support. Even from the comfort of our keyboards we can offer our names to the petitions or a few dollars of support.
I’m not big on solicitations. I don’t really know why I’m feeling so vocal tonight. But it is what it is.