Stay in touch with the campaign.

sign up for updates 

Campaign Update - Fall 2019

Monday, September 23, 2019
Posted by
Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters

A lot has happened since our last update. Here is a breakdown of recent developments and some insight into what's coming up.

  • Litigation. In June 2018, Northeastern Minnesotans for Wilderness and nine Minnesota businesses filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Washington, DC challenging the reinstatement of cancelled federal mineral leases of national forest lands next to the Boundary Waters (Twin Metals leases). Twin Metals intervened in the lawsuit on the side of the Department of the Interior. All parties submitted briefs asking for summary judgement in their favor, meaning the case will be decided on the terms of the leases that were cancelled and on the records in the Bureau of Land Management. We expect the Judge to hold oral arguments on the summary judgement motions later this year. Court proceedings move very slowly, but it is possible we could get a judge's ruling by end of year or early in 2020.
  • Congress. Rep. Betty McCollum, the primary leader on protecting the Boundary Waters who we work very closely with, included a provision in the House Interior Appropriations bill report (she is chair of the subcommittee) that directs the federal government to complete the federal mineral withdrawal study. This study analyzed the benefits of a ban on copper mining in the Rainy River Drainage Basin (the watershed of the Boundary Waters) and was abruptly halted for political reasons by order of the President after 20 months of a 24-month review. The provision in the Interior Appropriations report would require the Forest Service to complete the study and provide it to Congress. During the study, no mineral applications could be approved.
  • Outreach.  We continue to provide learning opportunities and disseminate information through a variety of means. We had our first outdoors Boundary Waters concert on August 16! Over 4,400 people came to the Duluth Bayfront to listen to 9 Minnesota artists, hear our message, and celebrate the Boundary Waters. It was a great event that generated a lot of media, captured many new names on our petitions, and helped us raise money for the cause. We worked to get exceptional stories in Outside Magazine and the New York Times in June, there was a very nice article in The New Yorker in July, and we worked with Audubon to get an article in its magazine in September. We hosted a booth at the Minnesota State Fair, where we provided information, sold merchandise, and secured another 10,000 signatures on our petition. We are growing our national Volunteer Ambassador program and it has received a lot of interest (learn more here). And, we are working to finalize 3 videos, this fall: a documentary on the Boundary Waters and the threat of sulfide-ore mining; a 360 video experience to show people the beauty of the Boundary Waters; and an animated video to show how the Wilderness will be devastated by the construction of the mine. There have been many other meetings, articles and events in support of our efforts, as well.

As you can see, it has been a busy few months, and things will continue that way. Your support is greatly appreciated and critical to our success. Look for a lot more activity as we approach the winter, and, as always, let us know if you have any questions!


Success for the Campaign at The Minnesota State Fair!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019
Posted by
Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters

Bernie Wire Photography

We had another wonderful time at the Minnesota State Fair this year! It truly was a “Great Minnesota Get-Together,” with the Fair setting a record attendance for visitors this year, near-perfect weather most of the time, and as always, delicious fried foods. 

We had fun in our booth in the Dairy Building for the 5th year in a row, and more than 10,000 people signed our petition telling their elected officials to work for permanent protection of the Boundary Waters from sulfide-ore copper mining. What a success! Thanks to all of you who came by the booth and signed the petition, and if you did not get a chance to sign - you still can!

Bernie Wire Photography

We also had an exciting new opportunity to sell Save the Boundary Waters merch, and to partner with True North Maps Co who worked with us on creating a new large map in our booth and designed awesome commemorative map bandanas. Take a look at their maps here. 

Thank you for signing petitions and buying our new merch, and of course, thank you to all who volunteered at the Fair! Our volunteers are critical to our mission of permanent protection of the Boundary Waters. Learn more about volunteer opportunities and get involved here. 

Thank you for speaking loudly for this quiet place,

The Team at Save the Boundary Waters. 

Thanks for Coming Out to Wild Waters!

Monday, August 19, 2019
Posted by
Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters

Thanks to all of you who came out and supported the Wild Waters music fest on Friday, August 16! In addition to our Wild Waters sponsors above, we'd like to thank Northern Coffeeworks for helping us thank the performers. Thanks to all the supporters, collaborators, volunteers and attendees, it was a wonderful event -- and we raised funds and awareness to Save the Boundary Waters!

View more photos from the event here.

Wild Waters + r.Cup

Monday, August 12, 2019
Posted by
Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters

 

Heading to Wild Waters Music Festival on Friday, August 16? 

To reduce our impact, we've teamed up with r.Cup! Their mission is to reduce the environmental impact of live events by disrupting one of the most visible and widespread waste issues in the industry: the single-use disposable plastic cup.

After a successful trial during U2’s 2017 Joshua Tree Tour, r.Cup launched what they hope will become a new industry standard in North America.

r.Cup is a rentable cup designed to eliminate single-use plastic cup waste. At concessions, fans will pay a $3 deposit for a high quality, branded r.Cup when purchasing a beverage. At the end of the show, you can return the cup at any r.Cup return stand near the exits to get your deposit back. Or, if you prefer, you can take it home as a keepsake.

All returned cups are collected, washed and sterilized, then shipped to be upcycled following the festival. r.Cup's goal is to one day see zero waste from single-use plastic cups during any of our live events. 






WE NEED VOLUNTEERS!

r.Cup is looking for like-minded volunteers to join them at Wild Waters Music Festival. Help reduce single-use plastic waste + enjoy event access too! Volunteers educate fans on how r.Cup works, assist with r.Cup returns and are friendly representatives that answer fan questions.

To sign up, click here:bit.ly/rCupVolunteer or email volunteer@rcup.com.



HOW IT WORKS

1. Grab your first drink & make a $3 deposit for use of the r.Cup

2. Bring the cup back throughout the day for more drinks

3. At the end of the day, return it to the r.Cup stands to get your $3 back

OR take the cup home as a souvenir!


r.Cup on Social:

Instagram: @rcupworld | Facebook: @rcupworld | Twitter: @rcupworld  






Are you ready for Wild Waters?

Monday, August 5, 2019
Posted by
Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters

  •  Buy your tickets! 
    Tickets are going fast, you and your friends should get your tickets if you haven’t already!
  • Book your accommodations.
    Whether you’re booking a hotel room, reserving a campsite, or crashing on a friends couch, make sure you plan ahead. Hostel Du Nord in Duluth is holding 10 beds for the event. And of course, if you live in the area, make sure you plan for a safe ride home.
      
  • Wear your BWCA swag!
    If you’re looking to wear a Save the Boundary Waters shirt, we have a merchandise campaign going on till August 6! Get your BWCA merch before it’s too late. (If you miss out, we will have concert branded merchandise being live printed at the Festival!)

  • Shop local businesses.
    Check out the Duluth based businesses who support the Campaign! Our business coalition has over 300+ businesses across the country who support protecting the Boundary Waters.

  • Get your questions answered. 
    Need more information about the Festival? Check out the Wild Waters page and scroll down to the bottom for the schedule, directions, FAQ's and more!
      
  • Get inspired with our Wild Waters Spotify Playlist. 
    Our lineup includes Atmosphere, Doomtree, Cloud Cult, Low, jeremy messersmith, deM atlaS, The Lioness, DJ Keezy, and War Bonnet. 

Festival Schedule:

3:30 PM   Doors Open

4:30 PM  War Bonnet

5:05 PM  The Lioness

5:40 PM  deM atlaS

6:15 PM  jeremy messersmith

7:05 PM  Low

8:00 PM  Cloud Cult

8:40 PM  DJ Keezy

8:55 PM  Doomtree

9:55 PM  Atmosphere

All times subject to change pending weather and/or delays.


See you at Wild Waters Music Festival on Friday, August 16!

Thanks to our generous Wild Waters sponsors!
Art In Bayfront Park
Live Nation
r.Cup
Bent Paddle
Duluth Screen Printing Co.
MNIMALIST Goods
Piragis Northwoods Company
Wintergreen Northern Wear and Wintergreen Dogsled Lodge
Ely Outfitting Company
Peak Design
At Sara's table Chester Creek Cafe

Twin Metals Project Goes from Bad to Worse

Monday, July 22, 2019
Posted by
Matt Norton


Twin Metals Minnesota's proposed processing facility and tailings basin site. 

If one of the world’s largest foreign mining companies shakes your hand and says it wants to do you a huge favor, you’d better count your fingers. 

On July 18, 2019 Antofagasta’s Twin Metals, which proposes to build a sulfide-ore copper mine next to the Boundary Waters – put out a press release.  Let’s be clear about what Twin Metals’ announcement really is:  a huge admission and a massive set-back for the proposed mine project.

Twin Metals just admitted it wants to store 2.6 billion tons of its toxic sulfide-ore copper mine waste 16 miles closer to the Boundary Waters --- in the Boundary Waters watershed, in a landscape of lakes and rivers that flows into the Wilderness.


View PDF

Here are 4 key things to know about Twin Metals’ announcement: 

1. It’s not really news. 

Dry-stacking was the original method of tailings storage that was proposed in the October 6, 2014 preliminary feasibility study[1], for the Twin Metals project. 

Why would it make a show of announcing this method of tailings storage?  It had another aim in mind.

2. In its press release, Twin Metals intentionally buries the lede.  

The lede is not about how it would handle its tailings, it's about where Twin Metals wants to store them. Twin Metals just admitted (see its press release, paragraph #2) that it wants to move the proposed location of its mining waste 16 miles north to a location within a few miles of the Boundary Waters, to an area of lakes and rivers that drain into the Wilderness. 

Twin Metals tried everything to keep from having to move its tailings basin into the Boundary Waters watershed.  Since at least 2014, Twin Metals’ key messaging strategy has been its intention to keep its mining waste out of the Boundary Waters watershed and far away from Minnesota's crown jewel and America's most-visited Wilderness area. 

Now Twin Metals admitted to breaking that promise. Twin Metals' original plan to pump its tailings into the Lake Superior watershed will not work or be allowed.  This is bad news for Twin Metals and it knows it, but now it has to admit it will be dumping mountains of mine waste in the Boundary Waters watershed.

With no other options, the company’s PR team used smoke and mirrors to distract, just as a magician would, from what it is actually planning to do:  permanently dump billions of tons of sulfide-ore copper mining waste in the headwaters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Voyageurs National Park. 

3. No technology in existence now or on the horizon – including dry-stacking – can prevent a sulfide-ore copper mine in this location from polluting surrounding groundwater and surface water, including the Boundary Waters. 

A 2014 study[2] conducted by geophysicist Dr. David Chambers warns “[i]t is not feasible, given today’s or tomorrow’s technology, to reduce the risk of impacting waters downstream from a copper/nickel mine in a sulfide ore body to zero.” The study showed that no tailings storage facility seepage collection system is perfect; “all liners leak.” This is a big deal considering the downstream waters receiving the would-be pollution are protected under the highest “zero degradation” standard under the federal Clean Water Act.[3]

Peer-reviewed and published research in the Journal of Hydrology[4] shows that pollution from a sulfide-ore copper mine in this location will flow into the Boundary Waters. The models demonstrated that under the course of normal operations, proposed mines near the Boundary Waters could cause significant damage to rivers and the Boundary Waters due to leaks to surface waters or substantial groundwater contamination. Still more peer-reviewed science by Earthworks[5] examined the sulfide-ore copper mining industry track record and documents the fact that all modern sulfide-ore copper mines experienced spills, pipeline ruptures, and other releases of mining pollutants. 

The science corroborates the conclusion of former Forest Service Chief, Tom Tidwell, in the 2016 US Forest Service decision letter[6] to the Bureau of Land Management denying the renewal of Twin Metals’ mineral leases:

I find unacceptable the inherent potential risk that development of a regionally-untested copper-nickel sulfide ore mine within the same watershed as the [Boundary Waters] might cause serious and irreplaceable harm to this unique, iconic, and irreplaceable wilderness area.

 4. Dry-stacking Twin Metals’ tailings will not eliminate the risk of perpetual mining pollution flowing to the Boundary Waters.

Dry-stacking mining waste is not a panacea.  In dry-stacking, a company reduces water content of the tailings to around 15%, and dumps them onto a liner.  Then the mining company compacts the tailings in the hopes of inhibiting rainwater and snowmelt from soaking in and re-hydrating the tailings.  Dry tailings degrade air quality with fugitive dust, which the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has said may contain heavy metals, sulfur, and fine particulates.  There are also other risks, as well.

First, there will be toxic seepage from the tailings. Twin Metals would have to build a perpetual seepage collection and treatment system, which means pipes, pumps, valves, and holding tanks, all of which eventually break, leak, rust-through, freeze and burst, or fail in other ways.

Second, all liners, even the best ones, eventually leak,[7],[8] and Twin Metals can only treat the pollution it catches.  Tailings leachate that escapes the liner will go untreated and make its way through groundwater to surface waters.

Third, a dry tailings facility can fail if it is re-saturated.  The Boundary Waters watershed receives 30 inches and more of rain and snowmelt each year, and severe rain events are increasingly frequent.  This wet environment poses a high risk that Twin Metals’ tailings pile will re-hydrate.  Minnesota regulators warn of serious pollution consequences if that happens.[9]  This risk is heightened in Twin Metals’ case because the mining company proposes to use topsoil, rather than a plastic or other waterproof liner, to cover its tailings.  Topsoil will allow rain and snowmelt to infiltrate the tailings pile.  Twin Metals’ own website (e.g., saying that its “tailings can safely be exposed to air and water”) suggests that it understands the risk of its tailings re-hydrating.

Fourth, Twin Metals says that it won’t build a tailings dam to hold back its tailings, saying it’s not necessary.  If and when the tailings pile re-hydrates, however, there will be no dam to stop the tailings pile from failing catastrophically – in an area of lakes, streams and rivers that flow into the Boundary Waters.

Finally, the air above the Boundary Waters is a protected Class I airshed.  The lakes and rivers of the Boundary Waters are designated the highest level “Outstanding Resource Value Waters.” Pollution from a Twin Metals mine, not only but especially from its tailings, would degrade the Boundary Waters’ air and water quality contrary to law.


TAKE ACTION:
Contact your elected officials!
Donate today to help us protect the Boundary Waters!


[1] Twin Metals Minnesota Project NI 43-101 Technical Report on Pre-Feasibility Study, see sec. 24.2.8 on p. 24-13,
“Further consideration of paste and/or dry-stack tailings management is recommended to improve dam safety permitting feasibility for this facility as it will be located near local population centers.” 

[2] Chambers, David M. “The Potential for Acid Mine Drainage and Other Water Quality Problems at Modern Copper Mines Using State-of-the-Art Prevention, Treatment, and Mitigation Methods.” Center for Science in Public Participation, November 2014

[3] 40 CFR §131.12. The federal Clean Water Act provides anti-degradation standards meant to keep clean water clean. Minnesota, as a delegated State, must have an antidegradation program that protects these outstanding national resource waters, so-designated because they have unique characteristics to be preserved (e.g., waters of exceptional recreational, environmental, or ecological significance), and no degradation is allowed.

[4] Myers, Tom. “Acid Mine Drainage Risks – A Modeling Approach to Siting Mine Facilities in Northern Minnesota USA.” Journal of Hydrology 553 (February 2016): 277-290. (Myers 2016b)

[5] Earthworks. “U.S. Copper Porphyry Mines:  The Track Record of Water Quality Impacts Resulting from Pipeline Spills, Tailings Failures and Water Collection and Treatment Failures.” July 2012.

[6] Dec. 14, 2016 Letter, USDA-Forest Service to Bureau of Land Management, p. 1

[7] Chambers, David M. “The Potential for Acid Mine Drainage and Other Water Quality Problems at Modern Copper Mines Using State-of-the-Art Prevention, Treatment, and Mitigation Methods.” Center for Science in Public Participation, November 2014
[8] In the Federal Register (May 26, 1981, pp. 28314 through 28328), the EPA argued forcefully that all landfills will eventually leak.  “[T]he existing technology for disposing of hazardous wastes on or in the land cannot confidently isolate these wastes from the environment forever."
[9] The Minnesota DNR has stated that “[d]ry stacked tailings that become wet again … are subject to oxidation and leaching. As precipitation then intermittently washes through tailings, those heavy metals and other [pollutants] may be washed into surrounding soils and nearby water bodies.”

Running across the Boundary Waters

Friday, June 28, 2019
Posted by
Alex Falconer

I’m running across the Boundary Waters! Yes, for real. 

We pretty much exclusively think of the Boundary Waters as “canoe country” - and for good reason. With 1.1 million acres, home to more than 1,100 lakes connected by rivers, streams, marshes and portages, one of the only ways to experience most of the Wilderness is via canoe (at least in the warm months) with portages between lakes or around rapids. However there are a number of amazing hiking trails both in the form of thru-hikes, day hikes and longer loops.

My primary hobby outside of paddling canoe country is running - especially trail running. I’ve been running most my life, starting with cross country in middle school and high school. In college, I started doing marathons but as time passed, so has my ability to suffer through the typical pavement pounding road races that pop up in almost every town across the country. Looking for an alternative easier on my knees in particular, I came across trail running and ran my first trail race in early spring of 2017. I was immediately hooked. Everything about running changed for me on this first run - from the relatively few people running (150 total on my first 17 mile trail run vs. the thousands registered for your typical half or full road race) to the scenery along the route. Trading out pavement and building skylines for rocky trails and sweeping vistas was a natural evolution for a guy who spends as much time in the Wilderness!

Since that first run a little over 2 years ago, I’ve been gradually increasing my mileage and am now running long or “ultra” distance trail runs. These are more commonly associated with the western US where they have far more access to protected landscapes on public lands with trails that go up and down mountains, valleys, deserts, coastal forests, etc. for miles and miles and miles. 

But of course, us Minnesotans know and love our northwoods and there’s definitely nothing as great as both the North Shore (home to the Superior Hiking Trail - which features one of the country’s longest running 100 miles race, the Superior 100, each fall) and of course the Boundary Waters.

Here’s where the intersection of my passion for both the Boundary Waters and trail running comes into play. There are two major thru-hiking trails: the Border Route Trail (66 miles) and the Kekekabic Trail (44 miles). The two of these trails run East to West from McFarland Lake to Snowbank Lake connecting at the Gunflint Trail in the middle. At some point last year, I started toying with the idea of seeing what I could do to run these routes as just something I’d want to do for fun, not really even thinking of something that would be a project to benefit the Campaign. Time passed a little too quickly last summer and fall and I didn’t get the runs in and the idea went dormant for a bit. 

Fast forward a bit to this past January when I was in Denver for the Outdoor Retailer show. As fate would have it, I had just finished a 50 mile race near Arches National Park and the trail bug was hitting me hard again. I was at a panel discussion led by Clare Gallagher, a professional ultra-trail running athlete who has been using her running as a way to bring attention to climate change and a light went on. Seeing how she was using her running to draw attention to climate change, hearing of others who ran through Bears Ears and Grand Escalante, and more, there’s been a growing group of trail runners bringing awareness to imperiled landscapes.

And the idea came alive.

I talked to Clare after the panel concluded and she was so stoked on the idea of running through the Boundary Waters as a way to bring attention of the mining threat to the trail running community. A little while later, we set up a call and the planning began. It’s since culminated in working with some amazing people at Patagonia and the Border Route Trail Association, both who have helped with logistics, gear, and promotion of this run. I have an opportunity to bring awareness to our fight to stop sulfide-ore copper mining from ruining my favorite place on earth. This project will bring awareness to a new audience who perhaps hasn’t even heard of this area. But from all of my trail running, not only in Minnesota, but in other parts of the country, trail runners care about our public lands - after all we need vast open expanses of undisturbed natural places to participate in our pastime.

On Saturday, June 29th, I’ll be starting this project: Running for the Boundary Waters. I’m first running the Border Route Trail, the 66 miles from the eastern edge of the Boundary Waters to the Gunflint Trail. Sometime this fall I’ll pick up where the BRT leaves off and run the Kekekabic Trail, through the Wilderness to Snowbank Lake at the end of the Fernberg Trail - leading out of Ely. 

Phase 3 will begin next summer, when I will combine both trails together along with the knowledge I gained from my first two phases and attempt to run them both in one contiguous run, roughly 110 miles through the Boundary Waters. 

You can follow along on my website. I’ll keep events updated, post my “race report” after each run, share pictures, videos and more. It’s important we keep looking out for new people to bring into this fight. 

The Boundary Waters is America’s most visited wilderness - evidence alone, this place should not be ruined forever by a sulfide-ore mine. Join me in this effort by talking to your friends, family, coworkers or others who maybe haven’t heard of this threat. Have them sign our petition to their lawmakers and help make their voice heard. The Boundary Waters belongs to all of us and it’s on us to protect it for all generations to come!

 - Alex 

www.RunningfortheBWCA.com


Check out Alex's route:

Campaign Update With Tom

Thursday, June 13, 2019

A lot has happened since our last update on April 22, and it is a real mixed bag.

Most significantly, On May 15, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM, an office within the federal Department of the Interior) officially renewed the 2 federal mining leases on the edge of the Boundary Waters for the Twin Metals mine. These were the same mineral leases that were terminated in 2016 by the Obama Administration because of non-compliance with lease conditions and incompatibility with the recreational purposes Superior National Forest (SNF).  With these in hand, Twin Metals – the wholly owned subsidiary of Chilean mining conglomerate Antofagasta – now has a clear path to submit a mine plan to state and federal agencies. They have indicated that will happen within the next 2 months.

So, there’s that.

But a lot of good has happened, too. First, and most importantly, Rep. Betty McCollum has introduced report language in 2 appropriations bills that requires the federal agencies to reveal the potential damage to Canada, and also to complete the comprehensive study of mining in the SNF. That study, originally expected to take 2 years to complete, was cut short 4 months before completion by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue who claimed there was no new information uncovered (in spite of dozens of studies we provided). Rep. McCollum and her allies, have repeatedly asked for the information that had been compiled, and been roundly ignored by the administration. As Chair of the Interior Appropriations Committee, Rep. McCollum now has the ability to get the attention of the administration.

We have seen strong support in the media. Notably, the StarTribune has blasted the Trump administration for its underhanded practices and its unwillingness to share information.  Minnesotans really value transparency in government, and that is clearly not happening. Similarly, we’ve seen strong support in the Timberjay, CityPages, the Center for American Progress, Outside Magazine and MinnPost. Our message is getting out and people are outraged.

A highlight for us was a Rally for the Boundary Waters at the Minnesota State Capitol on May 22 – a week after the leases were renewed.  On short notice, during the work day, more than 400 supporters showed up to demonstrate their passion for the Boundary Waters and their opposition to this mine. It was an amazing afternoon, and we subsequently delivered petitions with 200,000 names of Americans opposed to this project. It was a great day.

We are now continuing to meet with elected officials – both federal and state - to convince them that their leadership is critical.  We continue to organize our grassroots supporters (thank you supporters!), and lift up their voices. Their dedication is inspiring.

The next few months will be critical. A mine plan will be submitted and the clock will start ticking. We need your support to convince our elected officials to do the right thing.  Watch for our updates, and be ready to help anyway you can.

We’ll never stop fighting for the Boundary Waters.


TAKE ACTION:

MINNESOTANS —Take the next step and call your elected officials:

Senator Tina Smith: (202) 224-5641
Senator Amy Klobuchar: (202) 224-3244
Governor Tim Walz: (651) 201-3400 

SUPing in the BWCA

Thursday, June 13, 2019
Posted by
Rozyboom

The Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness is hands down my favorite place to paddle in the Midwest. I’m not out there in a traditional canoe or a kayak. I’m paddling an inflatable Stand-Up Paddleboard (SUP). I know what you might be thinking, “How is that possible?!” or you are giving me that confused “WHAT?” look. Well I am here to tell ya, it is very possible and truly a blast! It might even be easier than you think too.

First, let me explain a bit of who I am. Name is Pete Rozeboom and I’m an adventure photographer born and raised in Minnesota. Over the years, I’ve traveled around the world on different adventures. Documenting everything one photo at a time. 90-day backpacking expedition in the Rocky Mountains, mountaineering in Alaska, exploring Europe and parts of Asia, and multiple road trips chasing powder and adventures around the United States of America. In 2016, I visited every Minnesota State Park in 32 weeks. During that project I got my first inflatable SUP, since I wanted to explore all of the beautiful lakes along with hiking and biking each park. So happy I did! Paddling changed everything for me. Opened my eyes and mind for a “new” way of traveling. I love person-power modes of transportation and SUPing is 100% person-power. Not to mention, the outstanding training potential one can do with a SUP when not on a trip, with it being a full-body workout. I could go on and on on the benefits of SUPing, but this article is more about SUPing in the BWCA. So let’s dive into it!

In order to SUP, ones needs a board. There are tons of companies out there these days offering hard and inflatable boards. I landed on Hala Gear out of Steamboat, Colorado back in 2015. Wanted something I didn’t have to worry about bouncing off rocks, sticks, and other objects in the water. Plus, something I can travel with. Hard boards are great, but they can chip, snap, and are much harder to travel with. All of Hala’s boards are inflatable and build with a whitewater background with a 3 year warranty. Yeah, people run class 5 rapids on an inflatable SUPs, I've personally have ran class 3 rapids. So they are built to take a beating and you can see that when you ride one. Also, being an inflatable has weight savings advantages, which is phenomenal for portaging. Most SUP companies I’ve seen come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Picking the right board for the right task is key. Rocking a short and super wide board is great stabilization wise, but is not going to track and glide like a longer and more narrow board will. All depends on what you are trying to do on the water.

Alright you have your board, but what about the other gear? Bringing the right gear can make or break a trip. Having too much stuff makes portaging harder, slows you down paddling, and is just a pain to deal with. Keep it light, fast, and dry is key! Over the years, I have been figuring out the right gear combination for my paddle trips, which I got to say I am pretty happy with my current setup. I have broken down my personal gear selection on my SUPing with Rozyboom website, based on the length of paddle.

My gear fits into a 65L Sea to Summit Hydraulic Dry Pack. Think of it as a dry bag backpack, which has a hip bent and sternum strap to help with the load. These bags are amazing!! Typically around 40-60 pounds loaded up. They also make different sizes too, I just found the 65L to be perfect for me. Sometimes an additional 35L Hydraulic Dry Bag or Big River Bag is needed too. That second bag, tends to be for dry food and/or sleep system for quick setup. Plus, acts as a day bag once we get camp setup. All the cold food gets put into my RTIC Soft Pack 30 cooler. I just lay these bags on top of the board and hit the water. If conditions are rough, I will strap it down with NRS straps or a carabiner to a D-Loop on the board. Most of the time, just laying them down is perfectly fine. Remember to spread the weight across the board from side to side and front to back, erroring with more weight on the backend of the board.

Travelling with a SUP is much easier than people think. The sweet part of inflatable SUPs is how they roll up into a rolling duffle bag and extra space in the bag. It is airport friendly and fully packed tends to be below 50 pound threshold. I typically only put SUP gear in the bag like fins, PFD, leash, pump, paddle shoes, travel paddle, and stuff like that. If not flying, you can strap them to the roof rack, bare roof, or a hitch mount platform (what I do) with NRS straps. The bags helps keep the boards protected during the journey and free up space inside your vehicle. Get to your destination and start pumping them up by hand or high pressure pump.

Portaging with a SUP. “How do you portage?” has to be the most asked question I get. Don’t overthink it! You can carry it by the handle like you would walking to the launch or across a beach, what we do on super short portages. My preference, is to make a sling out of an NRS strap. Run it along a side on top of the board through the D-Ring spots. Bring it back to the clip to make a full loop, which should look like a sling. Toss it up on your shoulder and start hiking, adjust length as needed. Like I said, “Don’t overthink it!”

SUP-Fishing is one of my favorite activities to do in the BWCA. Always learning a new lake! Given, we have been focusing on just a few lakes to really learn them well. Locating the fish is the biggest and trickiest task, which you can use a depth finder on a SUP. Slightly modified a sensor mounting bracket and you are ready to see what is happening under the water. Find that school of Walleye deep down. Otherwise, cast, jig, bobber, troll, or do whatever to find em. You can fish standing, kneeling, kicking back on a crazy creek chair, or anyway that feels comfortable for you. I love to stand, since I can typically cast and still see my bait in the water. Crazy to see a Northern Pike or Bass hammer your bait right next to your SUP, near the surface. It looks like they are going to jump right onto the board! Tackle wise, soft plastics are great, but I try to use real bait as much as possible. Nightcrawlers and leeches tend to only last a few days, unless you can keep them cool, shade is your friend. I use a 6 foot breakaway pole, which is why I also bring a net. Helps to grab the fish while keeping the pole high and fully taught. Scoop them up with the net, pull the hook, grab the stringer, and add to the dinner menu.  Stringer we typically tie to a side D-Ring and attach it off the very back when paddling back to camp, helps with drag off the back. Get back to camp, clean them up (remembering Leave No Trace Principles for disposing fish properly), and start cooking. Nothing beats earning your meal for the day!

With so many people asking what SUPing is all about I decided to start my own business, SUPing with Rozyboom. Local Minnesota business with one main focus, to get you out on the water enjoying nature. Whether you are a first timer, not super comfortable, trying to advance, or looking for a super fun way to explore around. I offer something for everyone! Just need to bring your personal gear, water, and snacks/food. Board, Paddle, PFD, Leash, Dry Bags, and more is all provided. I want to make it as easy as possible for people to get out on a SUP. I offer a variety of paddle options from Easy Going, Level Up, Single River Day, Private, and Destination Paddles. All paddles are tailored in their own ways. Plus, for Easy Going and Level Up paddles I am super flexible on the start time and day of the week too. I’m always willing to move around and do everything I can to get you on a board, including changing the lake/river we are going to paddle, to make it convenient for everyone. During all paddles, I am taking photos and videos of you to share and enjoy. After all paddles, I have promo codes to get you a deal on your very own Hala board! With your own board, you can join my Easy Going and Level Up paddles for free and/or get a discount on Destination and Single River Day paddles too.

If you would like to learn more about gear, SUPs, board demos, SUPing with Rozyboom paddles, and/or trip planning please contact me! I love helping people figure out gear and getting them on the water.

Lastly, no matter how you are experience the Boundary Waters please Leave No Trace. It is our duty to preserve, keep clean, and protect this amazing areas. Stop using single use anything. Think before buying or discarding something. As humans, we only have this one planet we all share, along with a plethora of other life. Areas like the BWCA, National Parks, and the variety of protected areas are key to the survival of multiple species, including our own. Speak up and stand up to those who are disrespectful to our environment. Without it, all species will suffer, including humans. Remember, every little bit helps!


Paddle on,
Pete Rozeboom

Owner - Rozyboom Adventures LLC - SUPing with Rozyboom

Instagram: @suping_with_rozyboom

Facebook: www.facebook.com/supingwithrozyboom

Rep. McCollum introduces legislation to study mining near BWCA

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Posted by
Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters

Rep. McCollum introduces legislation compelling US Forest Service to complete and release study on toxic mining near the Boundary Waters

Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue had previously cancelled the study and is refusing to hand over underlying data

Today, Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) introduced legislation (Interior Appropriations Committee Report p.7) compelling the U.S. Forest to complete a study on toxic mining near Minnesota’s Boundary Waters. The study had been underway for twenty months before being cancelled by Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue in 2018, who in defiance of Congress is refusing to hand over the preliminary reports. Perdue had previously promised Rep. McCollum he would finish the study, then broke his word last September.

The legislation would halt mineral leasing in the watershed of the Boundary Waters until the completion and delivery of the study to Congress.

“This legislation is necessary because the Trump administration is hellbent on steamrolling through this risky mining project near a pristine Wilderness without acknowledging the inherent problems,” said Tom Landwehr, Executive Director of the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters.

The legislation comes a week after the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) renewed two leases for Chilean mining giant Antofagasta’s Twin Metals project. The leases were terminated in 2016 by the Obama Administration because of the irreconcilable risk they posed to the Wilderness, and unlawfully reinstated by the Trump Administration. The leases have never undergone full environmental review to determine whether the watershed of the Boundary Waters is the right location for this kind of mining.


Here are 3 ACTIONS you can take right now:

1. Share our post or tweet and thank Rep. McCollum on your social media!

2. Call your Minnesota Elected Officials and tell them to protect the Boundary Waters.

Senator Tina Smith: (202) 224-5641
Senator Amy Klobuchar: (202) 224-3244
Governor Tim Walz: (651) 201-3400

3. Donate today and help us continue this fight!


Pages