I frequently refer to this area as "God's Country." It is the place of tall pines and birch trees and lots and lots of lakes. In Minnesota, anywhere north of Duluth is very much the same. These areas are soul restoring for me. To hear the wind in the trees and to see eagles soaring overhead lowers my blood pressure about ten points.
Today on Facebook, I came across an article reporting that some thieves have been pillaging stands of birch trees in northern Wisconsin and Minnesota. They are using the logs to sell to people for decorative fireplace pieces.
This was both sad and shocking to me. It seems like there is no decency in some people anymore. It's not quite as bad as say, wiping out a whole rain forest, but it's the start of a North American equivalent. Greed does strange things to the hearts of men.
At the same time, there are mining companies trying to push through building a sulfide mine on the edge of the BWCA. In addition to the devastation to the landscape that this would cause, it threatens large portions of the BWCA watershed in the event of a disaster. That alone to me seems to be enough not to allow it, but money drives business, so it's a thing. Hopefully a thing that will be squelched, but a thing nonetheless.
The same holds true for the Porcupine Mountains. There are copper mining prospects being sought out these sensitive areas as well. We hiked that area last summer and the thought of any kind of mining makes my skin crawl.
I can only hope level heads will prevail when push comes to shove on these areas of God's Country. If we don't remember how lucky we are to have them, how are we going to pass them on to our children to enjoy.
Write your congress person. Visit these areas. Speak out. Educate. Protest. Protect.