The Wilderness War: Ice Fishing the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
“If you weren’t born here, or if your grandparents weren’t born here, then you were—as we were called—‘packsackers,’ invaders from the outside changing things about what locals had grown to love and know and believe that Ely is. Every community changes, and Ely is certainly one of those places that’s changed a lot in the last 50 years. Mining in Ely went away in the ’60s. I think people still have great nostalgia for that era.”—Steve Piragis, owner of Piragis Northwoods Company and Save the Boundary Waters supporter
Tips and Tactics
From the Editors
Pristine backcountry and the promise of solitude lie within the BWCA, but its borders are home to historic mining communities, valuable mineral deposits, and a battleground for an old dispute: Who gets to benefit from the public’s natural resources?