Boundary Waters Advisory Committee
"For the Volunteer in Each of Us."
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For updated calendar of trips, see trip schedule and details on Meetup site "Friends of BWCA Trails." .  If you have general questions about participating please see our Trips FAQ.
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December 2014  News

Books and Articles to read over the Holidays:
“Lost in the Wild: Danger and Survival in the North Woods” by Cary Griffith  
Two stories of survival in the Boundary Waters, one on the very Pow Wow Trail. I could not to put this book down until finishing it over the weekend.
“Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies and Why” by Laurence Gonzales
Read this book and you will understand the psyche of survivors as well as what behavior can turn a well intended trip into nightmare and how to avoid it.
“The Forest for the Trees: How Humans Shaped the North Woods” By Jeff Forester
Excellent history of the Boundary Waters, from the times of indigenous peoples managing forest through logging days to the present.
Article on line
“America in Decay – Sources of Dysfunction” by Francis Fukuyama (Article about the US Forest Service in Foreign Affairs magazine)
Whether you agree or not, it makes for a not-to-be-missed reading to better understand management of the US Forest Service, past and present.
Bill in Congress
H.R.4886 : National Forest System Trails Stewardship Act of 2014
Sponsor: Rep Lummis, Cynthia M. [WY] (introduced 6/18/2014)  
This bill is self explanatory, read it and learn more about Committee on Natural Resources in our Congress. 

Lynn Schwartz named Volunteer of the Year 2013 at the North Country Trail Association meeting in Duluth
Lynn Schwartz was named BWAC Volunteer of the Year for her many efforts on behalf of the BWA Committee.  Lynn is a BOD member and club secretary.  Her major contribution to BWAC mission was in writing the federal Recreational Trail Program worth $46,000 in BWAC volunteer contributions and $23,000 in grant money.  Congressman Rick Nolan acknowledged Lynn's contributions during his speech at the North Country Trail Association Hiking Event in Duluth on August 23.   As a token acknowledgement of Lynn's many hours to the cause of trails, Lynn received a Petzl headlamp and rechargeable batteries to go with it.  Thank you Lynn!

Partnership for the Pow Wow Trail - $5 Rebate
BWA Committee has initiated Partnership for the Pow Wow Trail with the Stony River Cafe at Isabella, Minnesota.  What is  the partnership about?   BWAC will pay $5 rebate to anyone (exceptions apply - see rebate rules in the Rebate Form) who order a meal worth $10 or more at the Stony River Cafe.  By doing so we hope the people will visit the area, eat at the restaurant and hike on the Pow Wow Trail.  While the rebate may not be significant, it is a symbol of our committment to a small family run business affected by the Pagami Creek Fire and to the Pow Wow Trail.  Please consider a trip to Isabella's Stony River Cafe and Pow Wow Trail this fall.

Pow Wow Trail Update 
USFS has not done any work on the Pow Wow Trail (to the best of our knowledge this year).  There is a reason to be concerned because Forest Service decides on whether to keep a trail open depending on use.  With more than 2,000 treefalls blocking the 32 mile trail.... the usage has dropped from almost 40 overnight permits per year to mere 3, leading to justification not to use any funds to clear the trail.  What is BWAC doing about it?  We have published a map of the Pow Wow Trail for distribution at the Midwest Mountaineering EXPO in November 2014.  The map was very enthusiastically received by the hiking community.  It lists mileages, number of treefalls and open (2) and closed (10) campsites.  The BWAC continues to lobby with the Forest Service to come up with an actionable plan to restore the Pow Wow Trail.  If you would like a copy of the map, send your name, address, email and phone number to

Until then "Enjoy the Hike!"

                                                - Martin Kubik, editor

 Photo gallery:

While the USFS officially reopened the Pow Wow in August 2012, what is still needed is a restoration plan for the Pow Wow Trail so that hikers can anticipate when they can safely enjoy the wilderness path as the land is healing.   This plan needs to include a vision for trail marking, timeline for clearing the trail, restoring the campsites, replacing the latrines and plan for funding trail clearing.   Brush will be growing profusely for tghe next 7-10 years until the canopy is re-established.  Good news:  BWAC survey crew that backpacked the Pow Wow Trail last Labor Day weeked spotted jackpine coming up along the trail.  It is hoped that Kurt Steele, the new district ranger at Tofte Ranger District will be open to developing goals, plan, and time line for restoration of Pow Wow Trail.  For photo essay of PWT and other trips see our website  For more information about the Coalition to Bring Back the Pow Wow Trail contact Martin Kubik at wtrails2atyahoodotcom.

Check out the BWAC Meetup site for list of upcoming events and trips.