Just a few weeks ago, Dave and Amy Freeman launched their canoe from River Point Resort and Outfitting Company on the Kawishiwi River. They were joined by more than 80 supporters, half of whom joined them to paddle the first mile. While a trip to the Boundary Waters isn’t out of the ordinary for this Grand Marais couple, this time they are spending an entire year in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
The Freemans’ A Year in the Wilderness adventure is more than an environmentalist’s dream vacation though– it’s adventure advocacy. They hope their effort will help prevent the threat proposed sulfide-ore copper mining by Twin Metals and other companies poses to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and support the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters. The Campaign, and its many local and national partner organizations, aim to permanently protect the pristine waters, unspoiled forests and sustainable economy of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and its surrounding communities from these risks.
“We care deeply about this place and we will do everything within our power to ensure that it remains intact for the next generation,” said Amy Freeman. “This trip is about bearing witness to the very land and water we are all fighting to protect.”
During this expedition, the Freemans will camp at approximately 120 different sites and travel more than 3,000 miles by canoe, foot, ski, snowshoe and dog team.
Last year Dave and Amy, who were named National Geographic Adventurers of the year in 2014, completed their 2,000 mile and 101 day expedition, Paddle to DC, from Ely, Minnesota, to Washington, DC, to bring attention to the threat of these proposed mines.
“We made a commitment to protecting the Boundary Waters when we embarked on the Paddle to DC, but we know we still have a lot of work to do to protect the Boundary Waters watershed from sulfide-ore copper mining and we want to do what we can to finish the job,” said Amy Freeman.
During their first month in the wilderness, Dave and Amy have been met by several resupply missions, orchestrated by the Campaign’s Expedition Manager Levi Lexvold, and made possible by many willing supporters. These bi-weekly resupplies of food and gear will continue throughout the year by dogsled, ski, snowshoe and canoe.
“We love the wilderness and want to continue to enjoy it. We want to share this canoe country with people during every season,” said Dave Freeman.
Sulfide-ore copper mining has never been done safely and now it threatens this national treasure. This toxic mining practice would harm the clean water, healthy forest, and wildlife habitat in America’s most visited wilderness for generations to come.
The Boundary Waters needs the help of all wilderness warriors to ensure its protection and preservation so future generations can enjoy this national treasure. You can help in protecting this amazing wilderness by signing the Campaign to Save the Boundary Waters petition and you can follow Dave and Amy’s A Year in the Wilderness on our blog and by following #WildernessYear on social media.