Mission: To protect, preserve and restore the wilderness character of the boundary waters canoe area wilderness and the quetico-superior ecosystem.
Programs: Public advocacy:- created multiple trustworthy media stories/reports supportive of our cause and positive in tone- provided a strong staff presence for conservation in northern minnesota building power and capacity. Engaged northern media to tell stories that include conservation perspectives. - developed a more effective, coordinated statewide effort focused on strategically opposing copper mining working as leaders of the mn environmental partnership cluster- expanded our network of authoritative voices opposing sulfide mining to include financial experts, northern business groups, tribal staff and political donors- constructed legal team in advance of any potential legal action on sulfide mining issues- advocated as lead environmental voice on the bwca school trust lands issue including coordinating with other groups and even mining proponents to move the usfs to secure a viable purchase option to fulfill long term conservation goals. Education:- acted as an active team member for st. Louis river corridor revitalization effort, member east range citizens advisory panel and western waterfront trail- sponsored the wild & scenic film festival in duluth and minneapolis. Promoted boundary waters issues to more than 300 people and many new audiences in the context of national conservation efforts shown on film. - friends staff presented in person to almost 1,500 people on sulfide mining, wilderness value and other topics in forums, classrooms, business groups and public events. Building wilderness advocates & stewards:- completed the first season of the conservation fellow partnership program that works with a cohort of racially diverse high school students each school year to introduce them to environmental advocacy and provide opportunities to grow their leadership skills, knowledge and engagement with the bwcaw, and inspire future environmental advocates and informed citizens. Friends also learns from the fellows by incorporating their diverse perspectives and experience in the conservation of the wilderness. - sponsored 65 urban youth for week long bwcaw canoe trips teaching environmental stewardship, wilderness values, and leadership skills in collaboration with ymca camp menogyn on the gunflint trail. - hosted four undergraduate and graduate interns who worked on detailed advocacy and outreach projects with the friends. - coordinated nearly 47 wilderness volunteers through the superior wilderness volunteer connection program, for a cumulative total of 333 days in the field maintaining half the campsites. The program is in partnership with the usfs and works to maintain and restore impacted campsites and shorelines within the wilderness, provide visitor education and study/remove non-native invasive species