Volunteer Group to Clear the BWCAW Powwow Trail This Spring
Minneapolis, MN. Minneapolis-based nonprofit Boundary Waters Advisory Committee (BWAC) plans to send ten crews to maintain the legacy Powwow Trail in May this year, the ten-year anniversary of the Pagami Creek Fire. This year BWAC recruited more than 55 volunteers for trips in May.
Recruiting during the COVID19 pandemic represented a challenge to BWAC as traditional avenues of recruitment (i.e., presentations at outdoor retailers or colleges) were not possible. The club retooled its recruitment strategy to increase its presence on social media and the change paid off. Although the pandemic shows signs of abatement, BWAC will still limit crews to six people rather than nine as in the past for spring trips. Susan Pollock, BWAC President, stated: “Joining a trail clearing crew is experiencing the magic of a wilderness trail in a special way, by being part of something bigger than yourself. BWAC is living its mission is to preserve and educate the public about historic trails in Minnesota’s BWCAW.”
At the end of the 2020 hiking season, a survey crew counted fewer than 500 treefalls. This is a is markedly lower number as compared to several years ago when thousands of treefalls blocked the trail, making it extremely challenging for even the most expert and fit hikers.
This year, the U.S. Forest Service has tentatively agreed to restore several fire-destroyed campsites so that backpackers have access to water and latrines when they camp. Last year a BWAC volunteer crew, with the help of the U.S. Forest Service, replaced a decaying 22 foot-long log bridge at Lake Diana creek with locally sourced tamarack logs. Because tamarack is naturally rot-resistant, the bridge is expected to last for several decades.
Backpackers should now have a much easier time both navigating and camping along the Powwow Trail. To assist, BWAC has a free on-line guide to the trail on the website:
BWAC is a non-professional non-profit founded in 2002. Its mission is to preserve the existing historic and intrinsically beautiful trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of the Superior National Forest. BWAC has chapters in the Twin Cities and in Duluth, Minnesota. BWAC volunteers work with the U.S. Forest Service under Volunteer Service Agreement.
For more information contact:
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