Ely Resorts and Ely Outfitters for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness welcome you to Ely and to ElyMinnesota.com, your virtual gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the BWCAW. Ely has survived, as have many Northland communities, one of the longest coldest winters on record. As the image shows, on March 3 we woke to -29 degrees. Certainly not the coldest day of the winter, but we don’t usually see these cold temperatures the first days of March. Since then we have had a few days above freezing so that some thawing is visible although somewhat hard to see with snow banks about town still measuring up to 4-6′ or 10 ft. plus where piled by plows. Back down to -6 degrees this morning March 12.
And yet, Ely Resorts, Outfitters, and downtown businesses are making their usual preparations for open water, canoeing, camping, fishing, nature photography, and other Northwoods and BWCA activities. Whether ice will be off the lakes in time for Fishing Opener is a BIG question. Some think we may still be fishing through the ice. The more optimistic amongst us claim we will be sipping margaritas (or your favorite beverage) by a sunny beach with absolutely no signs of winter on Opener. How would you bet?
We are all looking forward to seeing spring colors and the return of the song birds and loons. Some of the Ely Field Naturalists are beginning to see more signs of early bird arrivals while still reporting and photographing Great Gray Owls. The many sightings of one or more Canadian Lynx in Ely have not been reported for a few weeks, so maybe they have moved on. The pictures captured by Ely Field Naturalists and others of this large feline are beautiful and their presence here uncommon. One of them passed through our backyard and left an impressive set of prints on top of the hip deep snow (I know it was that deep because I was up to my hips in the snow while photographing those large prints that didn’t sink more than 1-2″ into the snow, that in itself was impressive).
For any one who follows our website and webcams of the Ely and Lakes area knows, ElyMinnesota.com has been involved for many years in helping to educate our visitors on the threat of Copper mining in the Lake Superior and Rainy River Watersheds. Tomorrow, March 13, 2014 is the last day to get your comments into the MN DNR about the Polymet SDEIS, Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement. It is important that the DNR hear from as many of us as possible on this controversial mining project. You may send your comments to Fay, Lisa (DNR); up till 4:30pm tomorrow, March 13, 2014
Visit the Threatened Waters Blog to learn the facts about the Copper Nickel mining proposed for our wetland and lakes areas. You will learn that despite the odds we are beginning to make progress against the amazingly deep pockets of the multinational mining interests who seem to have captured the fancy of Minnesota politicians and those, so far, only influenced by the up-side-potential for Copper mining. As people learn of the very significant and certain downside of this type of mining, especially in this great fresh water reservoir and watershed from Canada to Lake Superior–MINDS ARE A CHANGING! Over 50% polled recently are AGAINST Copper Nickel Sulfide Mining. Maybe there is HOPE for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and Lake Superior. We certainly hope so.