Listening Point Foundation

2015 Calendar

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Your Guide to Ely, Canoe Country & the BWCAW – Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Ely, MNEly Resorts and Ely Outfitters for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness welcome you to Ely and to, your virtual gateway to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, the BWCAW. After 100 days of paddling, sailing and portaging from Ely on December 3rd, Amy and Dave Freeman completed their quest to deliver their petition canoe “Sig” to Washington D.C. You can see the complete article with pictures from their trip on the Friends of the Boundary Waters blog.  The photos are striking, with the contrast of a Boundary Waters Canoe against the backdrops of the Statue of Liberty and the Washington Monument.

Do you remember the Polar Vortex? We survivors of last winter’s heating bills certainly do. Luckily, if it comes true the weather prognosticators are saying we will have a milder winter this year. We would appreciate that, but I don’t think anyone is holding their breath on that one. As we all watch the ever changing weather patterns, you wonder what’s next. Deluge, drought, increasingly erratic weather patterns. I cannot imagine a better place to enjoy nature’s response to all this change than from the vantage point of Ely, Minnesota and the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. It has been and continues to be spectacular. Maybe that is one of the reasons so many interesting people retire here. Maybe that is one of the reasons for the increasing interest in Ely Tuesday Group and the Ely Field Naturalists. Just saying! Ely is a great place to be. Come join us.

I’m always writing about Nature photography in Ely, BWCA, and Lake Superior regions on It is something I admire from those who have mastered the art or profession. It seems natural that this region would be the home to so many excellent photographers. There aren’t many places left like Ely, with nature so invitingly “out your back door.” Besides the professional photographers we can see excellent nature photographs from people who call themselves amateurs but whose pictures are many times equal, or nearly so, to that of professional quality. For example we have visitors to our area who contribute to the Media Gallery. And, many of the Ely Field Naturalists are accomplished photographers documenting their explorations with beautiful photographs as Nature trophies. Nature’s photo trophies extend, at least to the photographer and his family and friends, that special sensory moment when the photographer captured the image. Our region offers great opportunities for nature photograhpy. Come give it a try. If you need some help or want to learn more, many Ely area photographers also teach the art and mechanics of photography. If you have a special interest, email us and we will get you connected with a photographer.

Although there is a lot of posturing politically about support for Copper Mining here, copper mining stock prices are down, big investors are pulling out and the number of jobs in this area for mining exploration has dropped significantly. The prospect certainly isn’t dead yet, but new and encouraging polls show that the mad dash to mine copper in this region is slowing and more people are NOT in favor of this type of mining in our water rich area than ever before. As one learns the facts it is a major leap of faith or blindness that would lead anyone to think copper sulfide mining would be a good idea here. 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.