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Looking back on 40 years of the BWCAW

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness
Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness

Monday marks a big day for Cook County and the nearby Boundary Waters. It was on this day 40 years ago that Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act passed Congress. That was on Oct. 15, 1978. It was signed into law almost a week later, when President Jimmy Carter signed off on Oct. 21.
 
Today, an estimated 150,000 people visit the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness each year. This unique natural area is widely appreciated, but for decades the Boundary Waters was the source of a contentious debate.
 
In the years before the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act passed in 1978, tensions decades in the making finally boiled over. In this archived edition of WTIP North Shore Community Radio’s historical series “History Speaks,” producer Ada Igoe presents the voices of the 1970s Boundary Waters Canoe Area debate in Cook County.
 
 

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