Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.



Boundary Waters gains international quiet designation

The million-acre wilderness is only the second park to gain the status.

The Boundary Waters canoe Area Wilderness has received official "Wilderness Quiet Park" destination from the group Quiet Parks International.
Contributed / Jeff Anderson / Quiet Parks International

LOS ANGELES — With an official international dark sky area designation already awarded, Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness has now been named an official Wilderness Quiet Park thanks to its lack of human noise.

The award comes from the Los Angeles-based group Quiet Parks International. The BWCAW becomes only the second park — following Glacier National Park — to gain the quiet designation.

“The award recognizes the BWCAW's pristine soundscape and lack of man-made noise intrusions, a rare feat even in the United States' most remote Wilderness Areas,’’ the group said in a statement announcing the designation.

Voyageurs National Park could be next for dark sky certfication.

Volunteers collected and analyzed soundscape and noise pollution data in and around the BWCAW throughout 2021 and 2022. The findings were conclusive that the BWCAW met the criteria for a Wilderness Quiet Park Award.

The group said that, other than air traffic, the wilderness designation of the U.S. Forest Service-managed area — with no motors or mechanized equipment allowed — preserves its noise-free soundscapes crucial for healthy ecosystems and human enjoyment.


"The BWCAW has a dependable noise-free interval of 15 minutes or more, which is a remarkable achievement,’’ Matt Mikkelsen, executive director of Wilderness Quiet Parks, said in a statement. “We hope this award encourages other wilderness areas to prioritize natural quiet and inspires people to experience the beauty of the BWCAW soundscape. We would also like to express our gratitude to our partner, Save the Boundary Waters , for their work protecting this vast wild area from copper mining.”

About 150,000 people each year visit the million-acre BWCAW, mostly by canoe in summer or skis and snowshoes in winter. While motorboats, snowmobiles and other human noises can be heard inside the periphery of the wilderness, deep within the lake-studded area, most human noises fade away.

Send us your big fish photos by email to outdoors@duluthnews.com.
Money raised from ALS fishing tournament helped buy battery-operated fishing reels used by patients.
The EPA project has 300 swallow houses up around Duluth and Boulder Lake to study PFAS impacts.
Gov. Tim Walz signed legislation allowing two lines during open water season on Minnesota River downstream of the Granite Falls dam to Pool 2 in the Mississippi River.
Durham, 46, of Park Rapids, Minnesota, just wrapped up his 22nd year as a kindergarten teacher in his hometown of Nevis, Minnesota. This is his 32nd year of guiding.
Retired teacher Larry Weber, of Barnum, is the author of “Butterflies of the North Woods" and “Spiders of the North Woods," among other books. Reach him via Katie Rohman at krohman@duluthnews.com.
A typical tour will begin at 7 a.m., Laurin says, usually departing from a resort on the Northwest Angle mainland or from Flag or Oak islands; full- and half-day trips are available.
Walleyes are hitting jigs with minnows or worms on the St. Louis River Estuary, but try crankbaits, too.
Residents and nonresidents are invited to try something new outdoors.
Area off-roading parks are perfect for any thrillseeker looking to kick up some dirt and get muddy.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources report for the week of May 30, 2023.
Sunshine and light winds will make for a great first weekend of June.

John Myers reports on the outdoors, natural resources and the environment for the Duluth News Tribune. You can reach him at jmyers@duluthnews.com.
What To Read Next
Get Local