Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

New BWCAW Collaborative holds Kick-off Meeting

In late March, the BWCAW Collaborative held a virtual introductory meeting and will host the first in-person meeting in late April.

Duluth, MN – April 10, 2024 – In 2023 the Superior National Forest (SNF) and the John S. McCain III National Center for Environmental Conflict Resolution (National Center), a program of the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation (Udall Foundation), conducted a Situational Assessment for the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW). The creation of the new BWCAW Collaborative (Collaborative) is the result of an Assessment Report published June 2023. The Collaborative is uniquely structured by diverse membership categories (based on BWCAW audiences), seating 2-3 representatives for each category. The virtual kick-off had 24 of the 31 members in attendance.

Seth Cohen, Facilitator from the National Center, began the meeting by reviewing the agenda, the purpose of the Collaborative, and how the National Center will support the Collaborative.

Tom Hall, Forest Supervisor from the SNF, welcomed the group, shared his excitement for the Collaborative and membership support for the effort, and expects the Collaborative to foster engagement with a broad range of constituents. "This is an opportunity for transparency and communication. As part of that, I am willing to discuss any topics in this public engagement context," said Hall, "I hope the Collaborative will be a paradigm shift for SNF engagement and a collective learning effort."

The group shared personal introductions and highlighted their interests and experiences in the BWCAW. Members then discussed the framework of the Collaborative, including member responsibilities and how information will be conveyed and shared.

Cathy Quinn, acting Wilderness Program Manager, highlighted during a presentation 1854 Treaty rights and how many canoe routes and present-day camp sites in the BWCAW were established by the Ojibwe people. She also shared BWCAW history, regulations and SNF Management context. Tom Hall also shared additional information about SNF's role in managing the BWCAW. He highlighted the SNF Land and Resource Management Plan and the Forest Resource Management Plan (Forest Plan).

Detailed notes from all meetings are available for public reference after they are finalized by Collaborative members. Meeting notes are posted to the Superior National Forest website, BWCAW Collaborative page.

For questions regarding this news release, please contact Joy VanDrie at joy.vandrie@usda.gov or Tom Hall at thomas.hall@usda.gov from the SNF.

If you have any questions about the Collaborative process, please contact Seth Cohen or Lauren Nutter from the National Center at bwcawcollaborative@udall.gov.

https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/superior/recreation/?cid=FSEPRD1150646

 

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