Chat Rooms (1 Chatting)  |  Search  |   Login/Join
* For the benefit of the community, commercial posting is not allowed.
Boundary Waters Quetico Forum
   Listening Point - General Discussion
      Handicap Access to the BW     
 Forum Sponsor

Author

Text

Quacker1
distinguished member (138)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2018 01:57PM
Does anyone know if there are any accommodations for handicap access to the BW? How does someone with physical limitations access the paddle only areas if they are unable to paddle or row?

 
Thread Locked from Responses
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
07/08/2018 03:20PM
Your best bet is to find the entry points where there is no initial portaging such as Lake One. You would then need to find a campsite that fits your mobility limitations. I’d consult an outfitter to find out if they have any experience in the matter.
 
07/08/2018 05:17PM
You could also start the trip with a tow from Seagull Lake Outfitters, there is a lot of open water up that that would accommodate paddling straight to campsites.
 
lundojam
distinguished member(2417)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/08/2018 09:12PM
It could be done if a person had some good, able help. We sometimes call riding in the middle of the canoe being "Cleopatra'd." If a portage-free route was chosen, you rented an 18' canoe, and had willing, able, and expert trip-mates, it could be done Cleopatra-style.

Another option would be all of the above motorized. Call LaTourelle's. Also, there are probably organizations that help with this kind of thing. Anyone?
 
buzz17
distinguished member (274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/09/2018 06:56PM
I have a good friend who has done a number of trips from Kawishiwi lake to Malberg with his wife. She is a paraplegic. He fashioned a "harness" using an external frame removed from a backpack. His wife wore a climbing harness and they used carabiners to attach them. He portaged her. It was hard work and uncomfortable, but she was able to experience the BWCA. He told me today he would not do it again unless he could find a better way to carry her.

There are ways to accomplish anything. Hopefully innovations happen soon that would allow those with limitations the ability to experience the wilderness like we "normal" people do.
 
cyclones30
distinguished member(1765)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/09/2018 09:52PM
Speaking of Kawishiwi Lake, that's an entry where you can drop someone off right at the waters edge. Lots of sites on that lake and also can get to Square without any portages to fish and see a burn zone.
 
Quacker1
distinguished member (138)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/10/2018 10:02PM
I started this post but I am not handicapped. The responses are unfortunately what I expected. There is no access to the BW for anyone who has a handicap that would prohibit paddling unless someone takes them. We have the opportunity to experience God's country because we can manage a canoe and paddle. What about the guy or gal with only one arm? I'm not on a soap box but just maybe this is important to someone out there like a Vet.
 
heavylunch
distinguished member (104)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 07:13AM
There are multiple options depending on the type of situation you are talking about. If they just can't paddle but can walk they can ride in the middle (very common). There are plenty of entry points that allow motors on only a portion of the lakes like Basswood and Saganaga. These areas can actually paradoxically have a better wilderness experience on them than many of the "canoe only" entry points (fewer people and more wildlife). I believe some outfitters will even portage everything in for you and set up camp.

If the idea of motors bothers the person, there are also many entry points that have zero portages or do a backpacking/hiking based BWCA visit if the canoeing aspect is not doable. There are actually a large number of foot trails with campsites on the BWCA lakes. Lastly, things might be more agreeable to the person to do a winter visit to the BWCA, using a sled dog outfitter.

I think even though the BWCA is "rugged" by nature I think there is plenty of opportunity for anyone who would like to get a taste or even an extended feel for the area and its offerings.

 
tumblehome
distinguished member(1503)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 08:09AM
Quacker1: "I started this post but I am not handicapped. The responses are unfortunately what I expected. There is no access to the BW for anyone who has a handicap that would prohibit paddling unless someone takes them. "

How far must humanity go to accommodate everyone? Just 1% of Minnesota is the BWCA. 99% of it is not. I am a man but should I be able to feel like a woman and go into a women's bathroom? Some say yes. Some say I should be accommodated.

Should a person with a disability expect others to accommodate him/her to their liking? I sure hope not. How far a reach should the American's with Disabilities Act go to provide access? Pave the portages?

Frankly, I get pissed off whenever someone starts suggesting that everyone should be able to go everywhere. Physical, mental, sexual, all of that! When does it become unreasonable?
Tom
 
Canoearoo
distinguished member(2191)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 08:21AM
Quacker1: " What about the guy or gal with only one arm? "

My grandfather had one arm and it never stopped him from doing anything. He lost it at 16 in a farming accident but it never slowed him down.

There is a guy I follow from a backpacking forum. He climbs mountains in a wheelchair. There is also someone a few years ago on here that made adaptive seats for canoes. There were other posts years ago that talked about wheels be allowed for wheelchairs? I don't remember the details you will have to search.

You can not adapt the wilderness to disabilities, but the disabled can adapt to the wilderness.
 
Gadfly
distinguished member (356)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 08:42AM
Canoearoo: "Quacker1: " What about the guy or gal with only one arm? "
You can not adapt the wilderness to disabilities, but the disabled can adapt to the wilderness."

I really feel like Canoearoo hits the nail on the head here. There are also many places just outside of the BWCA where you can get a very similar experience, but the rules may be more accommodating to those with disabilities.

 
OCDave
distinguished member (424)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 08:43AM
Quacker1: "I started this post but I am not handicapped. ...

...I'm not on a soap box but just maybe this is important to someone out there like a Vet. "

Are you sure? Seems somewhat "soap boxy"

Star Tribune featured a news story last summer about adapted canoe paddle purchased by Piragis Outfitter to outfit a one-armed Iowa paddler. Sorry I can't find the article. Tried a cursory Google but came up empty. My Google is weak.

EDIT: This is a video featuring the paddle : Adapted paddle

The premise of the thread is a a bit rigged. There is no such thing as "Universally Accessible". Even in a paved and 100% artificial enviroment, there will always be individuals with disabilities more severe than that enviroment will accomodate.
 
flopnfolds
distinguished member (311)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 08:56AM
If people are concerned about their ability to travel in the wilderness, but would really like to explore the option of doing a trip, they could start with a google search.

One example is Wilderness Inquiry.

Wilderness Inquiry takes people of all abilities into the wilderness, have been for years and are good at what they do. If there is a will, there is a way.
 
07/11/2018 09:00AM
I had a friend that used one of these . We helped him in/out of canoe and he carried some gear with one arm. He wouldn't have wanted to change anything else.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12055)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/11/2018 09:05AM
This group has done a great job getting people in with handicaps.
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
07/11/2018 09:19AM
Creating Ability is a Minnesota company that manufactures adaptive paddling gear for canoes and kayaks. There is an entire population of disabled men, women and children utilizing their equipment and are able to enjoy the water because of the efforts of this company. And the owner, Kevin Carr, is as fine a guy as you'll ever find.

Hope this helps.

Kevin also owns Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories.
 
Gman42
member (24)member
 
07/11/2018 09:39AM
More information would be helpful. Are the limitations because of paddling or hiking? If a paddling only trip is what you're looking for, there are a few places where you could do a short trip or base camp trip with no portages such as the Saganaga Lake area. If you're looking to do a hiking only trip, there are hiking trails in the BWCA.
 
tumblehome
distinguished member(1503)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 12:09PM
You cannot adapt the wilderness to disabilities, but the disabled can adapt to the wilderness."
Thank you. You said what I didn't have words for.
 
nofish
distinguished member(2513)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 12:48PM
Quacker1: "I started this post but I am not handicapped. The responses are unfortunately what I expected. There is no access to the BW for anyone who has a handicap that would prohibit paddling unless someone takes them. We have the opportunity to experience God's country because we can manage a canoe and paddle. What about the guy or gal with only one arm? I'm not on a soap box but just maybe this is important to someone out there like a Vet. "

There are many ways to enjoy the BWCA even for those with a handicap. However, it seems like from this post you are specifically concerned with someone who can not paddle and that does not want to go with other people that can paddle for them. So I assume you are talking about someone wanting to go solo that doesn't have the ability to paddle a canoe for whatever reason.

That to me is not a BWCA issue that is a canoe issue. The issue would be present anywhere someone wants to put a canoe in the water be it the bwca, a local lake or pond, or the ymca swimming pool. You're not asking to make the BWCA accessible you are asking to make a canoe accessible. Not sure what the options are there but I suspect its dependent upon the individual and what lengths they are willing to go.

The easy solution for accessing the bwca if they are not able to paddle is to get on one of the many hiking trails and enjoy it on foot.
 
A1t2o
distinguished member(794)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/11/2018 02:43PM
Canoearoo: "You can not adapt the wilderness to disabilities, but the disabled can adapt to the wilderness."

This states it very well. The BWCA was set aside to remain as pure as we can manage. There are campsites so people don't camp anywhere they please. There are latrines so people don't crap everywhere. The fire grate is so you have a fire of limited size in only the one spot. Portages are so people aren't trampling their own trails all over the place. The changes people have made to the BWCA is to control or restrict human interference, not enable it.

You are going into the wilderness, and mother nature doesn't care who you are, what conditions you might have, or what is going on in your head. It just IS. It's pretty sad that people think at all that we need to make nature handicap accessible or something like that. Are we supposed to kill all the bears and wolves too? How about the moose? The can be very aggressive protecting their young. I'm allergic to bees, should we spray pesticides to kill all the bees too?

The wilderness isn't safe or accommodating and it will not bend to our will. That is why it is referred to as the BWCAW by the forestry service. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12055)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
07/11/2018 02:51PM
tumblehome: "You cannot adapt the wilderness to disabilities, but the disabled can adapt to the wilderness."
Thank you. You said what I didn't have words for."
Agree
 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
07/11/2018 06:48PM
Id suggest calling USFS in Duluth. Federal government agencies are especially senditive and udually prepared to assist people with disabilities.

Also, iirc, there is a fellow or program at Northland College who has focused on this. If one of the links above was to that, I apologize - I didnt try them all.

 
jwartman59
distinguished member(2990)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/12/2018 01:22AM
I’m not sure what are the intentions of this post. I am handicapped. I have good days and some not so much. People I trip with are aware of my issues. If I trip solo my dog is along and he is well trained. Some day very soon I will no longer be able to trip in the bwcaw. That’s life. I accept what life has given me. It’s my problem and no one owes me anything.
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2513)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
07/12/2018 04:57AM
I think you'd be a swell choice to assist your handicapped friend, acquaintance or relative, Quaker1.
Per your signature line, "Going into the deep woods is always an adventure, full of humor, drama and normally someone's blood, at least when you go with me!"
You didn't mention the handicap and I think it makes a difference in the manner it would be handled or discussed.

side comment: excellent words A1t2o!
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/14/2019 02:40PM
Reading the comments here reminds me of how I also would have said things equally as uninformed when I was full of youthful strength. I have to ask you to consider a different perspective

Someday - at least the lucky ones of us - will be lucky enough to live to be substantially disabled. The unlucky ones will fall to some early accident, disease or misfortune and not make it that far.

My wife and I have cherished our experiences in the BWCA for over 60 phenomenal years. A close family friend years ago had started a well-known pair of camps on the north shore of Burnside some years before.

We introduced our kids to the beauty and solitude of the BWCA 40 years ago. They became Voyageurs with canoe trips approaching 1000 miles their senior year summers.

Now it is time to introduce our pre-teen grandsons to the same joy. Unfortunately, we are in our mid-70's and my darling has two metal hips and 7 fused neckbones. Portaging or paddling a canoe is not an option.

It would be nice to use an electric trolling motor to access a campsite for a few days. This is not a special request, because almost all of you will get to this point eventually, hopefully. I hope you can continue to experience the sacreed beauty of the wilderness as long as you live.

Joel

 
MikeinMpls
distinguished member (425)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/15/2019 10:07AM
Jackfish: " Creating Ability is a Minnesota company that manufactures adaptive paddling gear for canoes and kayaks. There is an entire population of disabled men, women and children utilizing their equipment and are able to enjoy the water because of the efforts of this company. And the owner, Kevin Carr, is as fine a guy as you'll ever find.

Hope this helps.

Kevin also owns Chosen Valley Canoe Accessories. "


I second this! Kevin Carr is a fantastic man who has a passion for helping differently abled people enjoy the wilderness. He has engineered some truly inventive devices. He is humble and his work comes from his heart...

Mike
 
bwcadan
distinguished member(1321)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/16/2019 10:46PM
The answer to the question as to how someone can access the paddle only areas if they cannot paddle or row is quite simple. They do not do so unless they ride with other(s) who will paddle or row for them to these locations. Swimming for most is not an option, although BWJ did feature a swimmer who probably could do this. As I recall, that individual had a spotter or 2 for safety.
 
Michwall2
distinguished member(811)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/17/2019 09:51AM
joelgn:
It would be nice to use an electric trolling motor to access a campsite for a few days. This is not a special request, because almost all of you will get to this point eventually, hopefully. I hope you can continue to experience the sacreed beauty of the wilderness as long as you live.
"


Could you do this on Seagull Lake? My understanding is that you can use motors throughout the lake to the end of Three Mile Island. There are a lot of campsites in that area of Seagull. Saganaga Lake also allows motors to places with campsites.
 
andym
distinguished member(4442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/17/2019 10:13PM
There have been a lot of good responses to this request for how people have actually done trips to the BW with a variety of issues and for adaptive paddling equipment.

Joeign has a very specific trip in mind where neither the grandparents, due to increasing age and decreasing physical ability, or the children, because they are too young, are able to to paddle and portage sufficiently to have a trip.

That leaves trips on the motor EP lakes up to the point of the first portage. The problem with that is it might not be as quiet as a trip on a paddle only lake. Electric trolling motors are a lot quieter than gas outboards and so I can see the urge to use one on a paddle only lake.

But I wouldn't want to see them allowed for anyone on paddle only EPs. They can be a lot faster than paddling and could help people set up large basecamps and beat out paddlers. But perhaps they could be allowed for people who need them on a few EPs as a test. I can imagine a requirement for a special permit where you need to show a handicap parking permit when getting the permit and also have it with you in the BW and not be allowed to leave the EP lake. That would limit use of electric trolling motors to people with a legitimate need and give them people a chance at some peace and quiet.
 
10/17/2019 11:57PM
Omg...some of the responses are very helpful, some are ridiculous.

It is a wilderness designation...you enter if you are able, you go as far as your are able...end of story. I have empathy for those with disabilities but a wilderness is exempt from the ADA because the motorization and accommodations to allow it would essentially destroy it.

There are many opportunities outside the BWCAW or on the fringes of the BWCAW. Many mentioned above. Try Kabetogama, mostly undeveloped but fully motorized. It is beautiful in its own way. If ya go, you can see what the BWCAW would be if they made the accommodations you seem to be asking for...it is nice, but it isn’t a wilderness and isn’t the BWCAW.

Sometimes you just can’t have everything...

T
 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/18/2019 05:56AM
"wilderness is exempt from the ADA"

Is that a legal opinion? I think you'd lose in federal court.
 
MidwestFirecraft
distinguished member (280)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/18/2019 07:09AM
billconner: " "wilderness is exempt from the ADA"

Is that a legal opinion? I think you'd lose in federal court."

It is a legal opinion. The section of the ADA that does govern Federal agencies is Title V Section 12207 Federal wilderness areas, which pertains to Federal wilderness areas. This section reaffirms that the 1964 Wilderness Act doesn't prohibit the use of wheelchairs and also that agencies aren't required to change the character of wilderness areas in order to provide accessibility. It also defines the types of wheelchairs that can be used in federally designated wilderness. Facilities do not have to be constructed solely because a person with a disability might go to a wilderness area. However, if an agency decides to construct a facility, it must be accessible.

For instance, in some areas of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, pit toilets have been provided for environmental reasons. The design of these toilets has been modified so that they are accessible.
 
inspector13
distinguished member(3872)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/18/2019 07:21AM

Section 12207 of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990: “Congress reaffirms that nothing in the Wilderness Act (16 U.S.C. 1131 et seq.) is to be construed as prohibiting the use of a wheelchair in a wilderness area by an individual whose disability requires use of a wheelchair, and consistent with the Wilderness Act no agency is required to provide any form of special treatment or accommodation, or to construct any facilities or modify any conditions of lands within a wilderness area in order to facilitate such use.”

 
x2jmorris
distinguished member(896)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/18/2019 07:29AM
No, there is no handicap access to the BWCA. I also don't think there should be. Like another stated, there are many other areas to go where you could bring stuff and be just as isolated in the woods. And if you want to tackle the challenges of the BWCA as a handicapped person, then you can attempt that.
 
RTurner
senior member (84)senior membersenior member
 
10/18/2019 11:32AM
When the ADA goes too far
In 2000, when the AMC was renovating one of its huts in the NH's White Mountains, they were forced to spend and additional 50k to make it ADA compliant. This quote from the article demonstrates what happens when people fail to apply logic...Janet A. Zeller, who oversees the Forest Service plan on accessibility said, "When you get to a person-built facility, you're beyond what nature has put there... therefore it needs to meet a standard so that when you get to a structure you know what to expect"
The AMC installs water bars and in some places board walks and stone steps to help protect the trails. Technically speaking, that is beyond what nature put there... the entire trail system is beyond what nature put there. Does that mean the AMC needs to make the entire trail system ADA compliant? It's just foolishness.
I have a great deal of empathy for the handicapped. I used to love hiking the Whites, but never will again, and probably wont ever go to the BWCA again because of breathing issues due to surgery 7 years ago that went badly, but I don't expect any group to spend tens of thousands of dollars, and even worse change the character of these rugged and beautiful places just to make accommodations for me.
 
10/18/2019 12:27PM
billconner: " "wilderness is exempt from the ADA"

Is that a legal opinion? I think you'd lose in federal court."


I am 100% sure I wouldn’t lose in court...if you had to make a designated wilderness area ADA compliant then it is no longer a wilderness. That’s why there is no requirement. I know it is rare...but sometimes the government knows what they are doing :)

T
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/19/2019 10:12AM
I am no expert on wilderness areas. However I have been to several and have noticed no set rules. Church wilderness of no returns allows airplanes and a few jet boats. Just don't get caught with a bicycle or wheelbarrow.

In my opinion, the Church is one of the most wild places in the lower 48. Many allow horses. How many allow bikes? It seems they start out with rules the will pass with locals, then they start to remove allowed practices a little at a time. Some of my best memories of the B-dub were in the winter on snow machines. You could ride the B-dub and never see anyone all winter, if that was your goal.

The loss of 4 mile portage was the biggest door slammed in the face of our veterans and disabled.
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/19/2019 10:24AM
There is an article in this week's Ely Echo about veterans and the disabled in the BWCA.
 
RedLakePaddler
member (10)member
 
10/19/2019 11:11AM
One thing that might help is a disabled group posting on this site. As we travel and find sites with a good landing, clear camping site, and a good path to out box it could be posted. Suggestions about EP’s with easy portages could also be posted.
I asked the Forest Service about handicap sites and got the answer there were none.
My wife, Barbara, could walk but had very limited abilities. I would search out sites with easy access and few trip hazards.
We cannot take away all of the hazards or make the wilderness accessible to all but we can help them do as much as they can.
A friend in a wheelchair did a trip with Wilderness Inquiry and drug his wheelchair across one portage. That’s making the most he could out of life.
 
10/19/2019 01:11PM
If there is a will there is a way. But I believe it's up to the person with the limitation to figure it out how to overcome challenges. If I were disabled I sure wouldn't want to be treated differently.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/21/2019 07:11AM
all portages should be paved ramps
while they are at it they can improve access to mountains, I'd love to see the view from atop McKinley or whatever they are calling it these days
 
Jackfish
Moderator
 
10/21/2019 08:29AM
A Holiday Inn Express on Thomas or Alice would be nice.
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/21/2019 09:45AM
Jackfish I am with you. But I was think more along the lines of an Indian casino. With craps!!
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12055)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/21/2019 09:50AM
Wilderness Inquiry organization has worked with handicap people for decades and taken them to wilderness areas.
 
arctic
distinguished member(3678)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 09:10AM
Pinetree: "Wilderness Inquiry organization has worked with handicap people for decades and taken them to wilderness areas. "

Yes. They have been doing this world-wide for decades.
 
arctic
distinguished member(3678)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 09:11AM
Bushpilot: "I am no expert on wilderness areas. However I have been to several and have noticed no set rules. Church wilderness of no returns allows airplanes and a few jet boats. Just don't get caught with a bicycle or wheelbarrow.

In my opinion, the Church is one of the most wild places in the lower 48. Many allow horses. How many allow bikes? It seems they start out with rules the will pass with locals, then they start to remove allowed practices a little at a time. Some of my best memories of the B-dub were in the winter on snow machines. You could ride the B-dub and never see anyone all winter, if that was your goal.

The loss of 4 mile portage was the biggest door slammed in the face of our veterans and disabled."


Most veterans are not disabled.

Most areas eventually set aside as wilderness had some sort of prior use that is now generally considered incompatible with "wilderness" areas. Motorboats are still allowed on a few routes in the BWCAW, as well as a couple of motorized portages.

Many western areas still allow grazing, which can be highly destructive, but are phasing some of this out.

Most mechanical aids, such as bicycles are, thankfully, not allowed. There are literally hundreds of thousands of miles of old logging roads accessing wild, public lands where bikes can have free reign.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member (411)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 12:00PM
Bushpilot: " There is an article in this week's Ely Echo about veterans and the disabled in the BWCA."


That has to be one of the worst "articles" I have ever read. Posted to the front page under both "breaking news" and "opinion" (the two should be mutually exclusive), and attributed to my favorite journalist, "admin1." Solid journalism by the Ely Echo.
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 12:31PM
thegildedgopher: "Bushpilot: " There is an article in this week's Ely Echo about veterans and the disabled in the BWCA."



That has to be one of the worst "articles" I have ever read. Posted to the front page under both "breaking news" and "opinion" (the two should be mutually exclusive), and attributed to my favorite journalist, "admin1." Solid journalism by the Ely Echo.
"


I never said it was good. Maybe I should have pointed out it was an opinion letter to the editor, but I thought that's was clear with simple reading skills. As I feel I only have simple reading read skills ( my mind tends to wonder) I got it.

I respect all ideas to help veterans. As crazy as some might seem. I might come back with a better idea instead of belittling them. Yes I know it a tough crowd on this caneo forum. LOL
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 12:47PM
arctic: "Bushpilot: "I am no expert on wilderness areas. However I have been to several and have noticed no set rules. Church wilderness of no returns allows airplanes and a few jet boats. Just don't get caught with a bicycle or wheelbarrow.


In my opinion, the Church is one of the most wild places in the lower 48. Many allow horses. How many allow bikes? It seems they start out with rules the will pass with locals, then they start to remove allowed practices a little at a time. Some of my best memories of the B-dub were in the winter on snow machines. You could ride the B-dub and never see anyone all winter, if that was your goal.


The loss of 4 mile portage was the biggest door slammed in the face of our veterans and disabled."


Most veterans are not disabled.

Most areas eventually set aside as wilderness had some sort of prior use that is now generally considered incompatible with "wilderness" areas. Motorboats are still allowed on a few routes in the BWCAW, as well as a couple of motorized portages.


Many western areas still allow grazing, which can be highly destructive, but are phasing some of this out.


Most mechanical aids, such as bicycles are, thankfully, not allowed. There are literally hundreds of thousands of miles of old logging roads accessing wild, public lands where bikes can have free reign. "


Your right most veterans aren't disabled and we also have fewer veterans everyday. The only reason I brought up 4 mile portage was because of the veterans camp on Fall lake. Hundreds visit it every year. Many are disabled.
My Father a war Veteran, testified in front of congress to keep 4 mile portage open. The people of Ely sent him as he is " the flag man of the bwca". He walked up in front of congress and shared his thoughts. He is no longer able to walk because of a few strokes, yet he would give anything to get back in to the B-dub. But that will never happen again. He is not bitter about it, he still has his memories of hundreds of trip in to the bwca.

The Richard Bong Historical Center has started bring in disabled veterans also.

Many Thanks to all of you who have helped the Veterans out.... THANKS

LInk to Richard Bong program, it was posted on this forum earlier this year.
 
arctic
distinguished member(3678)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 01:06PM
Bushpilot,

My father and many of my friends and relatives are veterans. I stand with vets on pretty much every issue. I'm fairly certain that the viewpoints of vets regarding public lands, wilderness access, etc. are probably as varied as those of the general public.



 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 01:21PM
arctic: "Bushpilot,

My father and many of my friends and relatives are veterans. I stand with vets on pretty much every issue. I'm fairly certain that the viewpoints of vets regarding public lands, wilderness access, etc. are probably as varied as those of the general public."

Agreed. Today, 8% of our population are veterans, yet today less than 1/2% of our youth join the military. Most come from families with lower incomes. Also minority groups. I know Indians enlist at twice the rate of the population. Sad.
 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member (411)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/22/2019 01:38PM
Bushpilot: "I never said it was good. Maybe I should have pointed out it was an opinion letter to the editor, but I thought that's was clear with simple reading skills. As I feel I only have simple reading read skills ( my mind tends to wonder) I got it.

I respect all ideas to help veterans. As crazy as some might seem. I might come back with a better idea instead of belittling them. Yes I know it a tough crowd on this caneo forum. LOL"


Didn't mean to hold you accountable or anything, was not a personal attack. It just bugs me when editorial/opinion is couched as news, that's all.

arctic: "I'm fairly certain that the viewpoints of vets regarding public lands, wilderness access, etc. are probably as varied as those of the general public. "

I would agree with that whole-heartedly.



What all this boils down to is that I believe we have a responsibility to keep this place as wild as possible for future generations. Any compromise or exception that jeopardizes that is not worth it.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2019 08:05AM
this isn't the first time people with disabilities have been used to try to change BWCA rules and regulations, nor do I think it will be the last

the newest wrinkle is including vets



 
straighthairedcurly
distinguished member (320)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2019 10:31AM
Bushpilot: " There is an article in this week's Ely Echo about veterans and the disabled in the BWCA."

I found this opinion piece lacking in any meaningful data. They make it seem like the disabled are somehow prevented from getting day motor permits. But why would someone with a disability be any less likely to get a permit than someone without a disability? Just because the permits are all reserved quickly doesn't mean the system is unfair to the disabled. Am I missing something?

 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/23/2019 11:42AM
heavylunch: "I think even though the BWCA is "rugged" by nature I think there is plenty of opportunity for anyone who would like to get a taste or even an extended feel for the area and its offerings."

Very true. Thank you.

This thread has me thinking about the purpose of the BWCAW.

Should it be primarily a wilderness area OR a canoe area? Those two goals diverge when appreciation of the area is limited to paddle only, to exclude non-paddle canoe access.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/23/2019 11:52AM
 
Grandma L
distinguished member(5187)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/23/2019 01:51PM
joelgn: "heavylunch: "I think even though the BWCA is "rugged" by nature I think there is plenty of opportunity for anyone who would like to get a taste or even an extended feel for the area and its offerings."


Very true. Thank you.


This thread has me thinking about the purpose of the BWCAW.


Should it be primarily a wilderness area OR a canoe area? Those two goals diverge when appreciation of the area is limited to paddle only, to exclude non-paddle canoe access.
"

I am physically disabled and cannot paddle well or for long, or carry anything on portages. I go to the BWCA with the help of friends and family who take on extra work so I can keep going on these adventures. Without them, I would head over to Voyageurs National Park - just a little west of the BWCA, and use motors where travel would be much easier. I support the BWCAW staying wilderness canoe area. There are other areas to go with your motor. Lots of areas for motor.
 
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2030)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/23/2019 03:32PM
I'm disabled or handicapped, what ever you want to call it.
I have given up on the canoe. Now i fish the area lakes around Ely. Comes a point where you say i can't do that anymore. No big deal. I get along fine in my boat, and I'm still where i want to be. I would not want anyone to change things .
 
10/23/2019 04:49PM
joelgn: "heavylunch: "I think even though the BWCA is "rugged" by nature I think there is plenty of opportunity for anyone who would like to get a taste or even an extended feel for the area and its offerings."


Very true. Thank you.


This thread has me thinking about the purpose of the BWCAW.


Should it be primarily a wilderness area OR a canoe area? Those two goals diverge when appreciation of the area is limited to paddle only, to exclude non-paddle canoe access.
"




There are hiking opportunities and a few motor boat access points. Lots of other opportunities in the National Forest around it also.
 
mjmkjun
distinguished member(2513)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/24/2019 07:46AM
yogi59weedr, you have an upbeat attitude. I hope to have that same matter-of-fact practicality and resourcefulness when I'm less mobile than in years before.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/25/2019 12:12PM
Yes, nctry, that's probably our only option.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/25/2019 12:19PM
Perhaps one of the problems with this discussion is that the only example of a "motor" we have to discuss is a 10 HP LOUD stinking polluting 2-cycle. That's the minimum definition in the rules.

Boundarywatersblog.com suggests 3 mph is a typical paddle speed. So just for fun, I crunched a few numbers and got an interesting result: My Minnesota II canoe loaded to 600 lbs. only would require 0.3 HP to maintain that speed. That's about the size of a small Dremel tool.

Next: to figure out how to sound isolate it to 3 dB less than two Wiji teens humming "Paddling Madalline". It shouldn't be impossible. I live in Rhode Island and have a few submarine design friends to assist.




 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/25/2019 01:12PM
The national parks now allow motorized bikes (electrical assist?) and pretty sure you can use motorized chairs on trails anywhere. (Woe be it to the person or people that object.) So the idea is not bad, but only covers propulsion while afloat. It's the landings that seem more difficult, not to mention portages.
 
andym
distinguished member(4442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/26/2019 02:11AM
Joelgn: what would you define as reasonable access to the BW? There are motor lanes with campsites. What do you want added to that for you to have a satisfying trip?
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2019 11:18AM
Another letter to the editor. I couldn't get the link to work so I will copy and paste it below.

Don't shoot the messenger. I have no dog in this fight and it is not necessarily my opinion. I am only posting so others can see other peoples views. I wonder how many disabled people would use the bwca if it was made easier? Maybe the Indians could run guided trips for the disabled since they don't need permits. Or offer up some motor permits for the disabled. Another option for disabled would be to flying into Canada. Fewer people and much more remote.

Dear Forest Supervisor Cummings:
Three years ago the United States Forest Service initiated a study required under a settlement with Wilderness Watch and stopped issuing commercial permits on the Superior National Forest.
Consequently, the Forest Service recently held an open house in Ely at the Vermilion Community College to talk to the public about recreational commercial services provided on the Superior National Forest.
Attendees were asked to provide information about which types of recreational commercial services they use, where they use those services on the Forest, and which additional recreational services they believe the Forest Service should encourage and permit. Attendees were also encouraged to provide the Forest Service with written and oral comments.
At the aforementioned open-house, I had the opportunity to talk to District Ranger Gus Smith about a particularly vexing problem I and many others have in obtaining day motorized boat permits authorizing one to fish Basswood Lake using the Moose Lake entry point, utilizing LaTourell’s boat lift from Moose Lake into Basswood Lake. Day motorized permits are made available on-line.
Yet, as the Forest Service knows, the 2019 quotas were immediately filled within hours after the permitting process began. Since there were no day motorized permits available in 2019, there was no way for us and many other disabled persons including military veterans to gain access to the BWCAW.
The US Forest Service is not in compliance with Public Law 95-495
Public Law 95-495 was adopted on October 21, 1978 under the 95th Congress and established the BWCAW. Section 18 (d) speaks to “Programs for disabled persons.”
Section 18 (d) The Secretary in cooperation with the State of Minnesota and other appropriate groups, consistent with the purposes of this Act, is authorized and directed to develop a program providing opportunities for a wide range of outdoor experiences for disabled persons.
Section 18 (e) There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the Secretary to carry out the purposes of this section.
The Kawishiwi District Office in Ely is aware that day motorized boat permits are not available for more than a few hours after on-line reserving of permits begins on the designated day in January of each year. Yet the District Office has little or nothing to say about the matter since management decisions are made by Forest Service officials in Duluth, Milwaukee or maybe even in Washington.
When I pointed out to Gus Smith that the Forest Service is not in compliance with Public Law 95-495 in respect to Sec. 18 and the “expansion of recreation programs for disabled persons,” he suggested that perhaps a number of day motorized boat permits could be reserved for disabled persons including disabled military veterans.
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (ADAAA), the term disability means, with respect to an individual, (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.
Establishing a special group permit reservation program would go a long way to ensure that disabled veterans and other disabled persons will not continue to be denied access to the BWCAW and bring the Forest Service into compliance with the Act.
Reserving permits for special groups by the Federal Government is not without precedent. The Fond du Lac, Grand Portage and Bois Forte Bands of Ojibway are not required to obtain permits to access the BWCAW pursuant to the Treaty of 1854.
For the foregoing reasons, we ask that you establish a program whereby a number of permits are reserved each day for disabled persons including disabled veterans and their care-givers. Given that permitting for the 2020 calendar year won’t begin until January 2020, it would seem that such a “program” could be established by that time.
Gerald M. Tyler,

 
LindenTree
distinguished member(2156)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2019 11:48AM
Bushpilot: " I have no dog in this fight

"


Funny, spoken from a man who was raised by wolves :-)
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/26/2019 12:12PM
andym: "Joelgn: what would you define as reasonable access to the BW? There are motor lanes with campsites. What do you want to be added to that for you to have a satisfying trip? "

andym,
you ask an excellent and constructively provocative question. I thank you for that. The oversimple answer is I'm fine, motor access to a few of the sites on NW Saganaga will make me reasonably happy. I'll possibly just arrange for an outfitter to give us a tow. That would be cheap and very easy. Since we reactivated this thread, I have called a few outfitters and have a good idea of how that might work.

I'm trying to define for myself why that reasonable solution is oversimple.

Shortly after I was born, in the summer of 1948, I was caught up in a large national epidemic of poliovirus. A few of us had that simple enteric infection go systemic and our own immune systems destroyed many of our spinal motor nerves in combatting the infection. I was left with spinal lesions that prevented me from activating muscles below my left knee.

I was very lucky not to be in a wheelchair for life. Like many polio victims, I was able to have a normal and happy life through physical therapy, multiple surgeries, and exercise. Not a victim, a survivor.

Since 1948, I have been on a very long, satisfying trip - the hallmark of which is self-reliance. Us polio folks are more than a little bit weird about self-reliance. On good days I may hang the blue tag on my mirror, then walk to the mall from the most distant spot.

One of our proudest moments was portaging a DuNord Grumman from Burntside to Crab and Cummings through ~420 rods of voracious black flies and swamp. We don't need any condescending wisecracks about special ramps or accommodation for sexual preference - you know who you are.

We don't want to change the wilderness. We pack out everyone else's trash. Even that left by athletic 20-somethings. Campsites are left pristine.

So what's satisfying? That would be for me to get us back to Cummings or Saganagons under our own physical power and cleverness. With NO extra assistance, accommodation or attention from other campers. No noise. And with fairness to other campers - in terms of speed on the water and little danger to ourselves. (but maybe with the help of an ultra-light canoe, tailwind, low rpm prop, thoroughly silenced* brushless marine motor and lithium battery pack.)

Making the most out of life that we can, while we still can - that's our crazy dream too. Clearly the politics prevent it.

Joel

* <40 dBA @ 30m (a typical quiet office or library background level)
 
arctic
distinguished member(3678)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/26/2019 02:37PM
billconner: "The national parks now allow motorized bikes (electrical assist?) and pretty sure you can use motorized chairs on trails anywhere. (Woe be it to the person or people that object.) So the idea is not bad, but only covers propulsion while afloat. It's the landings that seem more difficult, not to mention portages."

Unless designated as such, national park lands are not designated wilderness areas.
 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/26/2019 03:08PM
arctic: "billconner: "The national parks now allow motorized bikes (electrical assist?) and pretty sure you can use motorized chairs on trails anywhere. (Woe be it to the person or people that object.) So the idea is not bad, but only covers propulsion while afloat. It's the landings that seem more difficult, not to mention portages."


Unless designated as such, national park lands are not designated wilderness areas."


I know that - but there are areas in national parks that don't allow other motorized stuff, a close analogy. And how many parties are there that would actually use this in a given year? 10? 20? and How many of those are going to get more than one portage away from an entry point lake? The weekenders that come in with kegs and boom boxes are much more distracting than a 1 hp trolling motor on a canoe.
 
10/26/2019 04:00PM
Bushpilot: " Another letter to the editor. I couldn't get the link to work so I will copy and paste it below.


Don't shoot the messenger. I have no dog in this fight and it is not necessarily my opinion. I am only posting so others can see other peoples views. I wonder how many disabled people would use the bwca if it was made easier? Maybe the Indians could run guided trips for the disabled since they don't need permits. Or offer up some motor permits for the disabled. Another option for disabled would be to flying into Canada. Fewer people and much more remote.


Dear Forest Supervisor Cummings:
Three years ago the United States Forest Service initiated a study required under a settlement with Wilderness Watch and stopped issuing commercial permits on the Superior National Forest.
Consequently, the Forest Service recently held an open house in Ely at the Vermilion Community College to talk to the public about recreational commercial services provided on the Superior National Forest.
Attendees were asked to provide information about which types of recreational commercial services they use, where they use those services on the Forest, and which additional recreational services they believe the Forest Service should encourage and permit. Attendees were also encouraged to provide the Forest Service with written and oral comments.
At the aforementioned open-house, I had the opportunity to talk to District Ranger Gus Smith about a particularly vexing problem I and many others have in obtaining day motorized boat permits authorizing one to fish Basswood Lake using the Moose Lake entry point, utilizing LaTourell’s boat lift from Moose Lake into Basswood Lake. Day motorized permits are made available on-line.
Yet, as the Forest Service knows, the 2019 quotas were immediately filled within hours after the permitting process began. Since there were no day motorized permits available in 2019, there was no way for us and many other disabled persons including military veterans to gain access to the BWCAW.
The US Forest Service is not in compliance with Public Law 95-495
Public Law 95-495 was adopted on October 21, 1978 under the 95th Congress and established the BWCAW. Section 18 (d) speaks to “Programs for disabled persons.”
Section 18 (d) The Secretary in cooperation with the State of Minnesota and other appropriate groups, consistent with the purposes of this Act, is authorized and directed to develop a program providing opportunities for a wide range of outdoor experiences for disabled persons.
Section 18 (e) There are authorized to be appropriated such sums as may be necessary for the Secretary to carry out the purposes of this section.
The Kawishiwi District Office in Ely is aware that day motorized boat permits are not available for more than a few hours after on-line reserving of permits begins on the designated day in January of each year. Yet the District Office has little or nothing to say about the matter since management decisions are made by Forest Service officials in Duluth, Milwaukee or maybe even in Washington.
When I pointed out to Gus Smith that the Forest Service is not in compliance with Public Law 95-495 in respect to Sec. 18 and the “expansion of recreation programs for disabled persons,” he suggested that perhaps a number of day motorized boat permits could be reserved for disabled persons including disabled military veterans.
Pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act, as Amended (ADAAA), the term disability means, with respect to an individual, (A) a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities of such; (B) a record of such an impairment; or (C) being regarded as having such an impairment.
Establishing a special group permit reservation program would go a long way to ensure that disabled veterans and other disabled persons will not continue to be denied access to the BWCAW and bring the Forest Service into compliance with the Act.
Reserving permits for special groups by the Federal Government is not without precedent. The Fond du Lac, Grand Portage and Bois Forte Bands of Ojibway are not required to obtain permits to access the BWCAW pursuant to the Treaty of 1854.
For the foregoing reasons, we ask that you establish a program whereby a number of permits are reserved each day for disabled persons including disabled veterans and their care-givers. Given that permitting for the 2020 calendar year won’t begin until January 2020, it would seem that such a “program” could be established by that time.
Gerald M. Tyler,

"


If the writer of this editorial is lawyer...I wouldn’t let them represent me in traffic court...The ADA doesn’t apply to the BWCAW, section 18 (d) doesn’t have any legal requirements for the government to provide any access. A lot of legal words to try to scare people but no substance.

T
 
andym
distinguished member(4442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/26/2019 08:56PM
Joel, thank you for your answer and you are clearly a truly tough person who values the wilderness. I’m glad you could be reasonably happy with what currently exists. And I could see limited use of electric propulsion for people who need it. They are quiet and don’t leave a permanent mark on the wilderness. But I suspect that it may be a tough road to get approval for that.

Andy

 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2019 08:49AM
andym: "Joel, thank you for your answer and you are clearly a truly tough person who values the wilderness. I’m glad you could be reasonably happy with what currently exists. And I could see limited use of electric propulsion for people who need it. They are quiet and don’t leave a permanent mark on the wilderness. But I suspect that it may be a tough road to get approval for that.


Andy


"


I agree, if an electric motor would help someone I am okay with that. I would also be okay with a tow.

There are some other nice option for a wilderness experience for those that need a little extra help. Ontario fly in camps. Most have docks that a float plane could bring you into. Also so the Frank Wilderness of No Return in Idaho 2.5 million acers, the largest wilderness on the lower 48. You could fly in and horse back ride or rafting. They also let a few jets boats in. Both areas are more wild than the B-dub and more friendly towards those less fortunate physically.
 
arctic
distinguished member(3678)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2019 10:06AM
I wonder if portaging an electric motor and the battery required to run it is any easier than paddling. I don't know.

I would argue that compared with nearly every other wilderness area in the USA (and I have travelled in many of them), the BWCAW has WAY more handicapped access.

These include:

--Motorized access from Crane Lake to Lac La Croix
--Motorized access to nearly all of Saganaga and a big chunk of Seagull Lakes
--Motorized access up the Moose Chain and Fall/Newton Lakes to Basswood Lake
--Most of the US waters of Basswood Lake




 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12055)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/27/2019 10:42AM
arctic: "I wonder if portaging an electric motor and the battery required to run it is any easier than paddling. I don't know.


I would argue that compared with nearly every other wilderness area in the USA (and I have travelled in many of them), the BWCAW has WAY more handicapped access.


These include:


--Motorized access from Crane Lake to Lac La Croix
--Motorized access to nearly all of Saganaga and a big chunk of Seagull Lakes
--Motorized access up the Moose Chain and Fall/Newton Lakes to Basswood Lake
--Most of the US waters of Basswood Lake





"
Agree
 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/27/2019 11:11AM
arctic: "I wonder if portaging an electric motor and the battery required to run it is any easier than paddling. I don't know.

"


If you had lost one arm or the use of it, I think it would be.
 
Bushpilot
distinguished member(691)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/27/2019 11:42AM
billconner: "arctic: "I wonder if portaging an electric motor and the battery required to run it is any easier than paddling. I don't know.


"



If you had lost one arm or the use of it, I think it would be."


Portage wheels and a couple of friends.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/27/2019 10:01PM
arctic: "I wonder if portaging an electric motor and the battery required to run it is any easier than paddling. I don't know.


I would argue that compared with nearly every other wilderness area in the USA (and I have travelled in many of them), the BWCAW has WAY more handicapped access.

"


Portaging will soon be getting a lot easier. In Europe already Lithium batteries are replacing the old lead-acid type batteries for cars and golf carts. 3x the power and half the weight.

 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/27/2019 10:05PM
andym: "Joel, thank you for your answer and you are clearly a truly tough person who values the wilderness. I’m glad you could be reasonably happy with what currently exists. And I could see limited use of electric propulsion for people who need it. They are quiet and don’t leave a permanent mark on the wilderness. But I suspect that it may be a tough road to get approval for that.


Andy


"


Well thank you!

Actually I believe the existing trolling electrics are too powerful and a bit too noisy for the wilderness. I'd prefer a model that had better sound insulation and a 3 mph top speed.
 
jhb8426
distinguished member(877)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/28/2019 12:33AM
Frankly, not everyone can expect to go everywhere or do everything. I accept that in time I will be able to do less and less. I already limit my bwca trips to places like sawbill where I don't have to portage. In fact the last couple of years I camp at the FS campground there. It's still good. Carrying the notion of access to the extreme, let's consider driving. Should ADA go so far as to let anyone who can get behind the wheel of a car by whatever means be allowed to drive? No disrespect intended...
 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/28/2019 06:21AM
Big difference between building roads and allowing someone to use a small electric motor. And I'm sure very few. Not everyone, just those few who want to try.



 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/28/2019 06:51AM
jhb8426: "Frankly, not everyone can expect to go everywhere or do everything. I accept that in time I will be able to do less and less. I already limit my bwca trips to places like sawbill where I don't have to portage. In fact the last couple of years I camp at the FS campground there. It's still good. Carrying the notion of access to the extreme, let's consider driving. Should ADA go so far as to let anyone who can get behind the wheel of a car by whatever means be allowed to drive? No disrespect intended..."

what about people in a coma, shouldn't they be able to enjoy it too?
I guess these people are already allowed to drive, or at least that is my assumption based on observation
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/28/2019 09:52AM
jhb8426: "Frankly, not everyone can expect to go everywhere or do everything. I accept that in time I will be able to do less and less. I already limit my bwca trips to places like sawbill where I don't have to portage. In fact the last couple of years I camp at the FS campground there. It's still good. Carrying the notion of access to the extreme, let's consider driving. Should ADA go so far as to let anyone who can get behind the wheel of a car by whatever means be allowed to drive? No disrespect intended..."

Hmmm. Is "carrying a notion to the extreme" and then arguing against it fair? Isn't that exactly the so-called "straw man" rhetorical tactic?

Handicapped people do drive cars - with certain limitations - They ARE allowed on highways.

I believe in:
1. Protecting the wilderness from modern human destruction (petroglyphs are okay)
2. Providing enough isolation for those who want to listen to their own hearts.
3. Within those constraints, minimizing arbitrary restrictions on access.

Everyone, everywhere, everything??? Can we please focus on practical solutions for real situations?
 
Gadfly
distinguished member (356)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/28/2019 11:52AM
How do we determine who truly has a disability and who gets to use the motors? What if someone is severely overweight and needs a larger motor to get themselves around? And do we now need to make sure each and every inch of portage in the BWCA can handle portage wheels?
As with other entitlements in this country this would become abused and plenty of well abled people would be zipping around with their motors.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12055)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/28/2019 01:03PM
Gadfly: "How do we determine who truly has a disability and who gets to use the motors? What if someone is severely overweight and needs a larger motor to get themselves around? And do we now need to make sure each and every inch of portage in the BWCA can handle portage wheels?
As with other entitlements in this country this would become abused and plenty of well abled people would be zipping around with their motors.
"


We had a area where a Mn. State forestry road was blocked of and nonmotorized for hunting etc.. They gave a handicap permit for a handicapped person and he took his motorized ATV in for hunting. The bad part-his crew of 5 or so would jump on a trailer he pulled and would ride it in hauling all of their equipment in also. Also if other members shot a deer,beside him they would throw it on the trailer also. There was plenty of motorized trails not that far away and also a area that was blocked off when trail was first made. It was never a motorized trail. It did displace other walk in hunters. The Wildlife was going to pull his permit and also the one who issued the permit in the first place really didn't have the authority to do it,but they let it ride.
Yes a few will always take advantage of a rule and abuse it,also you can't have all areas the same for all people.
Leave it like it is at present. I noticed over the years the ones who want to open it up are ones who are not handicapped usually. They are using it as leverage.
I much rather leaving it as it is,knowing my day will come soon and it will get harder. So be it.
 
andym
distinguished member(4442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/28/2019 02:23PM
I saw some people trolling on a lake in Japan this summer and their motors were really quiet. But I think you are right that the motors are overpowered for canoes given that they are designed for fishing boats.
 
billconner
distinguished member(7008)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/28/2019 06:03PM
For some, a pedal powered boat would help.
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/29/2019 07:18AM
joelgn:

I believe in:
1. Protecting the wilderness from modern human destruction (petroglyphs are okay)
2. Providing enough isolation for those who want to listen to their own hearts.
3. Within those constraints, minimizing arbitrary restrictions on access.


Everyone, everywhere, everything??? Can we please focus on practical solutions for real situations?
"


with all the problems in the world, THIS is where you are putting your energy??
we are all handicapped to an extent, you cannot make a level playing field for everyone though I don't doubt you believe utopia is possible
I have Prosopagnosia, will you and everyone else in the world please put a name tag on and wear it all times so I, and others with this handicap, can lead a normal life?

your last point, eliminating arbitrary restrictions would only make it MORE arbitrary, the restrictions aren't arbitrary, they are concrete

really, we are all different, that's the way its always been, that's the way it will always be
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 09:26AM
Gadfly: "How do we determine who truly has a disability and who gets to use the motors? What if someone is severely overweight and needs a larger motor to get themselves around? And do we now need to make sure each and every inch of portage in the BWCA can handle portage wheels?
As with other entitlements in this country this would become abused and plenty of well abled people would be zipping around with their motors.
"


Straw man score: 1 "every inch of every portage"

This site seems to have a lot of self-serving and self-appointed judges of what is fair (but only for themselves). Gadfly, I honestly can't see you repeating these exaggerations 40 years from now. Our limitations lead us to be more balanced. I used to proud to hoist a wood/canvas waterlogged Old Town. Good for me, I guess.

Excuse me but I now see the present privileged use of the BWCA with all kinds of electronic and technical assistance as the real entitlement.

Maybe we need to ban all canoes made with lighter materials than Sig Olsens White Guide? Then REAL canoers can have it all to themselves (finally!!)_. Or should we allow just enough tech to support you - and no one else?

My suggestions are meant to maintain your access to the BWCA for your last 20 or so years. Time flies.

 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 09:58AM
ZaraSp00k: "joelgn:


I believe in:
1. Protecting the wilderness from modern human destruction (petroglyphs are okay)
2. Providing enough isolation for those who want to listen to their own hearts.
3. Within those constraints, minimizing arbitrary restrictions on access.



Everyone, everywhere, everything??? Can we please focus on practical solutions for real situations?
"



with all the problems in the world, THIS is where you are putting your energy??
we are all handicapped to an extent, you cannot make a level playing field for everyone though I don't doubt you believe utopia is possible
I have Prosopagnosia, will you and everyone else in the world please put a name tag on and wear it all times so I, and others with this handicap, can lead a normal life?

your last point, eliminating arbitrary restrictions would only make it MORE arbitrary, the restrictions aren't arbitrary, they are concrete

really, we are all different, that's the way its always been, that's the way it will always be"


So you DO approve of Straw Man arguments, then? Utopia? Wear a name tag?
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 10:04AM
Pinetree: "Gadfly: "How do we determine who truly has a disability and who gets to use the motors? What if someone is severely overweight and needs a larger motor to get themselves around? And do we now need to make sure each and every inch of portage in the BWCA can handle portage wheels?
As with other entitlements in this country this would become abused and plenty of well abled people would be zipping around with their motors.
"



We had a area where a Mn. State forestry road was blocked of and nonmotorized for hunting etc.. They gave a handicap permit for a handicapped person and he took his motorized ATV in for hunting. The bad part-his crew of 5 or so would jump on a trailer he pulled and would ride it in hauling all of their equipment in also. Also if other members shot a deer,beside him they would throw it on the trailer also. There was plenty of motorized trails not that far away and also a area that was blocked off when trail was first made. It was never a motorized trail. It did displace other walk in hunters. The Wildlife was going to pull his permit and also the one who issued the permit in the first place really didn't have the authority to do it,but they let it ride.
Yes a few will always take advantage of a rule and abuse it,also you can't have all areas the same for all people.
Leave it like it is at present. I noticed over the years the ones who want to open it up are ones who are not handicapped usually. They are using it as leverage.
I much rather leaving it as it is,knowing my day will come soon and it will get harder. So be it.
"


Interesting comment, Pinetree. It shows what can happen when waaay overpowered machines are permitted. Bad idea for sure.

As this thread has progressed I have refined what kind of things I might like to see allowed for powering a single canoe - and what the standard for acceptance might be. Keep in mind this is a first speculative effort to (hopefully) put some meat on the bones of the discussion.

1. A personal power assist with no greater HP than that of a single average human, say 0.15 HP (about 1/10 the power of a current MinnKota)
2. If both canoe operators are handicapped, the option for a second motor, with a total limit per vessel of 0.3 HP. This would power a typical canoe to no more than an average canoe speed of 3 mph.
3. Carry a current blue parking permit and identification as evidence of physical limitation.
4. Limit of noise created to < ~45 dBA (a quiet library) at 30 m, with no single octave greater than 3 dB over average (so a low Shhhh, not a whine) certified by the manufacturer. Accomplished by good motor balancing and low rpm high pitch multiblade prop.

Thanks for your post, my example is as practical as a battery-operated drill using brushless motors, lithium batteries, and modern design. It is intended to be very different than your example and be less disruptive than many paddlers are now. Your comment?
 
Chieflonewatie
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 11:04AM
I would hope it would be more rigorous process then getting a handicapped card for your vehicle. Anyone can get that for any reason.
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(1961)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/29/2019 11:41AM
I'm sorry for the physical challenges that make it difficult to access the B-dub. I understand that "wilderness" is a subjective legislative designation and is therefore subject to modification based on political pressure and whim. From a philosophical standpoint the nature of "wild" is that we make accommodations to access the wild- to ask that the "wild" make accommodations so you can access it is bass-ackwards.
 
Gadfly
distinguished member (356)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/29/2019 11:57AM


My suggestions are meant to maintain your access to the BWCA for your last 20 or so years. Time flies.

"


Access Granted!
 
andym
distinguished member(4442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/29/2019 01:05PM
Joel, there's always this powered paddle that was designed in Ely. One of my friends has one of the prototypes shown in this video and I can promise you that it is way, way, way under 0.15 hp.

On a serious note, a problem with designing a new motor for this use will be the size of the market. They might need to be built as one-off customs.
 
10/29/2019 01:20PM
Banksiana: "I'm sorry for the physical challenges that make it difficult to access the B-dub. I understand that "wilderness" is a subjective legislative designation and is therefore subject to modification based on political pressure and whim. From a philosophical standpoint the nature of "wild" is that we make accommodations to access the wild- to ask that the "wild" make accommodations so you can access it is bass-ackwards."

I agree with this philosophy.

And, for all intents and purposes, as far as canoe-tripping is concerned, I am now disabled.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 05:29PM
andym: "Joel, there's always this powered paddle that was designed in Ely. One of my friends has one of the prototypes shown in this video and I can promise you that it is way, way, way under 0.15 hp.

On a serious note, a problem with designing a new motor for this use will be the size of the market. They might need to be built as one-off customs."


andym: Thanks for a good laugh. I needed it; I would hate to take this all too seriously.

I'm thinking of building a prototype and for that will probably use an Asian sourced off the shelf marine motor (sealed with fittings for water cooling) with 3D printed housing, just to minimize upfront costs. They are made for larger underwater models and research submersibles. For a controller, there are craploads of dirt-cheap circuits made for the hobby drone market. The design challenge will be sound isolation.

Banksi, the above describes my accommodation to access the wild. I ask nothing of the wild.

My apologies to all if this post is deemed off-topic re: the OP.

jdg
 
andym
distinguished member(4442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/29/2019 06:10PM
That sounds like a very creative use of parts, Joel. Even if limited to use outside the BW or on motor lakes or elsewhere, a very quiet canoe motor will give you the ability to enjoy quieter times on the water.
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(1961)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/29/2019 06:38PM
It's not just about sound.

What in the description "paddle only" implies that a motor is acceptable if it is quiet? The philosophy that defines the BWCAW "wilderness" is that you must enter it via human power. Even simple mechanical devices (bicycles, rigged sails, pedal boats, at some point rowing rigs) are not acceptable. If you want to use a motor (2-stroke, four stroke, electric) head to a "motor" lake. If you want to travel a paddle only lake and are incapable of paddling than arrange to have someone else paddle. Perhaps you're being deliberately obtuse. If the legislated definition of the "wild" area includes "no motors" any feat of motor engineering still fails the "no motors" criteria. If the legal definition of "wild" is no motors asking that your new improved motor be allowed is asking the "wild" to make accommodation. No way around it.
 
lundojam
distinguished member(2417)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/29/2019 07:43PM
I agree with the above idea that paddle only means paddle only. Personally, however, if a one-armed person minn-kota'd by my campsite in the bwca I'd invite them in for a plastic cup of boxed wine. (spirit of the law v. letter of the law)
That said, I've enjoyed countless quiet hours floating around on lakes and rivers all throughout Minnesota without special regulations to protect my solitude. Sometimes with a motor, sometimes not. My advice would be recruit a couple good friends and take a river trip on the Upper Mississippi or Namekagon or St. Croix or Snake or Kettle Rivers. Scenery, fishing, current to push you along, and in many cases as much of a wilderness as the oft-logged-over BWCA.
Latourelle's on Moose Lake offers guided motor trips into basswood that would seem to be very accessible.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 09:32PM
Banksiana: "It's not just about sound.


What in the description "paddle only" implies that a motor is acceptable if it is quiet? The philosophy that defines the BWCAW "wilderness" is that you must enter it via human power. Even simple mechanical devices (bicycles, rigged sails, pedal boats, at some point rowing rigs) are not acceptable. If you want to use a motor (2-stroke, four stroke, electric) head to a "motor" lake. If you want to travel a paddle only lake and are incapable of paddling than arrange to have someone else paddle. Perhaps you're being deliberately obtuse. If the legislated definition of the "wild" area includes "no motors" any feat of motor engineering still fails the "no motors" criteria. If the legal definition of "wild" is no motors asking that your new improved motor be allowed is asking the "wild" to make accommodation. No way around it."


banksi,
You are describing an arbitrary restriction, one whose only justification is the potential damage to the environment or interference to the experience of other campers. What should happen when those negatives no longer exist?

Why indeed should entrance be limited to athletic 20-30 somethings when there is no downside? Then that philosophy is no longer valid. There are 1.6 million acres of publicly owned wilderness - untold value - why limit access IF IT DOES NOT CREATE AN ADVERSE IMPACT?

The existing regulation is obviously there to protect the environment and serenity. But now, fortunately, technology is making greater access possible, without negative consequences. Witness aramid and carbon fiber canoes which make portaging much easier. Ultralight titanium coffeepots, super-light tents, lithium battery petzl lights, etc, enough high tech to fill a dozen outfitter stores. All great technical improvements! How are they okay and a non-polluting and silent power assist for persons of limited strength or dexterity is not?

Sig Olson said, “Wilderness to the people of America is a spiritual necessity, an antidote to the high pressure of modern life, a means of regaining serenity and equilibrium.” The people of America means you - and also me.

Please convince me you're simply not wanting to share your taxpayer-financed, billion $$ ultra-exclusive playground.

I may not be able to portage a canoe any longer, and my wife has too much arthritis surgery to paddle..

But time is on my side because the technology is getting cheaper every day. I believe I can make a canoe glide slowly and silently 13 miles down the length of Saganaga without getting the paddle wet.

jdg

 
andym
distinguished member(4442)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberpower member
 
10/29/2019 10:41PM
Joel you might find the Hobie Evolve kayak motor interesting.
 
10/29/2019 11:01PM
There are plenty of places you can obtain a motor permit and do what you suggest. When you start redefining the rules then it gets to be a nightmare of interpretation. Saganaga is a motor lake... get a motor permit. Moose to prairie portage into Basswood.

My right arm is all but dead... I got to paddle as most well into my adult life. There is a place for what you suggest. That’s what I’d do if I do desire now. But beyond that if you can’t paddle the portaging is going to be a problem too. I think it’s a good compromise. The forest service has enough to maintain at this time. There also is hiking trails you can backpack in. This is a great place for the twenty to thirty somethings... all the way to eighties I’ve seen. Your right about advances. And you can use a motor as you describe with a motor permit like I say where you’d be able to go without an assist. Sometimes we have to accept our limitations. I do... and I can still find plenty of places for solitude.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 11:24PM
andym: "Joel you might find the Hobie Evolve kayak motor interesting. "

Thank you - very interesting.
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/29/2019 11:28PM
I understand, nctry. You offer good advice for many, but not me. I am different than you. I was hit by polio as a child and never accepted the obvious limitations. I transcended it, built 5 startup factories, one in Minnesota, and recently finished a career by designing the advanced structural materials for the world's largest wind blade. Those blades now populate 4 windfarms. This is how I know how to live and what I expect to continue doing. Your suit doesn't fit me.

I'm sure you know the reference....

"Do not go gentle into that good night, Old age should burn and rave at close of day; Rage, rage against the dying of the light.
 
Banksiana
distinguished member(1961)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/30/2019 12:01AM
I'm all for you gliding silently down the length of Saganaga (a motor lake) without getting a paddle wet. Paddle only is not an "arbitrary restriction", paddle only is the defining factor; it is the reason the BWCAW and the Quetico are different from the similar lakes nearby that you can access with your run silent motor. The BWCA is anything but an "ultra-exclusive playground" the only exclusion is that you must power your own craft- it's in the very definition of the place; it's "paddle only" not "quiet only". It seems cravenly narcissistic to violate the core philosophical principle of a legislated wilderness to accommodate your special needs.

And please close your quotes (make sure the HTML tags are intact at the end of the quoted section) [click edit in your previous post and search out the missing tag] so we can emerge from italics hell.
 
yogi59weedr
distinguished member(2030)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/30/2019 01:08AM
Wow.
Just as i thought the price of rum was getting to high.......

So what was the next world's problem we should........................
 
TechnoScout
distinguished member (160)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/30/2019 08:49AM
Quacker1: "Does anyone know if there are any accommodations for handicap access to the BW? How does someone with physical limitations access the paddle only areas if they are unable to paddle or row?

"


--prior to my post here, I have read this entire thread--

The short answer for the majority of cases is: "They don't."

I recall that BSA at Sommers Canoe Base had a program to outfit canoes for the handicapped. Maybe that lasted only one season. Given enough muscle and the appropriate gear (non motorized), I think anyone could be carried into the BWCA without changing it in any way.

We are not all equal in our abilities. BWCA or any other wilderness should not be ADA'd. Part of my love for the BWCA is that it has an element of danger and requires preparation and careful attention to detail lest you go in and not come out.

 
thegildedgopher
distinguished member (411)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/30/2019 09:33AM
Joel --

Every one of your arguments about the technology now used -- ultralight canoes, lithium batteries, etc. -- falls flat on its face. None of that technology provides mechanical assistance, which is THE issue at hand. While mechanical assistance is often associated with noise, speed, and pollution in this context, those are not the sole reasons for the rule. You are entirely dismissing the philosophy and ethos at the heart of the wilderness. Your refusal to accept the nuance and spirit of the rules does not make the rules arbitrary, no matter how many times you argue it.

It has been suggested repeatedly that there are several opportunities to access the BWCA using mechanical assistance. 18 lakes and 2 rivers (or substantial portions thereof), as well as several lakes right on the edge of the BW that offer a similar experience. I may have missed your explanation for why this does not appeal to you in any way? In your own words, you won't be able to portage much longer even if you did have the benefit of a tiny electric motor. Most of these lakes are positioned at or near EP's, so they seem like the perfect way for you to continue to enjoy the BWCA as you and your partner age.
 
Pinetree
distinguished member(12055)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished membermaster membermaster member
 
10/30/2019 09:59AM
nctry: "There are plenty of places you can obtain a motor permit and do what you suggest. When you start redefining the rules then it gets to be a nightmare of interpretation. Saganaga is a motor lake... get a motor permit. Moose to prairie portage into Basswood.

My right arm is all but dead... I got to paddle as most well into my adult life. There is a place for what you suggest. That’s what I’d do if I do desire now. But beyond that if you can’t paddle the portaging is going to be a problem too. I think it’s a good compromise. The forest service has enough to maintain at this time. There also is hiking trails you can backpack in. This is a great place for the twenty to thirty somethings... all the way to eighties I’ve seen. Your right about advances. And you can use a motor as you describe with a motor permit like I say where you’d be able to go without an assist. Sometimes we have to accept our limitations. I do... and I can still find plenty of places for solitude."


Agree 100%
 
joelgn
member (17)member
 
10/30/2019 12:18PM
Just a note to everyone who has commented here. I have learned from you and enjoyed it.

I appreciate those of you who argued against providing a possible trolling motor to assist handicapped BWCA canoeists, as you have motivated me to make some new contacts and begin a design project/business plan with them. I will sincerely consider and hope to benefit from your points of view, even if we don't fully agree.

If I could ask one thing it would be for us all to remember the people who do a great job maintaining this board with a donation. It's easy; they take Paypal.

Thank you,
Joel
 
ZaraSp00k
distinguished member(1274)distinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished memberdistinguished member
 
10/30/2019 01:52PM
joelgn: "Just a note to everyone who has commented here. I have learned from you and enjoyed it.


I appreciate those of you who argued against providing a possible trolling motor to assist handicapped BWCA canoeists, as you have motivated me to make some new contacts and begin a design project/business plan with them. I will sincerely consider and hope to benefit from your points of view, even if we don't fully agree.


If I could ask one thing it would be for us all to remember the people who do a great job maintaining this board with a donation. It's easy; they take Paypal.


Thank you,
Joel"


sorry, I have been handicapped all my life by something you seem to make light of, since you refuse to wear a name tag, a very practical and low cost solution to my handicap and have been a super successful person it is only fair that you make the donation for me, $1000 seems like a fair amount, I thank you in advance for your generosity and I am sure the web site owner will as well
 
      Print Top Bottom Previous Next
Listening Point - General Discussion Sponsor:
True North Map Company