Group training volunteers to maintain BWCA trails

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Volunteers are needed to help maintain trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, with another training session coming up next month.

On Tuesday, a group gathered at Frost River in Duluth to learn more about trail maintenance ahead of a day trip to maintain the PowWow Trail on April 30. Another training session is planned for April 7.

Martin Kubik, the founder of the Boundary Waters Advisory Committee, explained that the U.S. Forest Service stopped maintaining the trail about five years ago because it was getting to expensive. Volunteers stepped in where they could.

"Today, we have got about 200 miles of wilderness trails in the Boundary Waters. But if volunteers didn’t show up, or didn’t step forward to help to save these trails — we would, over the last three decades, we would have lost about more than one-half of those trails," Kubik said.

The PowWow Trail suffered serious burn damage during the Pagami Creek Fire in 2011. Since then, volunteers have worked to hand-saw thousands of fallen trees and clear encroaching new growth using non-mechanized means.

The BWAC, a non-profit group, was founded in 2002 to preserve existing trails in the BWCAW. Frost River has partnered with the group for several years by providing a gathering space, volunteers, and transportation to trail maintenance events.

People interested in volunteering can learn more at