Environmental Group Sues Over Boat Motors in Wilderness Area

An environmental group is suing the U.S. Forest Service alleging it’s allowed outfitters to run too many motorized boat trips in Minnesota’s Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness.

Wilderness Watch wants the Forest Service to begin a new permitting process each season to ensure the motorized tow boats are at the legal limit.

Motorized access to the Boundary Waters has been an issue ever since legislation creating the wilderness area went into effect in 1979.

Motors are allowed on part, or all, of 18 lakes in the Boundary Waters.

Wilderness Watch says the number of motorized tows is capped at 1,342 per year, but the Forest Service has allowed hundreds of more trips in recent years.

Wilderness Watch spokesman Kevin Proescholdt tells Minnesota Public Radio it diminishes the wilderness experience for those who prefer to paddle.

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