BHA Podcast & Blast, Episode 34: Steve Piragis, Boundary Waters outfitter


Steve Piragis, of Piragis Northwoods Company, is an institution in Ely, Minnesota: the grand old man of Boundary Waters outfitting and perhaps the most eloquent and knowledgeable spokesman for the region’s public lands wilderness since the legendary Sigurd F. Olson. The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is vast, intensely alive and, unlike any other wilderness in the lower 48, readily accessible to almost anyone – all you need are some food and fishing tackle, basic camping gear and a canoe. Piragis is a lifelong fishermen and expert on Boundary Waters smallmouth, walleye, northerns, lake trout and panfish, as well as the area’s lakes, each with its own distinct personality that beckons visitors deeper and deeper into the wilderness experience. Piragis and Hal meet in Ely to discuss all matters related to the Boundary Waters, including why anybody would want a Chilean company to build a vast copper-nickel mine on a river at the very edge of the most visited wilderness in the United States, one of the most economically and ecologically important areas on the planet.

On Sept. 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture canceled a scientific study to analyze the potential impacts of sulfide copper ore mining within the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness watershed. This move leaves America's No. 1 most visited wilderness vulnerable to the negative impacts of industrial mining. The agency decision to forgo this key environmental assessment and neglect sound science is unprecedented. The Boundary Waters is at risk.

If you'd like to help secure the future of the Boundary Waters please take a moment and show your support for H.R. 5598, the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act. Take Action!

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