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Boundary Waters incident highlights classic struggle

10/5/2007 - Today Newsweek published on online story regarding a shocking August incident in the beautiful and serene Minnesota Boundary Waters. Six local men briefly terrorized campers within the federally protected area, saying "F---ing tourists … get the hell off our f---ing property” and “go home f---ing enox tree-huggers." In the story they explain that 'enox' is apparently local slang for 'environmentally obnoxious.' Let me know your thoughts on this. Do you sympathize with locals who are being told how to act environmentally? Or are the locals being outrageous for wanting to use the land for recreation as they see fit?

In my opinion, preserving the Boundary Waters in the most natural state possible, while still allowing restricted camping, is a slam dunk, no-brainer. If someone wants to run their motorized recreational vehicle (boat, ATV, or other) around on public land, they'll put the same amount of time and effort into DRIVING to a location that allows it, as the amount of time and effort they have spent protesting the federal rules. If using a boat or ATV is such a big deal to them and they feel too restricted in Ely, then move next to a natural area that allows ATVs and boats. If it's more important to live in Ely specifically, then they should wake up and thank their lucky stars that they live right next to one of the most natural areas in North America. Hopefully this incident won't stop anyone from taking their canoe to the place where you can still listen to a loon calling at sunset.

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