How Environment Has Shaped the State

From Sustenance to Leisure on Minnesota Land

Expert Essay: Associate professor of history Michael J. Lansing, published in Environmental History as well as Ethics, Place, and Environment, highlights the many ways people have made use of Minnesota's flora and fauna over time and reviews the state's more recent efforts at conservation.

Color image of a view from the Border Route Trail, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 2011. Photograph by Eugene Kim.

View from the Border Route Trail

View from the Border Route Trail, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 2011. Photograph by Eugene Kim.

Color image of Iron Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 2012.

Iron Lake

Iron Lake, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 2012.

Color image of the junction of the rugged Eagle Mountain and Brule Lake trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota, 2006.

Trail junction

Junction of the rugged Eagle Mountain and Brule Lake trails in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area of Minnesota, 2006. Photograph by Douglas Kaye.

Color image of Pose Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 2006.

Pose Lake

Pose Lake in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, 2006.

Black and white aerial photo of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, ca. 1980.

Aerial photo of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area

An aerial photo of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, ca. 1980.

Color image of a group portaging a canoe in the Boundary Waters, ca. 1980.

Portaging a canoe in the Boundary Waters

Portaging a canoe in the Boundary Waters, ca. 1980.

Black and white photograph of an early trip to what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe area, ca. 1916.

Canoe trip

An early trip to what is now the Boundary Waters Canoe area, ca. 1916.

Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)

The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is located in the northern third of Superior National Forest. It is the most heavily used wilderness in the country, with about 250,000 visitors annually.

Color image of the Como Park Conservatory in St Paul, 2006.

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (Como Park Conservatory)

Marjorie McNeely Conservatory (Como Park Conservatory) in St Paul, 2006.

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