Burntside Lake, Long Island

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Burntside Lake, Minnesota. Photo: Darcy Kiefel
Photo credit: 
Darcy Kiefel

The forests, lakes and wild rivers of the upper Midwest have inspired some of America's great conservation writers. Minnesota's Sigurd Olson raised an eloquent voice for wilderness protection and helped draft the Wilderness Act of 1964. On the 40th anniversary of the Act, we purchased Long Island in Minnesota's Burntside Lake, nestled in the headwaters of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness and across from the viewshed of Listening Point, where Olson forged his notion that wild lands provide spiritual experiences vital to modern civilization. Using the Northwoods Land Protection Fund, we acted quickly to purchase the island until federal funds could be found, and in October, 2008 the island was added to Superior National Forest.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3 million acres and completed more than 5,200 park and conservation projects.