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Pedaling to D.C. to raise awareness of mine threat

Dave and Amy Freeman launch next adventure in bid to halt mine near the BWCAW

Keith Vandervort
Posted 3/21/18

ELY -Local environmental advocates Dave and Amy Freeman’s next wilderness adventure in their continuing fight to save the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will begin April 20 as they embark on …

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Pedaling to D.C. to raise awareness of mine threat

Dave and Amy Freeman launch next adventure in bid to halt mine near the BWCAW

Posted

ELY -Local environmental advocates Dave and Amy Freeman’s next wilderness adventure in their continuing fight to save the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness will begin April 20 as they embark on a 1,750-mile bicycle trip to Washington, D.C.

“Folks keep asking us, ‘What’s next?’” Dave Freeman said in referencing their past advocacy projects, including paddling a canoe from Ely to the nation’s capital to deliver petitions opposing the planned sulfide mining projects on the edge of the wilderness

The husband-and-wife explorer team spent 366 straight days in the BWCAW, from 2015 to 2016, on an epic trip they describe as “witness activism” to raise awareness of the dangers proposed copper-nickel mines pose.

The Freemans, seasoned worldwide explorers who were named National Geographic’s 2014 Adventurers of the Year, used social media to communicate the vulnerable majesty of their surroundings. They blogged daily posts as they paddled, portaged, and dog-sledded more than 2,000 miles across 500 bodies of water.

Last fall the Freemans published “A Year in the Wilderness,” an account of their marathon BWCAW trek and the activism that fueled it.

The Freemans officially announced their next adventure advocacy project last week. “Pedal to DC: A Book Tour to Save the Boundary Waters,” will take the Freemans across nine states between April 20 and June 18.

“We hope the tour will bring renewed awareness of the efforts underway to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness from sulfide-ore copper mining,” Dave said. They will also share their critically acclaimed book: A Year in the Wilderness.

“We will depart by bicycle near ground zero of the proposed Twin Metals mine just outside of Ely on April 20 and plan to arrive in Washington, D.C., on June 18,” he said.

With the help of Milkweed Editions, Save the Boundary Waters, and many other partners, they are organizing as many as 30 events at bookstores, libraries, outdoor stores, colleges, breweries, community centers, and other venues in Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Chicago, Columbus, Pittsburgh, and many more communities all along their route.

“This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness Act of 1978 and we hope you will use Pedal to DC as a way to celebrate and protect our public lands during this momentous year,” Amy Freeman said.

“Follow us, share our posts with your friends, come sign the signature canoe we will tow behind our bikes, help host or promote an event in your area, read our book and share it with your friends, and alert people you know along our route that we are pedaling their way,” she said.

“When we all speak loudly for this quiet place our collective voices will be heard and sulfide-ore copper mining will not be allowed in the watershed of our nation’s most popular wilderness.”

To learn more and find updates on the tour, visit: http://www.savetheboundarywaters.org/pedaltoDC.

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