Keep it Wild

“Keep it Wild” is a feature created exclusively for the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service. The segment features a conversation with a Superior National Forest Wilderness Ranger about current conditions in the BWCAW, seasonal best practices and news about the permit system, updates to Wilderness rules and lots more. You can hear new segments in each episode of The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast.

June 13, 2024
Keep it Wild – Safety on and off the Water

In the June 2024 edition of “Keep it Wild,” Tim Engrav, USFS District Wilderness Manager, covers wilderness travel from a safety perspective. Starting with planning and communicating your route to self-rescue on the water, Tim shares everything you’ll need to know for a safe and relaxing trip. “Keep it Wild” is a monthly feature of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast.

May 18, 2024
Keep it Wild – BWCAW Fishing 101

It’s “Fishing 101” Boundary Waters edition, with USFS Biological Science Technician Hannah Hill. Learn about tackle recommendations, best practices for using live bait, rules about cleaning fish and why it’s good to use lead-free tackle if you care about the health of Eagles, Loons, Walleye and Lake Trout.

DNR Fishing Regulations:

Lead-free tackle info:

Fishing info for the Superior National Forest (not just the boundary waters):

This is a monthly feature of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast.

April 19, 2024
Keep it Wild – Being Bear Aware

The Superior National Forest is home to black bears, who are smart, have a good memory and most often prefer to keep to themselves. With increased human activity in the Wilderness, there is a chance that visitors to the BWCAW may encounter a wild bear. In this edition of Keep it Wild, Cheron Ferland, acting regional wildlife program manager for the Superior National Forest shares best practices and resources to help campers be “bear aware” as we move into early spring in the BWCAW. Keep it Wild is a Boundary Waters Podcast monthly feature.

Blue barrel destroyed by a black bear on Clearwater Lake. Courtesy of Rocco Bonello, SNF.

For bear-human conflict reports on the Superior National Forest contact the USFS: (call one of the Ranger District offices or email the Tip Line:

More information on living with bears and where to find bear-friendly food containers:

March 19, 2024
Keep it Wild – Planning Your Early Season Boundary Waters Trip

In this segment of Keep it Wild we talk with Carl Skustad, a USFS Wilderness & Recreation Program Lead out of Ely, Minnesota. Carl gives early spring travelers some tips on preparing for ice-out conditions, including being prepared for a variety of weather, making plans to store food safely, being fire-safe and sharing your trip plan with others, to ensure that your trip is fun, safe and relaxing.

Use the USFS_Trip Planning Guide, for more great tips on planning your Wilderness trip.

Keep it Wild is a monthly feature of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast.

February 22, 2024
Keep it Wild – Augers in the Wilderness, and Summer Job Opportunities in the BWCAW

In the February 2024 edition of Keep it Wild, Tim Engrav of the LaCroix and Laurentian Ranger District fills us in on the use of augers in the Wilderness. He also shares information about two summer work opportunities in the BWCAW. If you are interested in being a USFS volunteer, or might like to work in the BWCAW or Superior National Forest through the Student Conservation Association, you’ll learn more about these summer job opportunities and where to find more information.

Keep it Wild is a monthly feature of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast.

January 25, 2024
Keep it Wild – Winter Leave No Trace

Impacts left behind by careless winter campers.

The WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast talks with Megan McClanahan of the US Forest Service about “Leave No Trace” principles in the winter. She covers the “dos” and “don’ts” of winter camping in the BWCAW, including careful harvesting of firewood, where to build a fire, choosing where to camp and what to do if you find a mess that someone else has left behind.

“Keep it Wild” can be heard monthly as part of the Boundary Waters Podcast.

If camped at a designated site during any season, use the fire grate. These campers missed the mark.

(Photos courtesy of USDA Forest Service, Superior NF)

December 19, 2023
Keep it Wild: Early Winter in the BWCAW

Pictured is Ada Igoe, co-owner of Tuscarora Lodge & Outfitters on the Gunflint Trail. Check out Ada’s recommended ice-safety gear, to have with you anytime you venture out on the ice early in the season, or anywhere there might be stream current or unknown ice conditions.

In this debut segment of “Keep it Wild,” USFS Wilderness Operations Lead Megan McClanahan discusses early winter adventuring in the BWCAW, including monitoring the fast-changing ice conditions, preparing for your skating or fishing trip and why it’s nice to fill out a self-issue permit before you go.

Additional resources:

USFS Trip Planning Guide

MN DNR Ice Safety Guide

You can hear new segments of “Keep it Wild,” in each episode of the WTIP Boundary Waters Podcast, an informational, regular feature, found only on WTIP.