Quetico’s Cache Bay Ranger Station set to open July 11
For the first time since September 2019, the Cache Bay Ranger Station in Quetico Provincial Park is set to reopen.
The ranger station, which serves as an entrance to Quetico from the end of the Gunflint Trail, is scheduled to open Monday, July 11.
A new ranger will be at the Cache Bay Ranger Station when it opens Monday, Quetico Superintendent Trevor Gibb told WTIP this week. The Cache Bay ranger will be Gordon Kilpinen. The secondary ranger will be an experienced backcountry warden named Carter Morash, according to Gibb. Cache Bay will be open seven days a week from July 11- Sept 12.
The last ranger to be stationed at the remote outpost full time was the late Janice Matichuk in 2019. Matichuk, who many in the WTIP listening area considered part of the local community, died in August 2020 from glioblastoma, a type of brain cancer.
News of the ranger station opening aligns with news from the Canadian government that Remote Area Border Crossing permits will once again be available. The RABC program is expected to resume taking applications today on Friday or within the next 48 hours.
In a statement sent to WTIP July 5, CBSA spokeswoman Karine Martel said the temporary suspension of the RABC program will be lifted and service is expected to resume in the coming days. The RABC permits allow U.S. citizens to cross into Canada on various border lakes – from the Gunflint Trail area to Rainy Lake – without stopping at a customs checkpoint. The permits were suspended May 12, 2020.
At this time, RABC permits are valid for the following areas in the WTIP listening area:
–From Pigeon River through to and including the far western side of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This includes Gunflint Lake and Saganaga Lake.
–The Canadian shore of Lake Superior
Without RABCs, U.S. citizens who owned property on lakes across the Canadian border were not able to travel into Canada unless they went through a customs check point. Cabin owners who are U.S. citizens but own property on the Canadian side of Saganaga Lake at the end of the Gunflint Trail is an often referenced example in this situation.
The photograph above was sent to WTIP by Kevin Kramer. The picnic table is outside the Cache Bay Ranger Station. Written in rocks, the sentiment reads: “Janice We Miss You.” The photo is from June 2022.