Bear Witness: A Year in the Wilderness is a short film that follows couple Amy and Dave Freeman as they raise awareness and seek to protect Northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters from the threat of sulphide-ore copper mining.
The Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in Northern Minnesota is America’s most visited wilderness area. It contains 1.1 million acres of pristine water and unspoiled woodlands. Along with the Superior National Forest, it contains 20 percent of all the fresh water in the entire National Forest System.
Sulfide-ore copper mining within the Boundary Waters Wilderness watershed is an imminent threat. Mining companies have filed suit to demand mineral leases. and industrial mines have been proposed on the edge of the Wilderness.
If built, these mines would leach sulfuric acid and heavy metals that would flow directly into the wilderness area for centuries into the future.
When National Geographic’s 2014 Adventurers of the Year, Amy and Dave Freeman, learned of toxic mining proposed within the area’s watershed, they decided to take action — by spending a year in the wilderness, and sharing their experience through video, photos, and blogs.
The film, Bear Witness: A Year in the Wilderness, shares the husband and wife team’s experiences in all seasons and how they dedicated themselves to this expedition in an effort to raise awareness about the threats to the Boundary Waters from proposed sulfide-ore copper mining. You can watch the film below.
During their 366-day Year in the Wilderness journey, from 23 September 2015 to 23 September 2016, Amy and Dave Freeman camped at approximately 120 different sites, explored 500 lakes, rivers and streams, and travelled more than 2,000 miles by canoe, foot, ski, snowshoe and dog team.
A book, A Year in the Wilderness: Bearing Witness in the Boundary Waters, also accompanies the short film.
Rosa Medea is Life & Soul Magazine’s Chief @rosamedea