Welcome to the BWCAW blog of Ely Outfitting Company and Boundary Waters Guide Service!

See our websites at ElyOutfittingCompany.com and BoundaryWatersGuideService.com.

We are a Boundary Waters canoe trip outfitter, Quetico outfitter, and guide service in Ely, Minnesota. This Boundary Waters blog shares photos, stories, humor, skills, and naturalist insights from guiding in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW).

Most entries are from our founder and head guide, Jason Zabokrtsky. He is the Boundary Waters Blogger.

Monday, March 16, 2015

NEW KAWISHIWI DISTRICT RANGER TO JOIN FOREST LEADERSHIP TEAM ON SUPERIOR NATIONAL FOREST

DULUTH, MN (March 9, 2015) Gus Smith, new District Ranger on the Kawishiwi Ranger District of the Superior National Forest, comes with extensive fire experience and familiarity with our region. 

Before joining the Forest Leadership Team on the Superior National Forest, Gus served at Yosemite National Park for six years as the Fire Ecologist. At Yosemite he worked with academic and federal researchers on fire science research in the Sierra Nevada, ran the fire effects monitoring program, and developed science-based planning tools for wildland fire management. Prior to that, he was on temporary detail to the Sierra National Forest for four months and spent another four months in Washington D.C. working on a detail for the Department of Interior in the Office of Wildland Fire.

Before going west, Gus was a professor at Northland College in Ashland, WI. Gus says he fell in love with the north woods while there as a college student then went on to teach wildlife ecology and management and other natural resources and biology courses. He became interested in fire when he co-hosted a symposium on the Northwest Sands Ecosystem with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Chequamegon-Nicolet National Forest. Gus also taught classes at University of Minnesota at Duluth for two quarters.

In addition to academia, Gus has worked as a leader with youth organizations. He instructed at two Outward Bound Schools and worked first as the wilderness tripping program director then as camp director at YMCA Camp Manito-wish, Wisconsin. As the wilderness program director, Gus says; “I spent a lot of time dropping kids off and picking them up in Ely and at the end of the Gunflint Trail and hearing their great stories from the trail. But I have been on a lot of great trips in the Boundary Waters and Quetico and think some of those early experiences drove me to a career in natural resources management.”

Away from work, Gus, enjoys any opportunity to be outside. He says: “I love to hunt for antler sheds or find unique places and features on the landscape. It doesn't have to be that spectacular to get me out - I often find an unnamed lake or beaver pond on a map and go try to find it.” Gus says he loves to cross-country ski, paddle (anything), fish, hunt, bird watch and also loves to read and cook.

Gus is married to Joy Meeker, a Minnesota native, who has four brothers living within four hours of Ely and parents in the Twin Cities. Joy is the Director of Education at Meridian University in California and hopes to continue teaching on-line graduate courses after moving to MN. Gus says he and Joy are really looking forward to becoming members of the Ely community.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

USFS Temporary Jobs in Ely and NE Minnesota Open for Applications today through Jan. 12


Temporary job openings were posted on USAJOBS.gov today, January 6, 2015, for seasonal jobs with the Superior National Forest in Ely, Aurora, Tofte, Cook, and Grand Marais. The listings will be open for only seven days until January 12th. Most positions will start in late spring or early summer and last 90 to 120 days. People interested in these entry level positions with the Forest Service will want to act quickly.

The positions include: Forestry Technician (Recreation) positions in Ely and Aurora; Customer Service Representatives in Ely and Tofte; Forestry Technician (Fuels) in Cook and Grand Marais;
and a Biological Science Technician (Plants) in Aurora. For more information regarding these positions, go to www.USAjobs.gov. In a basic search enter ‘Minnesota’ for location and ‘open today. You may search specific jobs using their announcement numbers:

• Forestry Technician (Recreation): 15-TEMP-R90462-4-RECR-DT-RK. For additional information contact Tim Engrav, 218-666-0025.
• Customer Service Representative: 15-TEMP-R9CSR-S9-DT-KR. For additional information contact Becca Manlove, 218-365-2093.
• Forestry Technician (Fuels): 15-TEMP-R90462-5-FUEL-DT-KR. For additional information contact Brianna Schueller, 218-387-3236.
• Biological Science Technician (Plants): 15-0909-9814DP-CW. For additional information contact Jack Greenlee, 218-229-8817.
• Links will also be posted on the Superior National Forest website http://www.fs.usda.gov/superior/ under Quick Links/Employment. You may also follow the Superior National Forest on Twitter.

Reminder: These announcements close next Tuesday, January 12th