BAYFIELD – On September 27 — a “perfect 10” day with gold and crimson foliage dotting the Bayfield hillside — 135 visitors embarked upon the Island Princess for a two-hour cruise of the Apostle Islands. This was no ordinary cruise, however. This was a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act with a visit to one of the act’s protected areas: the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness.

The Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter organized the tour to explore a portion of the 35,000 acres contained within the Gaylord Nelson Wilderness Area, which includes 80 percent of the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (AINL). Inspirational speakers were added to the mix of fall splendor and daunting beauty that could be seen for miles ahead, behind, above and below. These included Tia Nelson, daughter of former senator and pioneering conservationist Gaylord Nelson; Mike Wiggins Jr., chair, Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Ojibwe; Neil Howk, Assistant Chief of Interpretation and Education, AINL, National Park Service; and Dave Blouin, Mining Committee chair, Sierra Club-John Muir Chapter.  

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