By Karrie Thomas, NFCT Executive Director
We recently added the word “protect” to the Northern Forest Canoe Trail mission statement. We are not necessarily talking about land protection in the traditional sense – we don’t plan to own land. We want to protect access to experiences.
Wild places and open spaces have been abundant in the Northern Forest for centuries. By improving access to the waterways of our region, we encourage people to have active experiences and build stronger connections. We’re here to offer transformational adventures today, and we hope that the gifts, stories, and trails here now remain available for exploration by future generations.
It comes down to protection through connection. To know something is to care about it. People can connect with a landscape, and a landscape can foster a connection among people. We create opportunities to connect with each other and the environment. We aspire to spark a sense of responsibility for the Northern Forest Region.
As we declare in our mission statement, we will steward the Northern Forest Canoe Trail by creating spaces – both in time and in the landscape – for people to fall in love with the natural wonders of our water way. We will continue to cultivate the important partnerships with landowners and communities that allow paddlers to put in, take out, resupply, camp and portage as they travel through this spectacular landscape.
We are proud to support the places and relationships that sustain us and to provide this framework in which individuals, families, and businesses can thrive. We have spent 15 years building this trail and the community that has come to care for it. We want to protect access to these waters to continue to serve livelihoods and inspire lives and in the Northern Forest indefinitely.