While 200,000 people visit the Boundary Waters each year, many factors threaten the wilderness character of the area, including haze, noise, logging, mining, development, fire suppression, and loss of native species. Leading the effort to protect and restore the BWCAW from such threats is the Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness. The organization formed in 1976 to protect this vulnerable area and two years later shepherded legislation through Congress that brought full protection to the Boundary Waters. Today, the Minneapolis, Minnesota-based organization of 4,000 members is a sentry against further harm in the BWCAW and the Quetico-Superior Ecosystem. By partnering with other conservation groups and activating its membership, the Friends ensures that a “voice of wilderness” is always heard during policy debates.