Website makes forest a click away

by Lynne Kozarek

People think of the Superior National Forest as a pristine wilderness where visitors can vacation without constant interruptions from the telephone or television. However, the landmark has now moved into the information age with a website devoted to informing the public about the Superior National Forest.
The world wide website was launched by forest officials in cooperation with the University’s College of Natural Resources in May and includes information about the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness of which the forest is a part. It also contains directions and frequently asked questions about the forest.
Susan Alexander, public service specialist at the Superior National Forest, said the site will not necessarily spark an increase in visitors to the forest, but will lead to more efficient vacation plans.
“Our site will enable the visitor to have a better-planned vacation and will, hopefully, provide for a better experience,” she said.
Steve Lime, facilities coordinator in the College of National Resources, helped create the site. The Superior National Forest has previously worked on projects with the college so it seemed like a natural place to create the website.
“The University has a long history in dealing with the forest,” Lime said. “We work a lot with wildlife management and inventory and recently with the permit system.”
Lime said in 1994 he helped build a BWCAW site loosely in conjunction with the forest. Forest officials wanted a site that focused on the forest itself and its history.
“They feel they have a lot to offer,” Lime said.
The current website contains just a fraction of the information that will eventually be on the site, Alexander said.
“We will add more information as time goes on,” Alexander said. “A lot of people are surfing the Web and are interested in the BWCAW and pick up information about us.”