Snow is simply water in the act of falling to other places, same as a river, same as us sometimes. Within this miracle of the water cycle, this firm, crystalline snow is, for the moment, at rest. The fact that it can be adrift or floating as vapor in the ether is a wondrous thought.
How far has it traveled in this lifetime? Perhaps it came from a far away sea, having been a shimmering turquoise in the Caribbean islands on a reef, or was it a lonely glacial alpine lake, or even an emerald green river with trout swimming in it? And now it is here below below my feet, waiting for the heady light and warmth of the sun to kiss it so deeply and set it free to motion again.
— Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate in 'A Northern Light'
Earlier this year, iconic outdoor brand Patagonia launched a new initiative, the "It's All Home Water" series which aims to help anglers tear down dams, eliminate hatchery fish farms, and defend wild fish and wild waters. Recently, Patagonia released the third installment in that series, which focuses on the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCAW)—an incomparable region of over 1,000,000 acres of undeveloped, backcountry wilderness and over 1,000 lakes and ponds. The BWCAW is currently under threat from a Chilean mining company which, with the assistance of the Trump administration, is pushing to develop a dangerous and toxic sulfide-ore copper mine on the BWCAW boundary.
This third installment of the series, much like the first, comes in three formats: a short film, a photo essay and a written feature. This latest iteration is the work of writer and Patagonia ambassador Nathaniel Riverhorse Nakadate and adventure filmmaker Tony Czech, who spent weeks in the Boundary Waters in order to give a voice to the imperiled region. Each segment, especially the short film titled A Northern Light, is a celebration of water and wild places, filled with beautiful imagery and words.
The film is narrated by Nakadate and follows him as he canoes through vast regions of the BWCAW, portaging through and over rough terrain, sleeping under the stars and, of course, fishing—for brook trout, smallmouth bass, and more.
One of the goals of the project is to raise awareness for The Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act, which would protect 234,328 acres in the Superior National Forest from copper-nickel mining development.
Speaking of the latest installment and the "It's All Home Water" series, Matt Millette, head of Patagonia's Fly Fish marketing team said, "In light of the what's now happening in places like the Boundary Waters, Bristol Bay, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge—and so many other places—the It’s All Home Water series is our way of standing up for wild fish and wild waters. With the daily assaults on our planet from the Trump administration, it's our duty to stand for the waters we stand in and make sure there's a wild, healthy future of fishing for generations to come. Showing these places—what they mean, how special and fragile they are—is our attempt to spur not only a deeper love for them but also to inspire continued activism and commitment to protect them."
You can view the new film below, or via the links above. To find out how to support the Boundary Waters Wilderness Protection and Pollution Prevention Act, visit Patagonia Action Works.