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Sigurd Olson and Why Wilderness Matters

  • Madeline Island Museum 226 Colonel Woods Ave La Pointe, WI, 54850 United States (map)
Sigurd Olson, photo by  Don Albrecht, Bayfield, WI

Sigurd Olson, photo by Don Albrecht, Bayfield, WI

Sigurd Olson and Why Wilderness Matters

Wednesday, July 8th
7:00–8:15 PM
Madeline Island Museum

Speaker: Mark Peterson, Executive Director, Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute

Wisconsin Native Sigurd Olson (1899–1982) spent his lifetime exploring wilderness from the Boundary Waters Canoe Area to Hudson’s Bay.

From his experiences and philosophical reflections, Sig wrote nine books on wilderness and hundreds of articles.

In our increasingly busy and urbanized lives his words are more meaningful today than ever.

What does he have to say about the values of wilderness that the Madeline Island Wilderness Preserve has worked to protect? 

His words are a timely reminder of the critical importance wild places provide the human spirit.


Mark Peterson, Executive Director of Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute. Mark combines this academic foundation with 30 years experience in the conservation nonprofit sector, most recently as Vice-President of the National Audubon Society and Executive Director of its Minnesota operations. Mark also served the National Parks Conservation Association as its Rocky Mountain Regional Director and State of the Parks National Director advocating for park resources from Glacier to Zion National Parks. In his first stint as Executive Director of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College from 1984-1991 he led advocacy efforts in the Lake Superior bioregion and founded the Apostle Islands School, Timber Wolf Alliance and the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award — programs that continue today. Mark has served on the MN DNR's Advisory Council for Scientific and Natural Areas, is a board member of the Listening Point Foundation, a member of the IUCN¹s World Commission on Protected Areas and an advisory board member of the Audubon Center of the Northwoods. Mark enjoys birding, sailing, kayaking, skiing, backpacking, and bicycling.

This program is made possible by the generous support of the Apostle Islands Area Community Fund.

Earlier Event: July 4
July 4th Parade
Later Event: July 29
Mushrooms of Madeline Island