Wilderness Inquiry (at the time called Wilderness Inquiry II, one of five) was a young organization in 1982. Greg Lais and Paul Schurke had established the nonprofit in 1978, and after five years were just beginning to garner nationwide recognition for the organization’s progressive work. Published in the Bradford Papers, Greg and Paul penned this piece about what Wilderness Inquiry was and what they envisioned for the future.
Discussing many of the successes and some of their failures at that point in time, it is an interesting view into Wilderness Inquiry’s past. From technology to funding and the future, the piece covers it all.
Since 1977, Wilderness Inquiry II (WI II) has been bringing disabled and non-disabled persons together in Minnesota’s northern wilderness. Differing widely in abilities, backgrounds, and ages, but sharing a desire to visit the wilderness, some 225 persons have traveled the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness (BWCA) On 27 canoe trips arranged by WI II during the past five summers.
Designed for the increasing number of disabled persons seeking rigorous outdoor recreation opportunities, the format of the trips—which involves persons with a variety of disabilities as well as nondisabled persons—has also proven to be an effective means for helping people gain more positive attitudes about disabilities.
Slightly over half of the participants have visual, hearing, or mobility impairments, or are multiply handicapped. Application and orientation procedures are the same for all participants. No distinctions are made for nondisabled participants. Throughout the trips, the abilities of each participant are called upon by the many and varied tasks of wilderness camping. The goal of each trip is to find ways in which persons can participate fully in the process of the trip…
Read the full document here.
Bradford Papers 1982