Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness has a diverse set of programs that work to protect the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The Edge of the Wilderness Fund is used to protect lands bordering (or in proximity to) the BWCAW. Land is selected for the Edge of the Wilderness program with an eye toward protecting properties with specific characteristics, including:
- Connecting canoe routes
- Creating new canoe routes
- Protecting special scenic, cultural, or ecological values
- Preventing development or degradation of wilderness character
The Edge of the Wilderness Fund works by securing privately held properties when the owners wish to sell. Land is then held by the fund until the Superior National Forest is able to appropriate federal funds to purchase the property and maintain it in the public domain.
Recent acquisitions include the former Chainsaw Sisters property, which secured 30 acres and preserved access to the popular Mudro Lake entry point, and the Fall Lake-Duvall and Fall Lake-Laur properties that totaled more than 28 acres and protected nearly 1,000 feet of shoreline along Fall Lake, sharing a quarter mile boundary with the BWCAW.