A BWCA Glossary


Eagle Mountain
With an elevation of 2301' the highest point in the state of Minnesota.  Located just outside the BWCAW, 3¾ miles south of Brule Bay at the east end of Brule Lake.
Echo Trail
St. Louis County Road 116, a former logging road running north and west out of Ely and providing the primary access to the lakes of the western BWCAW.
Ecology
Study of plants and animals in relation to their physical and biological surroundings.
Ecosystem
The complex community of plant and animal species, forming with their environment a functional whole.
Eelpout
Another common name for the Burbot (Lota lota), the codfish of the North Country.  Awâssi or awâssissi in the Ojibwe.
Ely
A Minnesota community on the edge of the BWCAW.  Home to the International Wolf Center and dozens of outfitters.
Elytra
The anterior leathery or chitinous wings of beetles and leafhoppers, serving as coverings for the hind wings and commonly meeting at rest in a straight line down the middle of the dorsum (back).
Empids
A relatively common, confusing complex of small, nearly identical flycatchers of the genus Empidonax.  Legendary for the frustration they bring to birders afield.  Represented in the BWCA by three species, the Yellow Bellied (Empidonax flaviventris), Alder (Empidonax alnorum), and Least (Empidonax minimus).  Just hope they're singing when you come upon one; it's the only way to tell them apart.

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Endangered
1)  A plant or animal species threatened with extinction throughout all or a significant portion of its range within Minnesota.  2)  A species on the federal list.
Endosperm
A part of a seed.  The reservoir of food energy which fuels the initial growth of a germinating seed.
Entomology
The scientific study of insect life.
Entire
A leaf edge without tooth or lobe; smooth edged.  Good Northwoods examples include the Bunchberry (Cornus canadensis) and the Wild Calla Lily (Calla palustris).
Entry Line
In canoe design, the shape of the bow where it cuts the water. A very sharp, knife-like entry is more efficient, cutting through the water easily. A blunt bow provides buoyancy in waves and a drier ride.
Entry Point
In the BWCAW, one of a limited number of locations where access to the wilderness area is allowed; controlled by permit system. 
Epicormic Branching
Branches arising from buds in bark along mainstem, most commonly occurring in trees under crown stress.  Also known as watersprouts or suckers.
Epilimnion
In a lake, the layer of warm, oxygen-rich water extending from the surface to a depth of 15'-30'.  Separated from the cold, dense waters of the hypolimnion by the thermocline and only mixing during spring and fall turnover.
Ericad
A plant, most often a low shrub, belonging to the Heath Family (Ericaceae).  Ericads are well represented in the North Country, particularly in bogs, and include Bearberry, Cranberry, Labrador Tea, Leatherleaf, Bog Rosemary, Laurel, and, of course, the Blueberries.
Erratic
A glacier borne boulder, often quite large, deposited far from its place of origin.
Eskwagama
A lake in the lower Kawishiwi drainage.  Name derivation unknown.
Etymology
The study of word origins.
Eutrophic
An environment rich in nutrient ions.
Even-aged
A stand of trees in which there are only small differences in age among the individual trees.  A common phenomenon in the North Country, resulting from fire or logging.
Evergreen
A plant which retains its leaves or needles for more than one season, thus economizing on the nutrients and energy which go into the production of each leaf.  A useful adaptation in environments with low fertility and short growing seasons.
Extinct
A species of plant or animal of which no individuals remain living anywhere on the planet.
Extirpated
A species which is extinct in a given part of its former range.  Though plentiful in Canada, the Woodland Caribou (Rangifer tarandus) may be considered an extirpated BWCAW species.
Extrusive
Igneous rock that cools on the surface of the Earth, including beneath water; typically with small crystals due to rapid cooling. Also known as volcanic; opposite of intrusive or plutonic.
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Last Updated on 11 April, 2004