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22 November 2015


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Where my brother and I hunt, near Coburn Gore, Maine and the nearby woods, we have to use a GPS to determine which nation we are actually in at any given time.


At one time we were proud of that.



I am still proud of it but you have to recognize what it is. pl

A. Pols

In places like Maine and Minnesota where border areas are remote and wild, what do you suggest "we" should do?

John Minnerath

All of us who like living in a free society love an International border like that.
Our southern border with Mexico isn't quite so loose, but still easy to go around.
Plus we have our thousands of miles of Pacific and Atlantic coast lines that are easy to infiltrate.
All of which leaves us vulnerable to groups like IS who, not if but will and probably are, moving men and material in place.
The wishful thinking that it can't happen is BS. We can only hope our emergency responders and law enforcement will react fast enough to inhibit damage and capture those responsible.

ex-PFC Chuck

It will be impossible to secure the border between The Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) wilderness in northeastern Minnesota and the adjoining Quetico Provincial Park wilderness in Ontario without utterly ruining them. It is presently a roadless area, and power boats are confined only to some parts of a few of the larger lakes that are on the BWCA borders, and are limited to 25 horsepower. Planes are not permitted to fly over the area at altitudes less than 5,000 feet, except for those operated by the US Forest Service in the BWCA, which are few in number. I presume there are similar restrictions apply to Quetico but I don't recall their specifics.

A few days of paddling, portaging, camping and fishing in that pristine area, and especially on the much less traveled Canadian side, is one of the most restorative tonics known to man and woman. During the winter months, heartier souls than I get get from campsite to campsite by dogsled, snow shoe and cross country ski. It will be a tragedy if the opportunity for such experiences is trashed by the collateral damage caused by, let's face it, US foreign policy.

Since 9/11 going from the US side to Quetico has become more of a hassle. Whereas before US citizens simply had to stop at the ranger station and nearby customs office and check in, now we have to apply months in advance for a Remote Border Crossing permit that is valid for only a brief time window. Something like 30 or 60 days, IIRC. The permit and a valid ID must be with you at all times.


A. Pols

You have missed the point. What we should do is understand that people in Canada can come to the US any time they want without recourse to any kind of border controls. BTW, many of those scenes are not in "remote" areas. pl

Babak Makkinejad

What is suggest you do is to pay careful attention to the following adage:

"Those who live in glass houses should not throw stones."


It is true that the border is porous. Which is why the two border agencies share a lot of information about people making it across the joint American Canadian perimeter. This sharing approach was hugely expanded after 911 when there was a worry about the vulnerability of the northern border.



Porous is an inadequate word. A short drive from Montreal will bring you to any number of points where you can quickly walk across the border undetected and then be picked up on the other side by a driver. pl


Yes, I have canoed in the boundary waters many times and love it. I assume perhaps you are also familiar with the "northwest angle" crossing in the Lake of the Woods area. There, checking in is done via telephone at the unmanned checkpoint.


I wonder what the level of official cooperation is between the US and Canada at Canadian air and sea points of entry. Of course, the US has no right to tell Canada who can or cannot enter that country, but I was thinking more along the lines of increased notice and surveillance of entrants. It would seem that a more secure Canadian border could perhaps help in US security.

But that already may be the case, so who knows.

I too remember the days when going to Canada meant nothing more than slowing down for a glance at your license plate to see if it was an American registration, plus the sign that said "no firearms".


All -

Does Canada require tourist visas for citizens of (all or some) EU nations?


Bulgaria and Romania only. The US has these as well as Cyprus,Croatia,and Poland on the list.


Back in 1978/79(?), a Bader-Meinhoff female did just that.
Crossed just east of Lake Champlain (in Alburgh, VT) on one of the many dirt roads that cross the border.
While waiting for her ride alongside RT 2, the Border Patrol happened by (her bad luck).
Since 9/11, the dirt roads have been barricaded, more sensors and cameras have been installed and the Border Patrol has been substantially increased.
That said, it s now a LITTLE more difficult to sneak across.
This is wide open country with stretches of woods and it's 40 miles from Montreal.


Give me your northern border questions relating to border security and I will do my best to answer them.


Yes indeed. A while ago Canada had troubles with smuggled cigarettes which were made in Canada, exported to the USA tax free and then smuggled back into Canada. This caused us to back off the extremely high cigarette taxes to where smuggling was no longer incredibly profitable.

Our ancient allies the Mohawks deliberately placed their reservations straddling the border (within which they completely ignore) and used it for security (and profit) for many a year.

I believe some Sioux set up close to the border so that they could flee to Canada in case of trouble with the US Cavalry.

A joint perimeter strategy seems the most useful and practical approach


The reality of the Northern Border Patrol is that there are very few agents to cover an enormous area. We don't even have enough agents for our southern border, let alone our northern border.

Kim Sky

I am simply attempting to point to the strategy being employed by the opposition - ISIS.

A focus on the Canadian border seems a bit odd to me. Why not focus on the Saudis, there are currently thousands of them here in Portland Oregon - students. Why not focus on prior attacks? It seems to me, correctly identifying HOW and WHERE the prior terrorists came from is the point?

Just imagine the West turning into Algeria 1954–1962. Now THAT is not an impossible scenario.

You correctly point out the idiot-US-foreign policy. REFUGEES are blowback.


kim sky

Be patient. I will get to the Saudis. I actually do have the write to post on whatever I want. pl


Last time I looked, the United States requires any airline flying to the Americas to file the passenger manifest with the HSA or FAA even if they're not entering United States airspace. So the United States should know who is arriving in Canada before they actually get there.



How does the US "require" the Canadians to give the USG such manifests before the fact. Are you saying that the US controls Canada? That will be news to the Canadians here. pl


Col. Lang -

I'm very familiar with that area (my wife was born and raised in Malone, NY) and if anything you're understating how easy it is to cross the border if you're trying to avoid notice. However, it's been this loose (or looser) for decades and the US/Canadian border patrol has been pretty good at identifying threats - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2000_millennium_attack_plots#LAX_bombing_plot

Until we stop going around the world and bombing people to implement our vision of what the world should be, we'll always be subject to people wanting to hit back. Foreign military adventures are not risk free and never will be. And, IMO, shouldn't be. War isn't supposed to be trivial or safe, and shouldn't be entered into lightly. But that's where we are now, candidates talk about no-fly zones and sending troops like they're discussing which TV show to watch.


Not a fan of westerns apparently. How did they do things in days of yore?



How do the US/Canadian Border Patrols deal with a purposeful quick trip to the border and a walk across and pick up? pl



There were no US border controls until the 1870s. So, what are "days of yore?"
Interestingly (to me) there were no border controls when my ancestors arrived in North America. 1617-1848. pl

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