Voyageurs Region National Park Association

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In 1961 the state of Minnesota asked the U.S. National Park Service to study the area around the Kabetogama Peninsula as a possible site for a national park. The Voyageurs National Park Association was formed in April 1965 to encourage the development of this national park site. Funds for the association were initially provided by the Greater Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce. Former Minnesota Governor Elmer L. Andersen headed the group, and the association was allowed to locate at the H.B. Fuller Company's Department of Civic Affairs in St. Paul until 1966 (Andersen was the president of H.B. Fuller).

A parallel group, the Citizens Committee for the Voyageurs National Park (sic), was formed about 1967. This group eventually merged with the Voyageurs National Park Association. The association lobbied state and federal legislators, formed local chapters, produced films and other promotional materials, and solicited contributions to support its work. Rita F. Shemesh served as secretary of the organization. The group's primary objective was to have Congress enact a law authorizing the establishment of the Voyageurs National Park.

Opposition to the park came mostly from local residents and the forest products industry. Most of the arguments opposing the park related to the decreased tax base that would result from increasing government ownership of Minnesota's land, the increased traffic and congestion that the park would promote, and the displacement of private land owners. Congressional hearings were held in 1969 and 1970, and in spite of the strong opposition, an act authorizing the park was passed on January 8, 1971.

This act, however, did not establish the park. Minnesota was required to transfer certain state lands before the creation of the Voyageurs National Park could proceed. It was not until 1975 that a taxpayer suit blocking the transfer of these lands was struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. The park was formally established in April of that year.

A Citizen's Committee for Voyageur National Park was soon created by the state legislature to monitor all matters relating to the establishment and operations of the national park. This group does not seem to have had any relation to the Voyageurs National Park Association or to the earlier citizens' committee.

Since the establishment of Voyageurs National Park in 1975, the association has served as an informal advisory board to the National Park Service in the planning and development of the park. In 1985 the organization was renamed the Voyageurs Region National Park Association to reflect the broadening of its mandate to include conservation issues relating to the St. Croix National Scenic Waterway.

From the guide to the Association records., 1964-1994., (Minnesota Historical Society)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn Citizens' Council on Voyageurs National Park (Minn.). Records, 1964-2000. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
creatorOf Association records., 1964-1994. Minnesota Historical Society
creatorOf Voyageurs Region National Park Association. Association records, 1964-1994. Minnesota Historical Society Library
referencedIn Gordon Mikkelson papers., 1929-1990. Minnesota Historical Society
referencedIn Mikkelson, Gordon A., 1914-. Gordon Mikkelson papers, 1929-1990. Minnesota Historical Society, Division of Archives and Manuscripts
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Andersen, Elmer L., 1909- person
associatedWith Blatnik, John A. 1911- person
associatedWith Chapman, Edwin P. person
associatedWith Chapman, Edwin P. person
associatedWith Citizens Committee for the Voyageurs National Park. corporateBody
associatedWith Citizens Committee for Voyageurs National Park. corporateBody
associatedWith Citizens' Council on Voyageurs National Park (Minn.). corporateBody
associatedWith Izaak Walton League of America. corporateBody
associatedWith Kellogg, Martin N. person
associatedWith Kellogg, Martin N. person
associatedWith Kenny, Mary. person
associatedWith Kenny, Mary. person
associatedWith Mikkelson, Gordon. person
associatedWith Mikkelson, Gordon A., 1914- person
associatedWith National Park Association. corporateBody
associatedWith National Parks and Conservation Association. corporateBody
associatedWith Shemesh, Rita F. person
associatedWith Shemesh, Rita F. person
associatedWith Sierra Club. corporateBody
Place Name Admin Code Country
St. Croix National Scenic Waterway.
Minnesota
Voyageurs National Park (Minn.)
Voyageurs National Park.
Saint Croix National Scenic Riverway (Wis. and Minn.)
Subject
Environmental policy
National parks and reserves
Wilderness areas--Law and legislation
National parks and reserves--Minnesota
Occupation
Conservationists
Activity
Conservationists

Corporate Body

Active 1964

Active 1994

Information

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