Boundary Waters Canoe Area History Center
Passes Act authorizing Secretary of Interior to trade lands for consolidation purposes.
1922, Land Developers
Press for roads into future BWCA.
Builds Echo Trail, Fernberg Road and upper end of Gunflint Trail into previous roadless
areas of SNF.
Riis and others protest to Forest Service about road building with no relief so bring
complaints to Agriculture Secretary Jardine.
1926, Dept. of Agriculture
Sec. Jardine issues proclamation establishing 640,000 acres wilderness area. He promises:
No roads, no recreational development, preservation of scenic tree "screens",
but allows logging. "The Forest Service will leave not less than 1000 square miles of
the best canoe country in the Superior without roads of any character.
Bacus proposes series of dams in the heart of future BWCA for power generation which would
have almost obliterated area as a wilderness. Proposes to pay for construction by
Riis and then Oberholtzer of the IWLA protest strongly. He managed campaign for 5 years
against heavy odds and at great personal sacrifice. (Note: It appears the entire Northern
"Establishment" supported Bacus, a millionaire, who fought a vicious battle with
every resource at his disposal.)
Passed Knutson-Vandenberg Act allowing USFS to levy charges on timber sales to cover part
of all costs of reforestation.
Acquires tax delinquent land in wilderness. Builds portages, foot trails in SNF. (Much of
this work was done by CCC labor under Roosevelt program to recover from depression.)
Bacus tries to have S-N Bill repealed and to get approval for his big dam program.
Conservationists fight back, with IWLA leading battle.
Int'l. Joint Commission denies Bacus petition. Roosevelt creates Quetico-Superior
Committee to advise President of SNF affairs.
Passes State bill equivalent to the S-N bill.
Bacus applies for permission to build power plant near Grand Portage. IWLA
(Conservationists) conduct campaign to block Bacus.
Establishes Superior Roadless Primitive Area (SRPA) with boundaries similar to present
Int'l Joint Commission denies Bacus petition. (This ended the battle, finally.)
Written by H.C. Johnson, M.L.
Heinselman, E.M. Sitz.
An outline of Boundary Waters
Canoe Area History
History Page |
1895-1919 | 1920-1940 |
1976 | 1977 |