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Boundary Waters Canoe Area History Center™

1941-1958 History

1941, USFS
Establishes no cut zone of 362,000 acres near border to preserve stands of large pines.

1941-48. Loggers, Resorters
Pulpwood logging begins along southern perimeter of SRPA. "Fly-Ins" start to be established in SRPA. Private land holdings established. Conservationists agitate against logging, motor use, fly-ins.

1943, Conservationists
IWLA establishes fund to purchase land in wilderness, buys number of resorts and turns them over to the Federal Government. Petitions Congress to pass bill to acquire land in wilderness.

1946-8, Loggers
Begin logging in SRPA. Build roads and even a railroad to Forest Center. (A town within southern edge of SRPA; now a BWCA entry point)

1947, USFS
Regional Forester, Price, supports efforts of conservationists.

1948, Congress
Passes Thye-Blatnik Act. This act directed Sec. of Ag. to acquire resorts, cabins and private lands within 2/3 of future BWCA. Another key bill.

1948, Conservationists
IWLA Fund had grown under Paul Clement, Administrator. 11 tracts and 6 resorts had been purchased and resold to USFS at a loss as of this time.

1949, Conservationists
"Friends of the Wilderness" formed by Bill Magie et al to oppose fly-ins.

1949, State
Passes bill making fly-ins illegal on state controlled waters.

1949, Executive
Truman issues executive order forbidding flights below 4000 ft. over SRA.

1949-53, Resorters
Continue fly-ins while protesting unconstitutionality of exec. order and file suit. Conservations continue to agitate against fly-ins.

1953, Courts
Eighth District Court upholds order. Flights finally stop when offenders were arrested and fined.

1953-64, Loggers
Press for and receive contracts from USFS to log virgin timber in SRA. Build roads, etc. to remove logs.

1953-64, Citizens
Snowmobile intrusions of SRA increase. More people enter area for recreation. Use of large motor boats increases.

1953-64, Conservationists
"Friends" and IWLA call attention to misuses. In 1957 Wilderness Committee headed by Adolph Anderson formed. Had many confrontation meetings with USFS Supervisor, Neff. Sought support of other conservation groups. By 1963, many other conservation and benevolent groups were speaking out against abuses and calling for protective legislation.

1956, Congress
Extends Thye-Blatnik Act to cover almost all of present BWCA and increased land acquisition appropriation to $2.5 Million.

1958, USFS
Changes name of Superior Roadless Area to BWCA.

Written by H.C. Johnson, M.L. Heinselman, E.M. Sitz.

An outline of Boundary Waters Canoe Area History

Main History Page | 1895-1919 | 1920-1940 | 1941-1958 | 1959-1975 | 1976 | 1977 | 1978 | 1979 | 1980

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Published from the edge of the Boundary Waters
Canoe Area by Chad Jones

Updated Aug 26, 2016


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