The largest parcel of previously private land yet has been added to Voyageurs National Park, thanks to a fund established six years ago to acquire land from willing sellers.
The Wallace C. Dayton Voyageurs National Park Legacy Fund made it possible for Voyageurs National Park Association (VNPA) to purchase the land in 2012 and hold it until the National Park Service could get funding to buy it. This week, the Park Service used funding from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to acquire the 61-acre parcel from VNPA.
The land is located on the Kempton Channel of Rainy Lake. It is comprised of boreal forest and several hundred feet of sand beach . The site is on the north side of the 75,000-acre Kabetogama Peninsula, a roadless area which provides habitat for wolves, black bear, moose, otter and eagles.
“The white sand beach, the tall pines and jagged rocks, the view − everything about this property is magnificent. I am so glad this is now a place we can all go and enjoy with our families as part of our national park,” said VNPA executive director, Christina Hausman.
When Voyageurs National Park was established in 1975, many landowners in its borders sold their land to the Park Service, but 52 properties adding up to more than 900 acres remained privately held. VNPA began its effort to acquire these properties in 2007 with the purchase of a three acre parcel on Dove Bay of Rainy Lake. A contribution from the WM Foundation to honor long-time conservationist Wallace Dayton made it possible to start the revolving fund, which allows Voyageurs National Park Association to act quickly when property becomes available.
Voyageurs National Park stretches 55 miles along the Minnesota-Ontario border east of International Falls, encompassing 218,055 acres of land and water.