Beginning October 13, 2012 park staff will begin the effort to remove all hazard markers and regulatory buoys within the park, as weather conditions allow.
In addition, Voyageurs National Park reminds hunters that hunting and trapping of any type or manner is prohibited on National Park lands and all waters within the boundary of the park. Taking any animal within the boundaries of the park is prohibited. This prohibition includes taking any animal that has entered the park boundary after being shot outside the park. Park rangers enforce the hunting and trapping prohibition under Federal regulations, which carry a maximum penalty up to $10,000 and/or 6 months in jail for misdemeanor violations and $20,000 and/or 5 years in jail with forfeiture of hunting equipment for felony violations.
Although most park boundaries are not posted, it is the responsibility of the hunter to know his/her location. Maps depicting the park boundary and area information are available on visitor center bulletin boards, at park headquarters (218-283-6600), or through the Rainy Lake District Ranger at 218-286-5259 and the Namakan District Ranger at 218-875-2117.
If you have any questions, please contact a park ranger in advance of your planned hunting activities near Voyageurs National Park.
Due to the federal government shutdown, Voyageurs National Park is closed. All parts of the park including trails, backcountry, campsites, and visitor centers are closed. All but five of Voyageurs National Park’s employees have been furloughed. All 401 national park units across the U.S. are affected.
During the shutdown all national parks websites are not operating. For more information, go to www.doi.gov/shutdown. Visitors currently camping or staying in any national park have been asked to leave within 48 hours.
Voyageurs National Park Association will post updates as they become available.
The immediate and lasting impacts this shutdown has on visitors, park employees and our gateway communities are completely unnecessary. The National Park Conservation Association reports that due to the National Park System’s closing, the local economies surrounding the 401 parks stand to lose more than $30 million each day the federal government is shut down.
We urge you to reach out to your congressional representatives and tell them to end the shutdown because national park employees, visitors, and the local communities that support them should not be the victims of a failed budget process. At Voyageurs National Park Association, we’re sorry that you don’t have the opportunity right now to explore your national park. We hope this ends quickly.
Heart of the Continent Partnership to launch geotourism partnership with National Geographic Society
The Heart of the Continent Partnership (HOCP) is close to signing a contract with the National Geographic Society (NGS) Maps Division to create a regional geotourism initiative for the border lakes region of Minnesota and Ontario. In doing so, HOCP will become a part of NGS’s global network of interlinked geotourism websites, gaining great visibility, visitorship, and awareness for our region—and its wonderful natural and cultural assets.
A diverse Design Team, planning and implementing this effort, held its first meeting in late August in Duluth. Design team members currently include leaders of: Municipality of Neebing, Thunder Bay Tourism, Fort William Historical Park, Voyageurs National Park Association, St. Louis County, Sawbill Outfitters, International Dental Arts, Atikokan Economic Development Corporation, United States Forest Service, Club Mesabi, Voyageurs National Park, Polymet Mining, Wolf Ridge Environmental Learning Center, and Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board.
This economic development project will use a unified cross-border approach, the established collaborative structure of HOCP, and the brand power of NGS to increase visitation in the region. The HOCP bi-national region includes more than 5 million acres (2.2 million hectares) of public lands.
The initiative, expected to be 18 months in development, will result in both a paper map and interactive website. Drawing input and involvement from a wide spectrum of local stakeholders, this geotourism project will help sustain and enhance the geographical character of the region—its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage, and the well- being of its residents—by highlighting the outstanding natural, cultural and historical resources and historic gateway communities in the HOCP bi-national region.
One of this effort’s most powerful pieces is the collaborative effort that is developed to create and sustain the geotourism initiative. Both HOCP and NGS have strong histories of successfully engaging a broad group of citizens and stakeholders. The process of actively gathering content for the map and website will use public meetings as well as website submissions to engage all citizens who are interested.
To participate and support this project, contact project co-leads:
- Mary Somnis, Outreach and Tourism, Iron Range Resources and Rehabilitation Board & Steering Committee Member, HOCP. 218-735-3040, email@example.com
- Doug Franchot, Board Member, Voyageurs National Park Association and Steering Committee Member, HOCP. 952-253-0080, firstname.lastname@example.org
Voyageurs National Park recently completed a three year Civic Engagement process with the public to determine if campsite reservations and fees are warranted for the park. After holding multiple public meetings and gathering public comments park officials determined the majority of the public supports the program. Despite a moratorium on new or modified fees, the Director’s office of the National Park Service approved a reservation system and fee rates for Voyageurs National Park.
The park will begin to phase interior and main lake campsites, houseboats sites, and rentals of boats on interior lakes into the reservation/fee program. This will allow park staff to ensure all aspects of the system provide the intended service to visitors. It also allows a few seasons for visitors to get used to the changes. “During civic engagement a lot of people requested we phase this process over a couple years so that visitors would become accustomed to the process. We fully agree with their input.” Superintendent Mike Ward commented.
Starting in 2014, the park will place the Boats on Interior Lakes program, the two existing accessible sites, and the 17 Interior sites on the reservation/fee system. In addition, a combination of 30 large and small campsites located on the 4-main lakes will be placed on the reservation/fee system in 2014. This will give the park time to monitor how these 30 sites are used prior to continuing implementation. Ward stated that, “This is a large project and will take time and monitoring to achieve success. We will continue to implement the other 240 sites in the park based on staffing and the results of the monitoring.” The 30 large lake campsites and two accessible sites will be marked with “reservation only” signs and all other campsites will remain first come, first served in 2014.
Starting in February of 2014, reservations for the above described sites can be made in advance online at www.recreation.gov or by calling the National Call Center at (877) 444-6777. Advance reservations are available until midnight the night before the visit. Reservations are by credit card only.
- Visitors may make reservations for the newly implemented sites:
- Beginning in February and then up to 6 months in advance
- On-line at www.recreation.gov
- By phone at the National Call Center – 877-444-6777
- Walk-ins will be taken for that day only (multiple days will need a reservation)
- Free Overnight Permits will still be required for all non-reservation sites
- Temporary computer kiosks will be available at the parks’ three visitor centers and park headquarters during regular hours
Boats on Interior Lakes Program:
- 17 Interior Campsites
- 12 canoes
- 3 rowboats
- 14 Campsites
- 1 Accessible Site
- 6 Campsites
- 6 Campsites
- 1 Accessible site
Sand Point Lake
- 4 Campsites
The fee structure for sites is as follows: a one-time reservation fee to Recreation.gov will be taken off the first night’s stay.
- Small Campsite with no tent pad $16 per night
- Small Campsite with 1 tent pad $18 per night
- Small Campsite with 2 tent pads $20 per night
- Large Campsites $24 per night
- Canoe/rowboat $12 per boat per night
Mary Lee Dayton
Voyageurs National Park Association extends its deepest sympathies on the passing of Mary Lee Dayton, supporter and friend of VNPA and Minnesota’s national park for many years.
Through the WM Foundation, Mary Lee and her daughters established the Wallace C. Dayton Voyageurs National Park Legacy Fund. The fund honors her late husband and his commitment to environmental stewardship. This revolving land fund allows VNPA to purchase private lands within Voyageurs National Park to be restored to native vegetation, protected for wildlife habitat, and opened to the public for outdoor exploration and enjoyment. This gift recently enabled the purchase of a 61-acre property and will continue to support vital land preservation work in the park for years to come.
You can read more about Mary Lee Dayton’s life and generous spirit in the Star Tribune here.