For the Pioneer Press
By Mark Peterson, executive director of the Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute
One hundred years ago this month, President Woodrow Wilson signed an act that created the National Park Service — 44 years after Yellowstone, the world’s first national park, was established. Today the agency has responsibilities for managing 412 of America’s most spectacular landscapes and our most important historic sites that collectively tell the story of our nation.
These national crown jewels provided outstanding educational, recreational and economic benefits for 300 million visitors last year. Six of these areas are in Minnesota: Grand Portage National Monument, Mississippi National Recreation and Resource Area, North Country Trail, St. Croix National Scenic River, Pipestone National Historic Site and Voyageurs National Park. Just over the Wisconsin border is a seventh — the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore. For entire article.