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Voyageur Country

The Story of Minnesota’s National Park

1998
Author:

Robert Treuer

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Examines the beauty, history, and controversy of Voyageurs National Park.

Voyageur Country describes the environmental significance of Minnesota’s only national park, beginning with its geologic and glacial history and continuing through current flora and fauna. Treuer then examines human influences on the land, including those of the Ojibwe Indians, French voyageurs, lumber barons, and wilderness advocates. The birth of the modern incarnation of Voyageurs as a national park is detailed, with accounts of the contributions of Sigurd Olson and other conservationists.

This historical account of the establishment of Voyageurs National Park is a valuable addition to the wilderness literature.

L. David Mech, author of The Wolf and The Wolves of Denali

Over 250,000 people visit Minnesota’s only national park each year. This popularity raises crucial questions: Can timber wolves thrive amid snowmobiles and jet skis? Can the thin layer of fragile soil atop the Precambrian shield, the oldest exposed rock on earth, survive the feet of campers? Voyageur Country explores these quandaries and presents the only complete history of this environmentally important region.

Voyageur Country describes the environmental significance of the park, beginning with its geologic and glacial history and continuing through current flora and fauna. Treuer then examines human influences on the land, including those of the Ojibwe Indians, French voyageurs, lumber barons, and wilderness advocates. The birth of the modern incarnation of Voyageurs as a national park is detailed, with accounts of the contributions of Sigurd Olson and other conservationists.

The first paperback edition of this classic work includes an updated preface and chronology. Filled with the irony and paradox of the supercharged world of environmental politics, Voyageur Country is an essential launching point for considering the policy that guides our relationship with the land.

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Robert Treuer is a writer and tree farmer who lives near Bemidji, Minnesota. His books include The Tree Farm (1977) and A Northwoods Window (1990). His essays, short stories, and articles have been widely published.

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This historical account of the establishment of Voyageurs National Park is a valuable addition to the wilderness literature.

L. David Mech, author of The Wolf and The Wolves of Denali

In his original 1979 book, Robert Treuer offered those of us who worked so hard to establish Voyageurs National Park a rich account of the human and natural history the park is meant to preserve. He also told us much about the forces arrayed against the park. The republication is timely indeed, for those same forces are at work again today to undo the park. For a new generation of Americans fighting to save it, Voyageur Country will be a tremendous tool.

Counselor Gaylord Nelson, The Wilderness Society

Treuer’s book, like the name of our park, is a voyage through history, taking us back in time into the shoes of the Ojibway, fur traders, early settlers and legislators who all shared an appreciation for the beauty of the land that would become Voyageurs National Park.

Duluth News-Tribune