Archive for the ‘Theodore Roosevelt National Park’ Tag

Theodore Roosevelt National Park   1 comment

Theodore Roosevelt NP 00Where Is It: The Park is in western North Dakota. It’s 558 miles west and north of Minneapolis, or about 150 miles from the Canadian border.

The Birth: National Park Information Page:

When Theodore Roosevelt stepped off the train in the Dakota Territory for the first time, he was in search of adventure. The date was 08 Sep 1883, and the town that slept at 2:00 am was Little Missouri, a shoddy collection of buildings on the west bank of the river. The 24-year-old Roosevelt was bursting with anticipation about shooting a bison. A feat the took him 10 days to accomplish. Before returning to New York, just two weeks after he arrived, he entered into a partnership to raise cattle on the Maltese Cross Ranch. The next year he returned to the badlands and started a second open-range ranch, the Elkhorn. Theodore Roosevelt returned again over the next few years to live the life of a cowboy, explore, invigorate his body and to have the Little Missouri Badlands renew his spirit. Theodore Roosevelt wrote: “I would not have been President, had it not been for my experience in North Dakota.”

Today, the colorful North Dakota badlands provides the scenic backdrop to the park which memorializes the 26th president for his enduring contributions to the conservation of our nation’s resources. The area was first established as a Memorial Park in 1947. It gained National Park status in 1978.

It Happened Here: From NationalParksTraveler.com:

Theodore Roosevelt exiled himself to this landscape in 1884 after the death of both his wife, Alice, two days after giving birth to their daughter, and his mother on the same day, Valentine’s Day 1884. Claiming a parcel along the Little Missouri River some 35 miles north of Medora, Roosevelt based his Elkhorn Ranch there to serve as the headquarters for his modest ranching operations.

Size: 70,448 acres

# Visitors: 563,407 visitors in 2011.

Plants: From Wikipedia:

The scenery changes constantly in relationship with the seasons. The brown, dormant grass dominates from late summer through the winter, but explodes into green color in the early summer along with hundreds of species of flowering plants. Winter can be a beautiful scene as snow covers the sharp terrain of the badlands and locks the park into what Theodore Roosevelt called “an abode of iron desolation.”

Animals: From Wikipedia:

One of the most popular attractions is wildlife viewing. The park is home to a wide variety of Great Plains wildlife including bison, feral horses, elk, bighorn sheep, white-tailed deer and mule deer, prairie dogs, and at least 186 species of birds including golden eagles, sharp-tailed grouse, and wild turkeys. Bison may be dangerous and visitors are advised to view them from a distance. Bison, elk, and bighorn sheep have been successfully reintroduced to the park.

Choices: From NationalParksTraveler.com:

Like all national parks, Theodore Roosevelt National Park is open year-round. That said, choose wisely when you want to visit the park. The height of summer can be brutally hot, and the middle of winter can be brutally cold.

Summers are warm with average high temperatures in the 70s and 80s May through September. Winters are cold with average lows in the single digits December through February. Wind is considerable year-round. Conditions can change quickly.

The park receives an average of 15 inches of precipitation per year, which includes an average of 30 inches of snow during winter months. Travelers should be aware of the potential for violent thunderstorms in the summer and the possibility of blizzard conditions in the winter.

Fees: $10 per vehicle for a 7 day pass.

Contact Info:

Headquarters/South Unit
Box 7
315 Second Avenue
Medora, ND 58645-0007
Phone: 701-623-4466
North Unit
208 Scenic Drive
Watford City, ND 58854
Phone: 701-842-6828

Current Issues: From the LA Times:

But the night skies around the former president’s Elkhorn Ranch, referred to as the “cradle of conservation” by environmentalists and historians, now glow orange. From some of the highest points in what is now Theodore Roosevelt National Park, dozens of natural gas flares are visible not far away. They’re the product of an oil boom using hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell, in a speech Thursday outlining the administration’s conservation goals, cited Theodore Roosevelt National Park as an example of what some see as the quintessential issue for the department: striking the right balance between development and conservation.

“The purpose of the park is to provide for future generations,” said Winthrop Roosevelt, a great-great-grandson of the late president. The ability to do so is compromised, he said, if developers expose the parks to that type of drilling “without having a really good knowledge of the long-term effects it may have.”

More

National Park Service: Theodore Roosevelt National Park

Wild Horses of Theodore Roosevelt National Park

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