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House passes Nolan Bill to streamline Voyageurs National Park land management

The U.S. House of Representatives recently passed by unanimous consent U.S. Rep Rick Nolan's legislation to streamline the management of land within and adjacent to Voyageurs National Park.

The Bureau of Land Management currently manages 49 acres of land within the boundaries of the park that were not transferred to the National Park Service when the park was established. Rep. Nolan's bill, H.R.1350, formally transfers Bureau of Land Management lands to the National Park Service. This legislation will save staff time and taxpayer dollars by eliminating duplicative land management requirements between the two Department of Interior agencies.

In addition, the measure resolves an outstanding land management issue faced by the state of Minnesota and Koochiching County by authorizing the use of a land exchange to swap certain state tax-forfeited tracts within the boundaries of Voyageurs National Park for a National Park Service-owned tract outside the park boundary.

"I am pleased to see the House pass this much-needed legislation, which will enhance land management at Minnesota's crown jewel in the parks system, Voyageurs National Park," Nolan stated in a news release. "This legislation ensures that Voyageurs National Park will be managed consistently to provide thousands of visitors with an even better experience here in our beautiful Minnesota north country."

Minnesota's senators have introduced companion legislation, S. 502, which cleared the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources back in May 2017. Koochiching County, the state of Minnesota and the National Parks Conservation Association support the bill. According to the National Park Service, there are no anticipated costs associated with the inter-agency land transfer.