Our Mission is: "To continue the over 100-year presence of family heritage, culture and rich human tradition on Isle Royale; to assure the preservation of historic family dwellings; to enhance the experience of NPS staff and Park visitors by serving as authentic links to Isle Royale's rich human history."

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Update January 1, 2003

Winter Meeting February 1st

On February 1st IROFA will have its 2003 winter meeting. We will be meeting at the Holiday Inn on Saturday afternoon for a  discussion of our plans for 2003 and beyond. In the evening we will be dinning together, after dinner there will be an IROFA presentation and further discussion. We have arranged a rate of no more than $85.00 per night.  There is an advance rate of $76.48 which is nonrefundable. If you click on the link you will go to and you will be able to access the group rate by typing IRF where indicated.

There will be a more informal gathering on Friday night. Some details have yet to be worked out, such as the cost of the dinner and the exact time of our meetings. It is very important to get a good turn out. This is going to be a working meeting. This may be the most important event you ever attend as it pertains to your future on Isle Royale. I want to remind everyone what is required to be an IROFA member; you have to agree with our mission statement. That means leaseholder, SUP's, longtime visitors, historians, rangers, can all be part of our group. The hotel contact information is as follows: 1500 WASHINGTON AVENUE SOUTH MINNEAPOLIS, MN 55454, Toll-Free: (800)4483663,Tel: (612)333-4646 Fax:(612)-333-7910.

Click on the Report or NPS icon and read the entire administrative history of making Pictured Rocks National Lake Shore. This gives an excellent description of the purchase process and many of the difficulties that the private owners had with NPS, and how the NPS chose to interpret the law and deal with the local community. The section quoted below is of particular interest for IROFA members.

 "Beattie (the first Superintendent of Pictured Rocks and subsequent Isle Royale  Superintendent) based [his] "proactive acquisition" program on a careful reading of the enabling legislation. Public Law 89-668, which created the lakeshore, clearly stated that: "Any owner or owners of improved property on the date of its acquisition by the Secretary may, as a condition to such acquisition, retain, for a term not to exceed twenty five years the right of use and occupancy" Yet that section of the bill also contained an ambiguous clause which limited such rights to those properties which do "not impair the usefulness and attractiveness of the area designated for inclusion." Beattie decided to apply this clause to any properties at or adjacent to areas of public use."

Beattie's policy went unnoticed until complaints from property owners reached the Regional Office. William W. Redmond, the Regional Solicitor, was called in to give an opinion of Beattie's interpretation of the act. Redmond undertook a hasty review of the legislative history and determined that owners of improved properties had the right to twenty-five-year lease. Beattie felt Redmond's ruling made it an "utter impossibility" to achieve a "viable and workable park unit." He refused to accept an interpretation which was "to the overall detriment of our program and of the interests of the great majority of the American public." He asked Hamilton to suspend negotiations on all improved tracts while Beattie lobbied Associate Regional Director Edmunds to get the ruling reversed. Redmond, however, saw nothing legally wrong with his initial opinion. But rather than get in the way of a determined management team, he did agree to withdraw his memorandum. Land acquisition went forward as before, although the Pictured Rocks program was always at risk that a condemnation proceeding might lead the Justice Department to rule in favor of more long-term leases. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore Advisory Commission fully supported Beattie's disinclination to allow twenty-five-year leases. [131]

"The legacy of Superintendent Beattie's "proactive" approach to land acquisition was a tremendous asset to the long-term resource management of the Pictured Rocks. From a very early stage of its development, the Park Service had control of the shoreline zone. The long drawn-out acquisition history of Sleeping Bear Dunes was avoided as were the unsightly private dwellings that continue to detract from Isle Royale a half century after the park was created. Yet a reservoir of ill-will also was a legacy of the rapid displacement of property owners from the shoreline zone. This was particularly the case in the Grand Sable Lake area. A string of cottages and private homes along the lake were reluctantly sold. The threat of condemnation and the promise of extensive public development of the area by the Park Service prodded the residents out. Yet, after the properties were demolished, little in the way of public development took place at the Grand Sable Lake. Home owners who originally felt they had received a fair price for their lands then felt cheated because their continued use of the property under a lease would not have conflicted with public development."

The adjacent picture is the of the "Sullivan's Cabin" located at Pictured Rocks and is used a "ranger station/residence". It is touted for its energy efficiency. Click on the picture and you can find out more about how this building is powered, which I do find interesting, however, nothing about the history. Further this building and many others managed by NPS are just as "unsightly" as the ones our families have been in for over a hundred years. I don't wish to be confrontational, but I think it is fair to point out some of the contradictions we face in dealing with NPS.


Watch the news story played on KDLH - Ch. 3 about Isle Royale
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Our Mission Statement
The purpose of Isle Royale Original Families Association (IROFA) is to continue the over 100-year presence of our families on Isle Royale; preserve our culture, heritage and traditions; and enhance the experience of both park visitors and NPS staff by serving as an authentic link to Isle Royale's rich human history.


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Last modified: June 28, 2007