Senator Gaylord Nelson
and his Indian friends saved the Namekagon River
Back in 1965 Gaylord Nelson paddled down
the beautiful Namekagon River with Senator Walter Mondale, 138 canoeists
and tribal members from Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe Tribe to help protect
the Namekagon from development.
In 1968 the beautiful Namekagon and St.
Croix Rivers became the first rivers east of the Mississippi to be
protected under the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act.
To view photos from that historic event click on
the pictures below.
To view the
complete Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, click here
Nelson and his guide from Lac Courte Oreilles, Bill Barber
Nelson and Senator Walter Mondale paddle the Namekagon River in 1965
to draw attention to the need to protect the St. Croix and Namekagon
Rivers from development by utilities and others.
The Milwaukee Journal
Monday, June 21, 1965
There were 138 canoes in the flotilla that
toured the Namekagon River Sunday to promote it as a national scenic
waterway. Leader of the expedition was Senator Gaylord Nelson (D-Wis.)
who paddled a canoe (left) with his Indian guide, William Barber of
Hayward. The canoeists (upper) with Sen. Nelson (right)and Sen.
Walter F. Mondale (D-Minn.) (checkered shirt, second canoe from
left), in the lead, pulled into Rat river camp for a noon lunch. The
trip started at Historyland and ended 20 miles and several hours
later at Springbrook on highway 63. An Indian style feast of chicken
and wild rice, organized by Hayward businessman Tony Wise, was held
that evening at Historyland. The trip was planned to call attention
to the Namekagon and St.Croix rivers for inclusion in a bill being
considered by congress to protect scenic waterways of the Nation.
-Journal Photos by Fred L. Tonne
line the riverbank in preparation for the historic day.
riders Sandy Lyon and her mother help canoeists at the Springbrook
To read Gaylord's May 2004 statement to
the National Parks Service opposing the crossing of the Namekagon River
by the 345,000 volt transmission line,
click here to read the pdf