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Park Looks to Improve Relations With Area Resorts

By Randy Thoms Aug 15, 2022 | 10:12 AM

Voyageurs National Park hopes to improve relations between its park rangers and area resorts and businesses.

The park heard complaints from several owners about the lack of communication during recent listening sessions.

They were also concerned with the number of boaters being stopped by rangers this summer.

An update from Park Superintendent Bob DeGross acknowledges the increase, saying it was because of a no-wake zone established because of the high waters to prevent further damage to shoreline properties.

DeGross has issued a series of directives that include park rangers making visits at least once a year to the lodges to keep the lines of communication open.

He also plans to attend lake and property owner association meetings and continue hosting an annual meeting with commercial operators and houseboat companies associated with the park.

The rangers have also been instructed to introduce themselves and explain the reason behind their enforcement or inspections.
Park staff will also begin to report monthly on the visitations, law enforcement activities and other park information.

DeGross says they are also beginning to work on measures that avoid stopping or checking the same boat or person multiple times over a short period of time.

The park will also look at early or pre-seasons safety inspections of vessels to limit repeated inspections during the year.

Degross says they also want to work with operators on initiatives that ensure their clients are following the rules before they enter the park’s waters.

The park averages around 167 incidents and 53 citations being issued each year.

Sixty-seven per cent of all cases occur during the summer months.

The park attracts about 240,000 visitors annually.



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