Theodore Roosevelt
Administrative History
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methodnumber of tracts number of acres
declaration of taking675.95
withdrawal from other public domaind259,145.67
less land disposed of (see Appendix A)
(-) 536.28
(+) 740.5l

SOURCE: National Park Service Division of Land Acquisition, "Master Deed Listing," memorandum, 31 July 1980 (Medora: THRO-A).


a) Purchases were reserved for special cases, such as the necessary acquisition of the souvenir shop on the rim at Cedar Canyon along U. S. 10. The property there was bought in 1959 to make way for Interstate 94, but the owner was allowed to operate until 1964. 1963 Master Plan.

b) When the National Memorial Park was created, the Service retained some old Recreational Demonstration Area lands just outside the official boundaries to use in exchange for private land within. Most of the RDA surplus had been exchanged for inholdings by 1965. 1963 Master Plan; Warren D. Hotchkiss, "Park highlight briefing statements for 1965," memorandum, 4 January 1966 (Medora: THRO-S).

c) The only condemnation proceeding the government ever had to make was against the owner of a 160-acre parcel in the middle of the South Unit along the south side of Jones Creek. The owner had purchased the property in 1955 and used it to operate a small ranch; it was fenced and included a 12 x 32 house. Although his principal residence was not on the property, he ran a herd of about fifty head of cattle there from 1955 to 1966 (including driving them to and from his property over park land using the stock easement), at which time, according to him, repeated damage to his fence and harassment of his cattle by the park's bison herd made it impossible for him to raise domesticated live stock any longer. The park had been trying to buy him out since at least the early 1960s, but his asking price was too high. In 1974 the Service finally had his property condemned. He was paid $150 per acre and $5624 in severance damages for a total purchase price of $29,624. By the autumn of 1975 he had vacated the premises; the house, fencing, and other improvements were soon removed. See 1963 Master Plan; Robert W. Jackson to Asst. Regional Director, Operations (MWRO), memorandum, 16 July 1968 (Medora: THRO-S); Dickinson Press, 28 November 1974 and 19 September 1975; David L. Olson, "Report of Real Property Transaction," memorandum, 2 June 1976 (Medora: THRO-A).

d) This acreage was reserved in November 1936 for the park from part of the land recently acquired for the public domain under the submarginal land purchase program.

e) The Park Service is currently trying to clarify the confusing inholding situation within Theodore Roosevelt, and late in 1985 published the results of a two-and-a-half-year investigation into non-federal mineral ownership interests in the park ("Summary of Mineral Title Project, Theodore Roosevelt National Park," unpublished MS, 10 October 1985, THRO-A); even after this exhaustive study, uncertainty remains, due not in small part to errors in plat maps, unresolved judicial claims, and so on. The most recent information on surface rights is as follows: South Unit, two tracts (176.3 acres total); Elkhorn Unit, none; North Unit, six tracts (approximately 512 acres total). "Land Protection Plan and Boundary Issues—Concerns and Recommendations, Theodore Roosevelt National Park," unpublished MS, 7 September 1984 (THRO-A), 1-4.

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Last Updated: 15-Jan-2004