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MPLS Star Trib editorial on eviction notices to leasholders

Questions regarding the history of the island and historical places on the island.

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MPLS Star Trib editorial on eviction notices to leasholders

Post by iroy6 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 12:02 pm

Today's Minneapolis Star Tribune (Aug 29, 2010) has an interesting editorial about eviction notices sent to eight of the current leaseholders (including the Sivertsons). Link: ... _Yyc:aUUsZ

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Re: MPLS Star Trib editorial on eviction notices to leashold

Post by Midwest Ed » Sun Aug 29, 2010 2:41 pm

Thank you for the updated information on this subject. I’ve wondered from time to time what the government policies have been and what the future holds regarding these “private”/leased properties.

I have not followed this closely, but it makes me wonder. . . just how old does human activity need to be before its impact is historically significant and should be preserved? I do not know the answer, but I have trouble entrusting the decision to a government bureaucrat.
8 trips, 1975 x 2, 1976 x 2, 1978, 1985, 2000, 2013

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Re: MPLS Star Trib editorial on eviction notices to leashold

Post by moss13 » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:00 pm

I saw this in my paper this morning. I think it is ridiculous to "evict" family members who have been on the island before it was ever a park. Even the Sivertson's got an eviction notice. They have been a popular name along the north shore of Minnesota for years and have written books and artwork of the island. They have lots of great stories and are a great asset to the history of Isle Royale and now they are getting evicted!? Remember all of those families were given "lifetime leases" by the Park Service and now all of a sudden they want to change the rules to fit their greedy ways!? Phyllis Green should be ashamed of herself for having the audacity to hand out these evictions.

This is well written by Brian and like he says in the article these cabins are rarely noticed and off the beaten path that the visitors don't see. They are in no way "diminishing" the wilderness. If you take away these valuable residents you are taking away a tremendous amount of history and stories from the island that can't be replaced by someone in the Park Service with a chip on her shoulder trying to use the government as a powertrip.

I hope these families find a way to stay on the island like they deserve.

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Re: MPLS Star Trib editorial on eviction notices to leashold

Post by Tom » Sun Aug 29, 2010 4:34 pm

We should note that this is an editorial, and thus doesn't fully represent both sides of the story.
I have a difficult time taking sides on the matter. I can see merits and arguments in both sides.

I'm nearly certain that Phyllis Green is not changing the terms of the lifetime leases. Those remain, what limited few there are. Remember, these aren't for the lifetime of the family lineage; these are for the lifetime of the living family members at which time the contract was signed. For instance, Clara Sivertson just passed away this May, and she was the remaining lease holder for the Sivertson clan, even though Sivertson decendants remain. What Phyllis IS doing is electing not to perhaps issue VIP (Volunteer in the Parks) designation for these families, which had most recently been "past practice" for those folks. In exchange for the families maintaining these historic structures as well as being willing to let park visitors tour/visit (as opposed to private land during the lease) those families were allowed to continue to use those properties. However, technically, the properties became owned by the park service, I beleive.

I can't say I fully disagree with Phyllis; in some ways it might seem to her like she was getting "poked" by these families who wanted to change the terms of a lease signed by their ancestors. Some families (as indicated in the editorial) where trying to go above her and get Congressional protection to change the terms of the lease and/or how the terms of the end of the lease were carried out. Ms Green probably felt a little backed in a corner if things moved forward, and so she elected to exercise her right as park superintendent to enforce the end terms of these leases. I do believe she was fully within her power to do so, even if it doesn't seem very nice. But again, the actions of the families might not seem so nice, either..

Ultimately, a long time ago some contracts were signed to make the entire archepelago a National Park. Slowly over time, many of those small islands have reverted to NPS care. I DO think that the historic structures are just as much a part of the history of Isle Royale and deserve to stay just as the mines, (both ancient and modern), moose, and wolves are. The NPS doesn't have the funding to maintain them, and so these interested families are a great way of keeping them up. That being said, I don't think they should be "private" property per se once the lease terms are up. That's just the way it goes.

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Re: MPLS Star Trib editorial on eviction notices to leashold

Post by sgerbs » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:11 am

Here is an article from a NW Indiana newspaper about the "eviction" of residents from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. Indiana Dunes is quite a bit different than Isle Royale, but it's still an interesting story none the less.,n ... 08.article

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