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Boundary Waters Canoe Area History Center™

1978 History

Jan. 1978, Congress
Oberstar, Fraser request briefings on State Dept. meetings with Canada concerning Atikokan power plant.

Feb. 1978, Congress
National Parks Subcommittee Chairman Burton and Minnesota Rep. Vento start drafting BWCA Bill. As unusual courtesy invite Oberstar to participate in drafting of bill.

Mar. 1978, Congress
National Parks Subcommittee completes drafting of bill to be known as "Burton-Vento" and release to public.

Mar. 1978, Locals
Strongly oppose "Burton-Vento" Bill calling it a "disaster".

Mar. 1978, State
DNR study under state forester Sando concludes that there is enough softwood outside BWCA to serve state industry needs.

Apr. 1978, Congress
Interior Committee approve B-V Bill after deleting section providing federal controls on road corridors near BWCA on demand by locals.

Apr. 1978, Congress
Senator Anderson declares himself opposed to B-V Bill and in favor of increased motor use in meeting sponsored by Alliance in Virginia, MN.

Apr. 1978, Citizens
React strongly to Anderson statement. Alliance pro; Friends con.

Apr. 1978, State
Gov. Perpich states motor provisions of B-V Bill should be relaxed.

Apr. 1978, Congress
Oberstar offers "compromise" bill in opposition to "B-V" Bill which eliminates controversial NRA withdrawals of his previous bills.

Apr. 1978, Congress
MN Rep. Quie opposes B-V Bill and says he favors original Oberstar Bill.

Apr. 1978, Citizens
200 picket Anderson fund raiser in Minneapolis featuring John Denver.

Apr. 1978, Locals
"Alliance" sympathizers march in Duluth to show opposition to B-V Bill.

May 1978, Congress
Senatorial candidate Boschwitz introduces BI-ICA Bill of his own closely approximating B-V Bill but without wilderness additions.

May 1978, State
Demonstration organized to embarrass Fraser at MN State DFL Convention.  Busloads of locals shout disapproval under leadership of Oberstar. Parliamentary maneuvering causes BWCA wilderness plank to narrowly miss adoption.

May 1978, State
DNR Commissioner Nye fired because of political conflicts. Replaced by DNR veteran Alexander who favors multiple use BWCA.

June 1978, Congress
Three MN congressmen offer further compromises on B-V Bill to facilitate passage.

June 1978, Congress
Congress passes thrice-compromised B-V Bill by 324 to 29 after parliamentary maneuver by Oberstar fails. Rep. Quie actively opposes bill passage.

June 1978, Congress
Senators Anderson and Humphrey introduce bill in Senate banning logging and Mining but providing same motor use as earlier Oberstar Bill.

June 1978, Citizens
Friends of BWCAW react strongly to Anderson bill.  Criticize extensive motor use.  Alliance voice strong support for Anderson bill.

June 1978, State
IR party convention writes plank favoring multiple use BWCA.  (Scorns Boschwitz plan.)

June 1978, Congress
Senators Anderson and Humphrey introduce bill in Senate banning logging and mining but paralleling Oberstar bill on motor use.

July 1978, Citizens
Second Minnesota poll shows that citizens favor restricted motor use in BWCA by ratio of 3:2.

July 1978, Congress
Sen. Anderson sponsors "fact finding tour" of BWCA for key committee senators.   Alliance and Mayor Grahek of Ely act as hosts.  During hearing, on last day of tour, Sen. Abourezk (committee chairman) approaches representatives of Friends and of Alliance requesting both sides negotiate a settlement on motorized usage.

July 1978, Citizens
Charles Dayton, environmental attorney, representing the Friends and Ran Walls, Ely city attorney representing locals, each supported by advisors, meet in 22 hour marathon negotiating session supervised by aides of Sen. Abourezk. Reach agreement an compromise plan.

1978, State
DNR Chief Alexander voices outrage at being excluded from Dayton-Walls negotiations. by Abourezk.

Aug. 1978, Citizens
Concurrent review meetings of plan held by Alliance and Friends. Alliance angrily rejects compromise plan by overwhelming majority and denounces Walls.  Upon hearing of this, Friends suspend further consideration.

Aug. 1978, Congress
Sen. Anderson announces he will introduce new bill incorporating Dayton-Walls compromise plan.

Aug. 1978, Locals
Alliance and Ely citizens state blockade of BWCA entry points to protest.  Denounce Sen. Anderson.

Aug. 1978, President
Carter endorses the compromise bill.

Sept. 1978, State
Short defeats Fraser in primary election. Alliance celebrates, claims responsibility for defeat.

Oct. 1978, Congress
Senate passes Anderson Compromise BWCA bill and sends it to House. Anderson vows veto if bill is altered.

Oct. 1978, Congress
House starts consideration of BWCA bill. First step blocked temporarily by Quie procedural move.

Oct. 11 1978, Congress
House and Senate Conferees agree to accept Senate BWCA bill.

Oct. 12-14, 1978, Congress
Oberstar and Quie seek to rally votes against BWCA bill passage.

Oct. 15, 1978, Congress
House passed BWCA bill procedural action by 248 to 111 after roll call vote on final day of 95th Congress at 8:30 AM. Upon this passage voted without opposition to pass bill (P.L. 95-495). Senate passed same bill at 12:15 PM after locating mislaid House bill. (Within an hour of formal session closing.)

Oct. 21, 1978, President
Carter signs 81-ICA bill into law over last minute appeals by Oberstar.

Nov. 1978, Congress
Oberstar alleges he rejected Burton offer to delay BWCA bill in return for his vote for House leadership. (Burton angrily denies any such offer.)

Nov. 1978, Locals
Kainz Logging Co. closes blaming BWCA bill timber "lockout". Others say it was marginal operation for years and had alternative timber sources available.

Nov. 1978, Congress, State
Boschwitz and Durenberger elected U.S. Senators (Short defeated overwhelmingly.)   Quie elected Gov. of Minnesota.

Nov. 1978, Friends
Friends of Boundary Waters Wilderness meet to decide whether to disband or continue. Decide that imminent threats require need to stay in being. Dr. Heinselman and other officers choose to step down. Alan Watson unanimously elected new chairman.

Dec. 1978, Locals
Alliance asks Quie to challenge BWCA law in courts. Also ask Quie to retain Alexander as head of DNR.

Written by H.C. Johnson, M.L. Heinselman, E.M. Sitz

An outline of Boundary Waters Canoe Area History

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