To the editor:
Keweenaw National Historical Park's 20th Anniversary was a milestone event in the saga of the Copper Country's efforts to preserve the resources and bring the country's attention to the nationally significant story of copper mining that occurred here with the attendant economic benefit associated with a national park.
In the spirit of those that endured the hardships of the mid-1800s wilderness to establish and develop the copper mining industry, Copper Country residents rose to the challenge of being left to fend for themselves when its singular industry shut down operations and unceremoniously departed from the region.
Twenty years after convincing Congress of its national significance, Keweenaw NHP is making an economic impact on the Copper Country with preservation projects that have spawned millions of dollars for the local construction industry and a world-class visitor center that drew more than 30,000 people in its very first year of operation - sure to increase significantly as the word spreads throughout the Midwest and beyond to the rest of the country.
With Keweenaw NHP's 20th Anniversary behind us, I would like to take this opportunity to express our gratitude to those who celebrated the community's national park together.
First, to The Daily Mining Gazette for working with us in so many ways to accentuate the importance of the heritage we all share; to U.S. Senator Carl Levin for his unwavering support and passion for Keweenaw NHP, and to Deputy Regional Director Patty Trap for taking time out of her busy schedule to experience the pride that the Copper Country has for its national park.
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To the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community Cultural Committee, Dance Troupe, and Drum Circle for sharing cultural traditions, strengthening the tie between the thousands of years of Native American copper mining heritage and the post-European era of the copper mining story.
To the park Founders, the Keweenaw Heritage Sites, and all of the 'Partners in Preservation' throughout the Copper Country; to the Isle Royale & Keweenaw Parks Association for their ardent support and efforts on the park's behalf; to area businesses that supported the contests and door prizes: Shelden Grill, Michigan House Caf, Northstar BP, Irish Times, Country Village Shops, and Northern Cuts; and to the Village of Calumet and the Quincy Mine Hoist Association for partnering with us by providing venues for the events.
It was truly a celebration of YOUR national park.
Mike Pflaum, Park Superintendent