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Meeting will review BWCA land exchange

A public conversation of the history of a 1965 land exchange between Joseph Perko and the United States of America will be held 7 p.m. March 19, 2019, in the high school media center, 705 Mill St, Zumbrota.

Prior to the 1965 creation of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, thousands of acres of private land lay within the proposed public recreation footprint. Joseph Perko owned several hundred of those acres, including a resort, and was unwilling to sell. Land exchanges became an important tool for procurement of difficult ownership parcels. Perko found equal value land exchanges to his liking. In 2010, forty-five years after the finalization of the 1965 land exchange, the U.S. Forest Service engaged in a plan to revise the 1965 land exchange and transform it into a new and different 2019 transaction. The 1965 land exchange parcel the United States ceded to Perko was disputed by the United States of America in 2010 and, at this time, continues unresolved.

Conversation at the meeting will review the history of the 1965 land exchange, oversight of signed land exchange documents, and what is being disputed. There will be time for questions and comments from the audience.