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    Posted July 14, 2009 by
    nealmoore
    Location
    Wanagan Landing, Minnesota
    Assignment
    Assignment
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Neal Moore canoes the Mississippi

    More from nealmoore

    Homesteaders protect the wild and scenic Upper Mississippi

     

    Homesteaders protect the wild and scenic Upper Mississippi

     

    By Neal Moore

     

    WANAGAN LANDING, Minnesota (CNN iReport) --- I stopped off at

    Wanagan Landing, a good six hour paddle from the source of the Mississippi River, where I met a gentleman who represents six generations of homesteaders – by the name of Donald Keith Butler.  Mr. Butler expressed his love of the land and of the need to protect it for future generations to enjoy.  He said that he had been taught by his grandfather to respect the land and that he was passing these values on to his children and to his grandchildren.  Mr. Butler explained that “there were originally ten important homesteading families who really set the stage for the last century.”   A number of these present-day homesteading families have banded together to jointly preserve the land as “a wild and scenic refuge for the soul.”

     

    Mr. Butler, a former real estate developer who worked in the nearby town of Bemiji, has not once considered dividing up his 160 acres of land on the Mississippi.  He represents positive voluntary action in action.  People who are familiar with the land – who know it and who love it.  Mr. Butler showed me a point on a dirt path not far from the Mississippi River where I conducted this interview.  He told me of how he remembered his grandfather back in the 1930’s being wheeled away in the family Chevy when he got sick, pinpointing the exact spot where the grandfather had rolled out of the truck.  “We picked him up and put him back in and then went over the bridge and to the hospital – where he died some twenty days later.”  For Mr. Butler, this land is personal.  People naturally get a love for the land.  And when they do, they want to take care of it.

     

     

    Follow the journey…

     

    Blog: flashriversafari.com

     

    Foundation: creativevisions.org

     

    iReport: ireport.com/people/nealmoore

     

    Twitter: twitter.com/mooreneal

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