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In the heart of our nation lies a riverway that has been federally protected for more than 50 years and stewarded by Native Americans for thousands of years before that. ItThis river carried logs piled so high they caused jams two miles long. It witnessed the first steamboats, a Minnesota firestorm, and even a briefly booming pearl button factory. The onset of the fur trade, European settlement, and urban development began to threaten these once-pristine waters. The unique habitat for aquatic life and recreational opportunities such as fishing and paddling was enough cause for people to rally for the water’s protection.

 

This week on America’s National Parks: the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.