Resort owners concerned about policing in Voyageurs National Park

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It’s been a busy summer already for resort owners. They tell us they are happy to welcome in guests to the beauty of the northwoods.

But they are catching more than just fish. Operators like Drake Dill from Cabins on Crane are catching word of unpleasant interactions with law enforcement.

“Something has changed with law enforcement inside the park. Park Rangers aren’t introducing themselves. When someone asks them what the law is, the Park Ranger isn’t willing to tell them. It’s been the theme all summer,” Dill told us. 

Another longtime operator, Jim Janssen, said they aren’t opposed to Rangers doing their jobs. “But at least treat our people with respect. That’s what’s absent,” he said.

According to the Department of Interior’s website, ideal candidates for Park Rangers will “serve as a personable and well-informed ambassador for the Department of the Interior.”

They brought their concerns to the park Superintendent, Bob DeGross, during a series of meetings. They said he listened to them, but nothing has been addressed.

“To not take ownership, and to not give some definitive answers, that’s just wrong,” added Rob Scott, owner of Scott’s Peaceful Valley Resort. “Nobody’s 100% one way or the other, when it comes to these stories of interactions, it’s somewhere in between. And you gotta figure that out.”

The operators said DeGross generally has had a good relationship with the communities.

Voyageurs declined to comment for this story, and referred WDIO to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

That office referred us to the National Park Service. We have not heard back as of Wednesday afternoon.