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Geology of the South Unit, Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park


The Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park* was created by an act of the Congress of the United States on April 25, 1947, and was formally dedicated on June 4, 1949. As extended by acts of Congress, it consists of 71,191 acres of land in three separate units, one near Medora, another near Watford City and the third, the Elkhorn ranch site about midway between the two others along the Little Missouri River. The south part of the Park and the only part considered in this report is located in Billings county, North Dakota, and is found roughly within the boundaries of Townships 140 and 141 north and Ranges 100, 101 and 102 West, the south boundary of the Park consisting mainly of U. S. Highway No. 10. The south entrance of the Park is about one and one-half miles cast of the town of Medora, the county seat of Billings County.

*The park was redesignated Theodore Roosevelt National Park in 1978.


This report is being presented so that the public may become better acquainted with some of the more interesting geological and scenic features of the Park. This report should not be considered a technical paper for it is not intended as such.


The writer owes many thanks to numerous individuals for the assistance given in the preparation of this report. The local officials of the National Park Service namely, Mr. Allyn Hanks, Mr. Ray Mattison and Mr. William Briggle were most helpful in furnishing transportation and giving suggestions in the course of the work. Three of my students, Mr. Calvin Truax, Mr. John Fyten and Mr. Erwin Strecker did the spade work in the geology of this area as a project for their summer field course. Mr. Nicholas Kohanowski and Mr. Stanley Fisher of the North Dakota Geological Survey helped with the supervision of the student work and many thanks are due them for many suggestions and assistance in the progress of the work. Mr. Saul Aranow kindly read the manuscript and made valuable suggestions. Mr. Russell Reid of the State Historical Society was most helpful in the suggesting of the problem and in the printing of this report.

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Last Updated: 28-Mar-2006