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Geology of the North Unit, Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park


The Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park* was established by an Act of Congress April 25, 1947. The Park erected by that original act was extended by Acts approved in 1948. At the present time, it consists of 65,648.50 acres of federally owned land on three separate units. One of these is near Medora which has been covered by another report,1 another near Watford City and the Elkhorn Ranch site about midway between the two along the Little Missouri River. This report deals with the unit near Watford City which is known as the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park-North Unit. It is located largely in the southern part of T. 148 N., Rgs. 99 and 100 W., and in the northern part of T. 147, Rgs. 99 and 100 W. U.S. Highway 85 passes along the east side of the park area with the park entrance about 15 miles south of Watford City.

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

1Laird, W. M. The geology of the south unit Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park: N. D. History, Vol. 17, pp. 1-18, 1950. Reprinted as Bull. 25, N. D. Geological Survey.

FIGURE 1. Diagrammatic sketch map showing the location of the North Unit of Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park. (click on image for an enlargement in a new window)


The work that has been done on this report has been materially aided by a number of individuals. Notably, my greatest appreciation should be expressed to Mr. Emmett R. Schmitz, formerly a graduate student at the University of North Dakota. Mr. Schmitz wrote his Master's thesis on this and adjacent areas and some of the geological interpretation contained in this report has been derived from his work.

I have been materially assisted by Mr. Robert Roebrich, student draftsman of the North Dakota Geological Survey.

Mr. Ben Bay, Custodian of the North Unit of the park as well as the various seasonal rangers of the North Unit have been most helpful in many ways. Thanks also are hereby expressed to Mr. John Jay, Superintendent of all Units of the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, and Mr. Chester Brooks, Historian of the Theodore Roosevelt National Memorial Park, both of Medora, North Dakota.

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Last Updated: 28-Mar-2006