Rep. Peterson's Newsletter 12/31

Dec 31, 2013 Issues: Congressional Issues, Economy and Jobs

Mark Hartsell
Library of Congress Christmas Tree

Dear Friends,

The 113th Congress will enter its second session on January 7th as 2013 comes to a close. Northland Community and Technical College will benefit from the Federal Aviation Administration’s recent decision to designate North Dakota as a test site for Unmanned Aerial Systems. The National Park Service is making national park entrance fees free for nine days next year, and Chippewa Forest will have a big role to play in next year’s Christmas celebrations.


Congressman Collin C. Peterson
Minnesota 7th District

2014 House Legislative Calendar

Click here to view the tentative legislative calendar for 2014.

Unmanned Aerial Systems

This week the Federal Aviation Administration designated North Dakota as one of six test sites in the nation for Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). This is also good news for northwest Minnesota and for Northland Community and Technical College in Thief River Falls which offers a UAS maintenance-training program that was first in the nation. Thanks to the leadership team at Northland College, and all the other partners in the region who worked hard for many years to develop and implement this technology and the programs that are experiencing unprecedented growth, we will see this region as a leader in UAS.

Click here to read a UAS article written by the Grand Forks Herald.

National Park Service

The National Park Service announced that entrance to America’s 401 national parks will be free to the public on nine days in 2014.  Dates of free admission are: 

·         January 20: Martin Luther King Jr. Day

·         February 15-17: Presidents Day weekend

·         April 19-20: National Park Week’s opening weekend

·         August 25: National Park Service’s 98th birthday

·         September 27: National Public Lands Day

·         November 11: Veterans Day

According to National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, more than 280 million people visit America’s national parks each year. “National parks not only protect and preserve the places we most value; they also add enormous economic value to nearby communities and the entire nation. Visitor spending represents a $30 billion annual benefit to the national economy and supports more than 250,000 jobs,” said Jarvis. “Fee-free days are a great way to both thank those visitors and introduce parks to first-timers who can find a new place to call an old favorite.” 

Visitors should note that this is an entrance free waiver only, so it does not cover amenity or user fees for things such as camping, boat launches, transportation, or special tours.

For more information on Minnesota’s National Parks, click here.

2014 Capitol Christmas Tree

The U.S. Forest Service announced that Minnesota’s own Chippewa National Forest will provide the 2014 Capitol Christmas Tree. According to the Architect of the Capitol, the tradition of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records of correspondence dating back to 1919 show that a Christmas tree was purchased that year, but it was not until 1964 that a procedure for tree selection and a tree-lighting ceremony was established. The United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service has provided the trees since 1970. Minnesota has supplied the trees three times since then. 

The last Minnesota tree that graced the Capitol lawn was in 1992. I look forward to seeing a Minnesota tree return to our nation’s capital next year! 

This Week in American History

On December 31st, 1894, Roseau County, named for the lake and river within its region, was established by an order of Governor Knute Nelson. Roseau County borders Canada and Lake of the Woods in northwest Minnesota. According to the 2010 census, the population was 15,629 and covers a total area of 1,678 square miles.

Click here to learn more about the history of Roseau County.

“Guitar Painting”
Brady Larson (CROOKSTON)
2013 Congressional Art Competition