The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation (TRMF) has gifted 3.5 acres to the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation (TRPLF). The donated land will be used for shared parking, walking and hiking pathways, and a redesigned passage to both the Burning Hills Amphitheatre and the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library.
“The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation and Presidential Library are crucial partners,” said Linda Pancratz, board chair of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library Foundation and also a member of the board of directors of the Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation. “This gift makes clear that our success is shared — for Medora, Billings County, North Dakota, and our nation.”
“The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation believes in the T.R. Presidential Library,” said Tim O’Keefe, chair of TRMF. “The gift of this land is just the start of a mutually beneficial relationship as interdependent neighbors and partners.”
The two organizations also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), a critical step toward the beginning of construction in 2023. The agreement creates an access easement for the T.R. Library’s use of Chateau Road. Both organizations will next contemplate an Operating Agreement, Temporary Construction Access, water and other utility easements. The MOU and land donation was unanimously approved by the TRMF Board.
“The Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation was founded in 1986 by Harold Schafer,” said Randy Hatzenbuhler, president and chief executive officer of TRMF. “It’s incredible to know that 36 years later Medora will be home to a presidential library.”
TRMF and the T.R. Library are two of the participants in the Medora Area Plan or MAP. The purpose of the group is to assist development and growth in and around Medora. The stakeholders include the City of Medora and its Chamber of Commerce, Billings County, the National Park Service, U.S. Forest Service, North Dakota Department of Transportation, North Dakota Parks & Recreation, and the State Historical Society. They held their first of three community workshops in May and two additional sessions are planned for October 2, 2022, and January 22, 2023.
TRPLF recently announced the purchase of 90.3 acres of land from the U.S. Forest Service. The transaction completes an 18-month process that began when TRPLF received Congressional approval to acquire the land for construction of the T.R. Library in western North Dakota. Construction is set to begin in 2023 and a grand opening is planned for July 4, 2026 — the 250th anniversary of America and the Declaration of Independence.