On Thursday Feb 13th, 2003, the national congress passed the 2003 fiscal year omnibus bill allocating $397 billion. The bill passed the House on a 338-83 vote and the Senate by 76 to 20. President Bush thanked members of Congress said he will sign it.

Included in the bill is $750,000, which was appropriated by Representative Martin Olav Sabo for the protection of Coldwater Spring!

This money is intended "to explore options to restore the Bureau of Mines property to community use"

In other words, it is intended to find a way to turn the Camp Coldwater area into a park, of some sort. Which could include an interpretive center sought after by the American Indians. If it remains in Federal hands, the area will have the most protections available. The Federal Government will have to decide what to do with the buildings on the property if that is the case.

The next best option is to remove the Bureau of Mines buildings (which have already been declared unusable by the US Fish and Wildlife) and give the land, without building liability, to Fort Snelling State Park, who already manages the east half of the Camp Coldwater area anyways.

The city of Minneapolis is also receiving a proposal to buy the land as an extension of Minnehaha Park. Unfortunately unless the city makes an extremely tight Memorandum of Agreement, many current protections would legally disappear with their purchase. They are also receiving a proposal that would include bike paths through the area. This is another issue of contention, as the land already is bordered by two bike trails as is.

However with the $750,000 appropriation, these issues, and more, can be brought to light and worked out.


If you are so inclined, feel free to drop him a personal thank-you note!


In the year 2010, the Bureau of Mines Property was transferred to the National Park Service and made a part of the 72 mile long " Mississippi River and Recreation Area". Officially the Coldwater Unit, offering not only the highest level of protection and access to the spring and surrounding area, but also continued management and a restoration of the Oak Savanna!