Organizers planning the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in western North Dakota have reached a milestone in bringing the project to fruition.
The library's foundation announced Monday that it has secured 90 acres of U.S. Forest Service land near Medora following a lengthy appraisal process. Congress approved the land sale in December 2020, the Bismarck Tribune reported.
The land cost $81,000 and was covered by the family of the 26th president, who ranched and hunted in the Medora Badlands as a young man in the 1880s.
"North Dakotans have ensured a legacy not just for their state but also for our nation and the world," descendant Theodore Roosevelt V said in a statement. "I am pleased the Roosevelt family was able to purchase the land for the T.R. Library, honoring the life and legacy of Theodore Roosevelt, and helping advance the ambitious vision of the Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library."
The family had committed $100,000 for the land sale. The remaining $19,000 will be used to restore native plants to the library property and to cover administrative costs such as filing fees and current maintenance, according to Library CEO Ed O’Keefe.
The native plant project is to collect and cultivate seeds to increase Badlands prairie species, including rare and endangered plants.
The library’s groundbreaking is set for June 2023 with a project completion target of July 4, 2026.
The 2019 Legislature approved a $50 million operations endowment for the library, available only after supporters raised $100 million in private donations, a goal met in 2020.