Historical Highlight - Forest Guard Larry Stotz


Forest Guard Larry Stotz ca. 1920s, viewing the remains of a Forest Service canoe that he had sunk to the gunwales in shallow water to protect it from bears, while working near Sawbill Lookout Tower.   A bear waded into the water and punched 6 holes through the side of the canoe, damaged the keel, and ripped off some of the canvas.   This was the 3rd Forest Service canoe badly mauled by bears at this same spot over the years.




1922 Forest Guard Count Rovigno on the portage at the foot of White Iron

Early in the 1900's, the son of the Grand Duke of Montenegro was promptly placed under surveillance and then placed in jail after traveling through Africa and championing the plight of the poor.  Banished from his country, Count William Rudolph Martinovitch Von Rovigno, or "Ruddie", became a world-wide traveler, bronco busting champion, mechanic, guide, wild game hunter, friend of Theodore Roosevelt and Buffalo Bill Cody, and eventually a Forest Guard for the Superior National Forest.

A lively character, the Count was much admired in Minnesota and spent the summer of 1922 as a forest guard on the Stoney River District (now the Kawishiwi Ranger District ).  Ruddie spent the summer traveling and living in a converted Ford chassis and served as a patrol man for the forest.  Eventually calling Minneapolis, Minnesota his home, the Count promoted early conservation as he rallied for the elimination of trophy hunting of moose. "The moose must be absolutely protected," he said, "or they will be exterminated"  "There is only one excuse for killing moose," he said, "and that is to provide meat." (St. Paul Pioneer Press, March 28, 1922).  The Count had a deep respect for the north woods.  As he aptly stated, "If you want to see how small you really are, go into the woods." (Minneapolis Journal, December 3, 1922)