Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Tim Johnson (D-SD) today introduced legislation to facilitate the creation of a visitor center at the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site. Johnson’s legislation would transfer 25 acres of National Forest Service land to the National Park Service to construct the facility.
“Visits to Minuteman Missile have grown from less than 5,000 people in 2004 to more 30,000 people in 2008,” said Johnson. “My bill would help construction of a visitor center move forward to allow many more to learn about this historic site. I was pleased to help establish this site as part of the National Park system in 1999, and I am now glad to be able to follow through on fully developing resources for visitors.”
The launch control facility and missile silo that make up the Minuteman Missile National Historic Site were preserved to illustrate the history of the Cold War and the role the Air Force’s Minuteman II Missile defense system played in efforts to preserve world peace.
The legislation builds upon a bill passed in 1999 that established Minuteman Missile as a National Historic Site, which required that two sites be evaluated as potential locations for a visitor center. Johnson’s bill to adjust the boundary would allow for the construction of a visitor center and administrative facility at Exit 131 off of I-90.
The Minuteman Missile consists of the Delta-01 Launch Facility and the Delta-09 Missile Silo, located nearly 11 miles from one another on Interstate 90.