The island has no permanent population, and conditions are said to be harsh and unpleasant. The island is in a state of terra nullius, since neither Canada nor the United States wants to claim the land and each country says it belongs to the other. (See Bir Tawil for a similar real-life example of this.) Bullwinkle J. Moose serves as Moosylvania's presumed namesake and its governor but only stays two weeks at a time, since (according to Bullwinkle) "after two weeks here, anyplace else feels like Heaven."
In the fall of 1962, Jay Ward, producer of the Rocky and Bullwinkle show, decided to campaign for statehood for Moosylvania. Ward sent Skip Craig to Minnesota to buy an island in the Lake of the Woods. Craig wasn't able to find one for sale on the U.S. side of the lake (most of the islands in that lake are claimed by Canada), but managed to lease one for three years.:195 Ward and publicist Howard Brandy conducted a west-to-east cross-country tour in a decorated van, gathering signatures on a petition for statehood for Moosylvania. While in Washington, D.C., they sought an audience with President John F. Kennedy.:199 However, they arrived at the White House during the Cuban Missile Crisis and Ward was escorted off the grounds.