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Comments requested on rule changes governing Mississippi Wild and Scenic River District (11/08/2006)
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requests comments on a possible amendment to Minnesota Rules parts 6105.0800 to 6105.0960, which govern management of the Mississippi River from St. Cloud to Anoka. The section of the Mississippi River from St. Cloud to Anoka was designated as a scenic and recreational river in 1976, pursuant to the Minnesota Wild and Scenic Rivers Act. The rules establish the district boundary, and guide lot sizes, types of development, setbacks and other activities in order to protect the special scenic and recreational qualities of the river.

"When originally written, the river management rules did not envision the tremendous population increase along the river," Randall Doneen, DNR river planner. A community-based planning effort began in 1998 to review and revise the management options for the river. The rule revision proposes concepts identified in the revised management plan, which was completed in 2004. The DNR expects the proposed rule amendments will give river cities greater flexibility in managing this growth, Doneen said. The DNR is considering rule amendments that alter the district boundary, establish new land use districts within the overall district, and change the recreation and land management component of the rules. The objective of the proposed rule revision is to allow limited additional development in appropriate areas while maintaining or increasing protection of the river corridor.

The amendment to the rules would likely affect anyone who proposes to develop property within the district from St. Cloud to Anoka. Individuals who recreate in this part of the river may also be affected. Cities and counties within the district would need to revise their local ordinances to implement the amended rules. The request for comments is the first step in the formal rule making process. After reviewing the comments received, the DNR will formally propose a draft rule and Statement of Need and Reasonableness (SONAR) to justify the proposed rule changes. A public hearing will then be held to take comments on the proposed rule prior to adoption. The DNR has prepared a description of the proposed amendments and a draft of the possible rules amendments that are available on the DNR Web site www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/index.html or by contacting the agency contact person below.

Written or oral comments, questions, requests to receive a draft of the rules, and requests for more information on the possible rule amendment should be directed to: Rebecca Wooden, DNR, 500 Lafayette Road, Box 32, St. Paul, MN 55155; phone (651) 259-5717; or e-mail rebecca.wooden@dnr.state.mn.us. People may submit comments or information on these possible rule amendments in writing or orally until 4:30 p.m. by Jan. 12. 


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