Master Plan Frequently Asked Questions

What is a master plan and why is it developed?

The DNR Minnesota River Valley Recreation and Conservation Master Plan does not define specific trail alignments or multi-use sites, but presents a vision and strategies to achieve a shared landscape. The goals with suggested actions, preferred concepts, and search areas are presented.
The Minnesota River Valley Citizens Advisory Committee recommended a plan for this area in fall 2013. The Minnesota Legislature directed DNR to do a master plan in 2014. In 2015, Renville and Redwood counties received a grant from LCCMR to develop a master plan for this same area. The Minnesota River Valley Recreation and Conservation Master Plan was formally adopted by the counties and DNR in 2018.

What is a master plan amendment?

When significant master plan additions or changes seem prudent, an amendment process occurs. Often this process includes additional public input to help guide DNR actions. The amendment for the Minnesota River Valley Recreation Conservation Master Plan will include recommendations for trail uses, trail connections, trail maintenance, interpretation, and management of natural and cultural resources. Potential impacts of the recommendations will be provided. This amendment will recommend how this area connects to the Minnesota River State Trail.

What are the steps involved in developing a master plan amendment?

DNR’s master plan was developed in partnership with Redwood and Renville counties through a collaborative process involving local governments, communities, user groups and the public. The counties and DNR jointly offered public input events. The counties will be involved in the master plan amendment process, as well. View a webpage with information about the amendment process and how you can participate.
The Master Plan and other documents on the webpage will be referenced for this planning effort. The master plan amendment process is anticipated to take 4 to 5 months.

How can I stay connected and share my ideas?

  • Sign up to be on the project mailing list by sending an email to [email protected]. You may receive:
  • Updates about the planning process
  • Surveys to provide input about the amendment
  • Public Meeting notification
  • An invitation to review and comment on the draft master plan amendment
  • Attend public open house offered to gather public input.
  • Online Survey (open during September 2018)
  • Review and comment on the draft master plan amendment

Where is this project located?

The project is defined as an area 2 miles from the center of the Minnesota River in Redwood and Renville counties. A potential SRA would be a smaller portion of this area.

What is the background for this project?

  • A Citizen Advisory Council from the Redwood and Renville County area provided recommendations to the Commissioner of the DNR for a multi-use landscape approach in this area. These include:
  • Increasing access to public and private lands (willing landowners) for diverse outdoor recreation opportunities
  • Protect and conserve important natural and cultural resources in the area
  • Develop a multi-use trail system in designated areas
  • Develop a plan for this area in collaboration with local stakeholders
  • Commit to respect land owner rights throughout the process
  • There is a high density of rare and sensitive natural resources in the project area that needs protection. DNR and the counties agree in principle that these areas on public lands should receive a high level of protection.
  • There is a high density of natural and cultural elements that are of interest to a wide variety of groups, such as birdwatchers, geologists, historians, botanist, anglers, mountain bikers, horse riders, rock climbers, hunters and herpetologists, canoe and kayakers; and that need additional management and interpretation.
  • The existing MN Outdoor Recreation System presents some obstacles to providing a more balanced approach to broad multi-use recreation and conservation in a single unit, in the agricultural portion of the state. State Forests provide broad multi-use and conservation opportunities, but none occur in SW Minnesota. Wildlife Management Areas are fairly common in SW MN but do not allow trails or camping.
  • The MN River Valley Recreation and Conservation Master Plan was formally adopted by DNR and Redwood and Renville Counties in 2018. A key implementation strategy identified in this plan is for DNR to explore State Recreation Area designation in this area.

For more information contact

Cathi Fouchi, Regional Planner, at [email protected] or 507-359-6000.
See the project webpage for more information.

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