Wild & Scenic Rivers Program


Mississippi River, Beaver Islands, St. Cloud MN

Minnesota's Wild and Scenic Rivers Program assists communities in developing management plans that protect the scenic, recreational, natural, historical, and cultural values for which the rivers were originally designated.

The Minnesota State Wild & Scenic Rivers Program was established in 1973 to protect rivers which have outstanding natural, scenic, geographic, historic, cultural, and recreational values. Six rivers in Minnesota have segments which are designated as wild, scenic, or recreational under the state program.

In addition, the St. Croix River in Minnesota and Wisconsin is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program, created in 1968. The upper 200 miles of the St. Croix is managed by the National Park Service. Cooperative management of the lower 52 miles of the St. Croix River is shared by Minnesota DNR, Wisconsin DNR, and the National Park Service.

Each of the 7 designated river segments in Minnesota has a management plan which outlines the rules and goals for that waterway. These rules work together with local zoning ordinances to protect the rivers from pollution, erosion, over-development, and degradation ... factors which undermine the wild, scenic, and recreational qualities for which they were designated.

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