Minnesota's Wild & Scenic Rivers Program

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:

The St. Croix River in Minnesota and Wisconsin is a federally designated Wild and Scenic River, but is managed differently than the state designated rivers. The St. Croix is part of the National Wild and Scenic Rivers Program.

Each of the designated river segments in Minnesota has a management plan that outlines the rules and goals for that river. These rules are administered through local zoning ordinances to protect the rivers from water and visual pollution, erosion, over-development, and degradation, factors that undermine the wild, scenic, and recreational qualities for which they were designated. Dimensional standards, such as lot size, lot width, structure setbacks, and vegetative cutting restrictions differ depending on the district a parcel is located in.

Local Land Use Regulations and Administration

Other Resources

Canoeing and Kayaking

Questions