Minnesota's Wild and Scenic Rivers Program

The Minnesota State Wild and 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:

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

Lower St. Croix National Scenic Riverway

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

Canoeing and kayaking


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