The Minnesota River was added to Minnesota's Wild and Scenic Rivers Program in 1977. The designated stretch extends from Lac Qui Parle Dam to Franklin.
The Minnesota River has two segments classified as "scenic" and one classified as "recreational." (see: general information on river classification).
The original management plan for this stretch of the Minnesota River was adopted in 1977, and the current rules that govern management of state lands and local land use regulation along the river are contained in Minnesota Rules, chapter 6105.1200 – 6105.1370.