The Mississippi River from St. Cloud to Anoka was added to Minnesota's Wild and Scenic Rivers Program in 1976.
The river is designated as "scenic" from St. Cloud to Clearwater, and "recreational" from Clearwater to the Anoka/Champlin line (see: general river classification information).
In 2012, the Minnesota State Legislature revised the Mississippi River WSR boundaries to remove any land in the cities of Dayton and Ramsey. This action was taken to reduce the number of shoreland-related regulations pertinent in these areas, because the Mississippi River in these cities is also regulated under the Mississippi River Corridor Critical Area rules as well as standard shoreland rules.
The original management plan for this stretch of the Mississippi River was adopted in 1976, and the current rules that govern management of state lands and local land use regulation along the river are contained in Minnesota Rules, chapter 6105.0800 – 6105.0960.
In 1998, the DNR began a community-based planning approach to review and revise the management options for the designated portion of the Mississippi River. This work culminated in the 2004 Revised Draft Mississippi River Management Plan. Implementing the plan would have required changes to the current Mississippi River rules. In 2006, the DNR published a Request for Comments to consider possible amendments to these rules, which generated over 100 comments with varying degrees of support and opposition. After reviewing these comments, the DNR decided not to move forward with new rules, and the rules based on the 1976 management plan remain in effect.