June 24, 1998
The second RiverForum took place on June 24, 1998, at the Kelly Inn in St. Cloud. Thirty-two river residents, river users, interested citizens and local decision makers attended the meeting. Two workshop activities and a speaker were on the evening's agenda.
Workshop Activity 1
At the first RiverForum, held April 30 in Monticello, participants identified significant or unique characteristics and qualities that make the Mississippi River in the wild and scenic river study area important. Twenty-six statements regarding river significance were written based on results of the April 30 RiverForum.
In Workshop Activity 1 (St. Cloud, June 24), participants were asked whether they agreed, had no opinion, or disagreed with the statements. Attendees were also asked to select 5 significance statements that were most important to them. Their responses have been summarized graphically in: Survey results: "Participant Responses to Significance Statements"
Purpose of Exercise
This exercise will help to develop a common language for describing the river -- a common basis from which to discuss river issues and to lay the groundwork for a commonly accepted rationale for why the river is important. This information can then be used to evaluate issues and concerns and whether recommended solutions maintain a river character that is generally in keeping with the intent of the significance statements. The statements in which there was no clear-cut agreement will be further discussed at future RiverForums.
River ecologist Mike Davis spoke later in the evening about differences between the St. Cloud-Anoka stretch of the Mississippi River and the river below St. Paul, and also about the importance of mussel diversity to the river system.
Workshop Activity 2
Discussions at the beginning of the meeting took longer than expected; therefore a second workshop for the evening was postponed until RiverForum3 on July 29, 1998. This next workshop is a very important step in the planning process. Participants will be asked to clarify and prioritize issues and concerns about Mississippi River management. This exercise will set the stage as to what will be addressed in the new management plan.