July 29, 1998
On July 29, 1998 twenty-two river residents, river users, interested citizens and local decision makers participated in the third RiverForum. Two workshops were planned to discuss river significance statements developed at previous meetings.
Recap of previous meetings:
RiverForum1 - Participants identified significant features of the Mississippi River and developed vision statements for the year 2018.
RiverForum2 - Particpants voiced opinions on 26 statements (developed at RiverForum1) regarding significant features of the Mississippi River.
Workshop Activity I
At this RiverForum3 meeting, new participants were first given an opportunity to register opinions on the 26 river significance statements developed at RiverForum1.
Workshop Activity II
In small groups, participants then discussed 6 of the 26 significance statements that had received the highest levels of disagreement.
These were statement #'s:
- Stretches of the river are high in scenic quality, which can be attributed to undeveloped shorelines.
- Stretches of the river are high in scenic quality, which can be attributed to relatively few houses visible.
- The river is clean, the water quality is good; the river is relatively unpolluted.
- The river is accessible through a variety of means such as boat launches, trails and roads.
- Homesites, which can be and are developed in a variety of settings from urban to rural, are unique and valuable due to the river corridor landscape.
- Large tracts of land in public and private corporate ownership that remain undeveloped are positive additions to maintaining a natural river character.
After a great deal of discussion about whether or not the statements truly reflected the character and condition of the Mississippi River in a unique and significant way, the following statements were dropped: 5.6, 8, and 23. This does not mean they are not important or that they should not be addressed at future planning meetings as issues and concerns. They were dropped only from being considered as the most important factors defining the Mississippi River's unique and significant character.
Statements 5.2 and 26 were rewritten slightly as follows:
5.2 Stretches of the river are high in scenic quality, which can be attributed to natural and undeveloped shorelines.
26. Large tracts of land in public and corporate ownership that remain natural and undeveloped and provide reasonable public access and use, are positive additions to maintaining a natural river character
Future meetings will feature a fifteen minute open discussion session. These "soapbox sessions" will give participants an opportunity to address the entire audience. RiverForums are generally highly structured to ensure that progress can be made in reaching the final goal of writing a new river management plan. However, participants may have personal comments or insights that fall outside the agenda for the evening. While short in duration, these soapbox sessions will allow participants to speak on topics of their own choosing.