RiverTalks Clearwater

logging on river

Logging operations on the river

ferry crossing on river

Mississippi River ferry crossing

steamboat on river

Steamboat at Clearwater

February 3, 1998

Read what community participants had to say about Mississippi River issues.

Comments by category:

Riparian Land Use and Development

  • I'm concerned about all the development in the "McStop"area. How will this impact the river? Already large washouts have formed behind the May Printing building.
  • Let's continue to restrict development along the river banks. The Scenic designation from St. Cloud to Clearwater seems appropriate.
  • Wise development. Development if and when appropriate should be as unobtrusive as possible.
  • City of Clearwater - Development along the Mississippi within the city's boundaries. Old plats vs. new regulations.
  • In the city of Clearwater, 5 city lots by the river are slated for development /housing. Some citizens would prefer to see land kept as open space or park. Does the city have enough parks already? Are they able to maintain additional park area?
  • Preservation of green space. Sensitive and critical areas which protect river from erosion and sedimentation should be preserved. Also natural wetlands which can reduce potential flooding should be protected.
  • The upper Mississippi faces numerous threats, one ecologically destructive threat is from individual property owners who clear bank cover (trees, brush, tall grass) causing a loss of fish habitat and eroding banks.
  • Need tighter control over residential building on river. All residential landowners on the river need to know what they can or cannot do to or with their property on the river banks, especially the scenic river section of the river.
  • What are the restrictions going to be in the future, especially for landowners?
  • Consistency of regulations with the ability to deal with unusual situations.
  • Corridors crossing the river should focus on being multiple use; transportation, utilities, energy, etc. need to be combined to minimize impact on river.
  • I think the DNR should buy property like anyone else that wants the pleasure of it. Take donations, sell deer picture license plates, more park permits, do-good tax checkoffs. More restrictions and any loss of value should not fall on the owner without compensation for his investment.

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Wild and Scenic River Management

  • I'd like to see the "scenic" portion of the Mississippi extended south to Monticello. That section is profiled by high banks and would be prone to erosion if developed. The scenic section, I assume, has more stringent rules regarding development. The "recreational" section ought to begin at the NSP plant in Monticello and continue south where it has already been developed.
  • Retaining the scenic value of the river area.
  • Lots of confusion about Wild & Scenic rules, shoreland rules, etc. Would like to see one set of cohesive rules.

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Erosion

  • Restrict cattle watering in the river. This creates a lot of bank erosion. There are watering systems that are available through the county soil and water district that keep the cattle off the river banks.
  • RV park 2 miles south of Clearwater - lots of erosion needs attention.
  • Improve bank erosion control in areas like the Clearwater Travelers RV parks on the Sherburne County side of the river.

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River Stewardship

  • The stewardship of the Mississippi River can begin with this process: thanks for beginning!

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Parks, Trails and Natural Areas

  • Would like to see hiking path developed from Clearwater bridge to St. Cloud.

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River Recreational Use and Management

  • Recreational efforts on the river should focus on maintaining its wild and scenic beauty. Canoeing and small boat use is most compatible with this river section. Landings for power boat uses should be frowned upon.
  • Patrol and check individuals using river.
  • The DNR is not a good manager.
  • They are not good communicators to the public.
  • They write rules that are self-serving.
  • Their appeal process does not have time lines, and they have the right to veto and pocket veto the decisions they don't like.
  • Make sure the public is restricted to the state land at DNR boat landings. Fence these property boundaries to assure that the public does not trespass on adjacent private property owners.

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Personal Watercraft (Jet skis)

  • Eliminate DNR's use of jet skis as a vehicle for enforcement - it sets a bad example! And encourages public to do likewise.
  • Jet skis scare geese.
  • Ban jet skis.
  • Limit jet skis.
  • Personal water craft: Restrict or limit the use of this vehicle completely.
  • Fisherman are great. Jet skis are the menace. These activities should and must be curtailed.
  • Eliminate jet skis. Keep wildlife refuges.

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Water Quality

  • Preservation of water clarity.
  • Water quality is not less people or home density, but planned designs for waste and waste water disposal. I think as each developing situation has its own characteristics, regulation should be made more flexible to adapt, and allow owners to best profit and enjoy their property, with good design.

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River Flows and Dams

  • Who monitors or determines water release from St. Cloud hydro plant? Timing may not be appropriate especially at spawning time for smallmouth. What has happened to crayfish population?

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Wildlife/Fisheries

  • Fishing regulations should focus on creating a trophy fishery. This is especially true for the smallmouth bass; enforce catch and release regulations.

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Multiple Topics of Concern

  • No question that we are at a critical juncture for the Mississippi River. I would advocate more stringent enforcement of existing regulations, and certainly be in favor of regulation changes that would err in favor of protecting and preserving this unique resource. Please address and restrict residential development and land use along this beautiful river - also, ban jet skis.
  • Limit development from St. Cloud to Clearwater. Have a people friendly "green" trail from St. Cloud as far south as possible or at least have some walking area. Outlaw jetskis on the river. Keep new bridge out of Clearwater area. Upgrade boat landing at Clearwater.
  • Put the new highway bridge over Clearwater, not down by Snuffy's Landing or over the Beaver islands. Put it near existing bridges. Let's hope that new development (houses) will keep most of the trees and river frontage shrub and bushes intact.
  • Erosion. Noise disturbing wildlife. Limit on power of motors or boat.

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Miscellaneous Comments

  • Active historical education about local points along river.
  • More cooperation between state & local communities in planning and funding!!!!