Vision statement

Vision Statements for the year 2018

RiverForum 1 - Monticello, MN
April 30, 1998

RiverForum participants were asked to:
"Describe your vision of the Mississippi River and river communities 20 years from now."

Participants were instructed to imagine flying over, floating down, or driving by the river in the year 2018. They were asked to describe what they saw, what the river corridor landscape looked like, how the river communities were interacting and relating to one another, and how people were taking care of one another, the land and the river.

Verbatim participant responses:

"I notice a decline in riverside industrial development. There are many more riverside homes. I'm disappointed about the lack of parkland or recreational development. The quality of the water has remained the same."

"As I float down the river in 2018 I would hope to see the riverbanks full of trees and the river full of fish. The water quality would have improved since 1998 and geese and eagles and other wildlife would be flourishing. The river would still be quiet, scenic outdoor adventure that I enjoyed in 1998. River quality in all respects would be foremost in everyone's mind."

"I see a river that has a little of everything: responsible development, bountiful wildlife, parks, boat launches for recreation, housing which has sewer and water and developed to protect the river. Natural, beautiful, ever-changing river for all to enjoy. A natural path along the river from community to community along the Great River Road. Also ferrys in use as a tourist-history attraction along the Great River Road."

"In 20 years, the river won't look a whole lot different than today. There will be plenty of trees along its banks. Communities will develop parks and trails that get people to the river without too much intrusion on nature. There may be more homes along the river bank, but you'll barely be able to see them. Human and wildlife communities will be co-existing at an even stronger pace."

"This is what I want; probably not what the DNR wants! I would like to see my grandchildren living on the farm with a few cows still grazing in the wooded pasture. Or if the economy and regulations spoils that picture - it will be enjoyed by many people in homes that have been built and purchased by individuals - each owning and in control of their own property!"

"There will be more development but it will be orderly. There will be an improvement in water quality. Farm fields and crops near the river will reflect wise management efforts."

"The river is clean, as evidenced by the waterfowl and wildlife. Canoes sparsely dot the river and people fish off the shore. There is sparse development along the river and what development there is, is more natural and not manicured."

"Sparkling blue water snaking through lush green wild area, with well kept homes beyond the rivers edge. A society of people who respect the significance of living on the edge of the third largest but best water quality river in the world."

"Farms will be non-existent. Development will have exploded in most presently undeveloped areas. Most of the residents will be property owners."

"There are no homes along the river, no development, no towns, no bridges. People have been relegated to cities to live in high density where they are controlled and regulated. Government is omnipotent, individual ownership is gone. The river is 'natural'."

"Between private property access along the river (homes mainly) I'd like to see public park-riverwalk areas well developed and open to the public especially industry owned factories, etc. that have been cleaned up and made pleasing to the eye and nose, etc. In other words, requiring factories, etc. all along the river to redesign their frontage if it is an eyesore. This is for the whole length of the river - headwaters to New Orleans."

"The river is as clean as it is now. It has remained quiet and peaceful without the intrusion of personal watercraft. It is beautiful and uncrowded. When canoeing it is not uncommon to see great blue heron, geese, and bald eagles. Island vegetation has remained intact as has riverside vegetation. Minimal new development is setback and screened from the river."

"Would like to see the river much as it is; still semi-wild with minimal boat traffic. A place where boaters and other river users can enjoy the peace and quiet. A place where wildlife abounds and the water quality is still good."

"I think there would be a home every 200', groomed frontage, some 500' areas for camping, recreation, canoeing; clean water and wildlife good."

"Stay as it is!!! Preserve the river. Keep wild and scenic."

"I would hope that not much will have changed, or if changed, maybe for the better in terms of the proliference (sic) of wildlife, wild areas, little traffic, less residential development. I would like to see us develop a greater respect for the river and its wildlife."

"To be left alone, undisturbed by hunters, no polluting of water and land. Less housing development viewing scenic area only."

"The clear water is flowing freely. Power craft usage has been limited, leaving the river a peaceful getaway for the road weary commuters. Tall trees and natural vegetation line the river. Land owners are careful to welcome the variety of wildlife that make the shoreline their home. The river continues to provide great fishing and good canoeing."

No more access. More trees! Just the same or fewer boats. Better quality of water from the tributaries and streams (i.e. farm runoff). Quality fishing.

"More development. Less wildlife. More boats. I would like to see the river as it was 20 years ago."

"I'd like to see the river left wild and beautiful as it is now. I don't like to see too much industry; it pollutes the river. I believe in leaving it beautiful as God and nature intended it to be."

"A new bridge near St. Cloud that blends into the scenery of the river and its surroundings. Peaceful wildlife areas, with trees and fish. Clean water and shores."

"I would like to see wooded bluf (sic) banks with lots of wildlife and few houses, businesses, farm fields or feedlots. I would see a few people canoeing and fishing out of small boats. I would experience good water quality with lots of large fish to catch - most of which, I would be required to release to fight again."

"Twenty years from now: The "rich" will have large homes along the river. The common "Joe" will not be able to use the river for his/her enjoyment. OR It can remain the same as it is - peaceful, quiet, open to everyone for use. The development of the shore is monitored with restrictive limits. Either of these pictures are possible. Which one comes true will be determined by the DNR and state legislature. Does the "common Joe" have any say or will the developers with money win out?

"A lot more litter control at parks and public accesses. Controlled development of housing along the river banks. Community members responsible for cleaning the river (trash, etc.) Controlled amounts of water recreation vehicles. Less thermal pollution. Maybe adopt-a-river programs like adopt-a-river plans we have now."

"1. We will see that all the farms are gone. 2. The houses that take the place of the farms will be on large lots set far back from the river. 3. In the future the boat manufactures will develop low noise emission, non-polluting, high power watercraft in an effort to stay in business."

"In twenty years, the river looks similar to what it did in 1998. The river management plan was successful in maintaining the features identified as important during revision of the plan."

"Hopefully new regulations will continue to make the river cleaner in the future. Canoe access in St. Cloud would make the St. Cloud to Clearwater stretch of the river more usable. Also I would hope the ridiculous bass slot limit would be abolished by then."

"I.) Restrict "future" development, private and commercial, on this section within 2000 feet of high water marks.
II.) Buyout private or commercial parties to prevent development.
III.) DNR fisherys (sic) management getting more involved in game fish within this section.
IV.) Increase tree or forests along river banks.
V.) Restrict motor use in this section. Limit "hp" of boats."

"I would imagine the river as having many more beautiful homes along the ever flowing clean, clear water. There will be numerous parks with trees of many kinds, lovely shrubbery and lots of flowers. Birds will have several places to nest and enjoy the water."

"Business developed in the Otsego area along the 101 corridor not hindering the wild and scenic area but also using it wisely in needed business development."

"A clean river. If homes are built near it, they inhance (sic) the river and don't destroy its asthetic (sic) beauty."

"Would like to see "no further" development of housing (single or multiple). Would like to see more consistant water depth from St. Cloud to Elk River so it can be enjoyed without shallow rocks and debris. Hopefully the wildlife (waterfowl, beaver) could increase. Stocking various species of fish for all to enjoy!"

"There will be more people in 20 years, so I hope that they can be courteous in sharing and preserving the river."

"Housing (visible from the river) limited to 10 or 15%. Native vegetation band 400+ feet on at least a side. Minimums of 100 ft. Grassland patches with grazing separated from river by 25' grass boundry (sic). 10-15% clear sparkling water so you can see rocks in riffle areas. 5-10% views from overlooks or bits of highway."

"It will no doubt be "built-up" - more homes. Hopefully, there will be some truly "wild" stretches remaining. I would hope that people would have become more concerned about keeping the river and the river banks clean - free of debris and pollutants."

"I would like to see the river running somewhat undeveloped. The individual cities would use the river as a focal point for activities and access rather than development. I am sure that public use will increase but hopefully not to the point of what happens in many of our lakes on weekends."

"No more development than there is now. Fishery values are preserved and wildlife continues to expand. Water quality is the same or better than today. Access is better - more sites at strategic locations (St. Cloud to Clearwater)."

"I'd love to say that the river will still be beautiful and clean, a home for wildlife, quiet and powerful, scenic and serene. I'm afraid tho that water pollution, noise, obstructed scenery will be the picture along the river"