Summary of Mississippi Headwaters Board
This comprehensive management plan provides for:
1. Administration and enforcement of strong local land use controls by each of the member counties to protect the shorelands of the Mississippi River and certain Headwaters Lakes on private and, in some cases, public lands;
2. Recreational use of the river and adjacent public lands;
3. Identification of, management and possible acquisition of critical shorelands of the river and the Headwaters lakes in public or private ownership;
4. Best management practices for non-regulated activities on public and private lands, specifically to protect significant resources of the river corridor
5. Cooperative management of existing public lands along the river.
The specific tools identified for local management of the Mississippi Headwaters Corridor are:
1. A comprehensive local zoning ordinance establishing the uses and building dimensions for lands in the Corridor was written and approved by the MHB and adopted by the eight member counties and the 1981 Minnesota Legislature. This original ordinance also established the authority for the Mississippi Headwaters Board to review and certify certain decisions of the counties. The ordinance has since been revised and is contained in Section V.
A corridor of at least 500 feet or 1,000 feet on either side of the river was established, except where public, paved roads less than 500 feet or 1,000 feet are the corridor boundary. Maps of the zoning corridor are contained in Section VI.
River protection through local land use controls requires administration and enforcement of the regulations, education about the regulations and the function of the regulations and monitoring of the state of regulation and monitoring of the health of the river. Administration of the local land use provisions are achieved through the county planning and zoning offices. The MHB has oversight authority over certain county decisions.
2. A comprehensive management plan setting forth guidelines for activities on public lands in the river corridor and for affected private lands. This management plan is achieved through cooperative agreements with the Leech Lake Tribal Council, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources and the United States Forest Service-Chippewa National Forest.
Management policies are provided for the retention and improvement of existing public lands along the river for fish and wildlife habitat and recreational use, and for the consolidation of public ownerships along the river through land exchanges. Administration of the management policies is through the county land commissioners and the Mississippi Headwaters Board. Procedures are established in the Mississippi Headwaters Model Ordinance for the State of Minnesota to notify and advise compliance of govern mental activities in the river corridor with the Mississippi Headwater Model Ordinance and Management Plan.
3. An inventory of river resources developed and adopted by the Mississippi Headwaters Board shall be reviewed, revised and presented to the Minnesota Legislature every five years. This inventory shall list natural, cultural, scenic, scientific and recreational sites on the Mississippi Headwaters. It shall also contain an assessment of the river's health and of risks to the river. This River Resources Inventory shall be used to identify and establish management strategies for lands requiring greater protection than zoning provides.