• Canoeists paddle by tree lined shores

    Saint Croix

    National Scenic Riverway WI,MN

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  • Flowage Level Drawdown North Of Taylors Falls/St. Croix Falls

    Beginning October 2, Xcel Energy will be lowering the level of the flowage upstream from Taylors Falls/St. Croix Falls by up to 6 feet. This is to allow for repair to flashboards on the dam that were damaged by high water in September.

Stillwater Bridge Decision Announced

Proposed white Bridge is shown where it would cross St. Croix River to Stillwater

Rendering of proposed bridge

MN DOT

National Park Service Issues Decision on Stillwater Bridge Project

The National Park Service (NPS) has determined that the proposed St. Croix River Crossing Project would have direct and adverse effects that cannot be avoided or eliminated.

In a letter from NPS Midwest Regional Director Ernest Quintana to Derrell Turner at the Federal Highway Administration, the National Park Service reported its conclusion that constructing the bridge – where there was not one previously – would fundamentally change the scenic qualities that existed when the St. Croix was designated a national wild and scenic river in 1972 for its outstanding scenic, recreational, and geologic values. Under the federal Wild and Scenic Rivers Act, the NPS cannot approve a project if its direct and adverse effects cannot be avoided or eliminated.

The NPS determination is a result of a new evaluation requested by the Federal Highway Administration following the March 11 ruling by the U.S. District Court of Minnesota that the 2005 NPS positive evaluation was arbitrary and capricious because it did not explain the change in position from the negative evaluation made in 1996 for a similar bridge.

In accordance with the court ruling, the new evaluation (under Section 7(a) of the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act) acknowledges past evaluations. It includes a new visual analysis and provides language from the act and federal guidance that shows that direct and adverse effects to Riverway values must be eliminated for the NPS to consent to the project.

For further explanation please read the Section 7(a) evaluation below:

Section 7(a) Evaluation (pdf)

Appendix A, Figures 1 through 7

Appendix A, Figures 8 through 14

Appendix B

Appendix C

Transmittal Letter to Federal Highway Administration

Press Release (the text above)

Did You Know?

Blackand white old photo of three men standing on logs loaded on a wagon with horses attached

In 1872 3,500 men, 1,600 horses and 250 oxen logged off 35,000 acres cutting some 200 million board feet of logs. "Taylors Falls Reporter". In 1883 the Boom in Stillwater, Minnesota, which collected logs coming down the St. Croix River, reported 1,397,417 logs for 217,045,647 board feet.