DOI Selects Preferred Alternative

Lyle Laverty, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI), wrote on November 25, 2008 that the DOI has identified the course of action they recommend for the Bureau of Mines site. It includes the “removal of all existing structures and associated above-ground infrastructure (roads, power lines, ore bins, etc.) at the Center, restoration of the site to natural conditions, restoration of the spring, and retention of the site by the federal government.” DOI also suggests that “…long-term ownership of this property should rest with the National Park Service as part of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area.”

The process of determining the disposition and future of the Bureau of Mines property has been under formal review since November of 2004. Public meetings were held and comments collected until November 27, 2006 on the draft environmental impact statement (DEIS). The DOI recommendation was based upon the DEIS analyses and collected public comment. This recommendation represents the preferred alternative which will be further reviewed in the final environmental impact statement (FEIS) .

The preferred alternative and related scenario was selected from several alternatives ranging from no action (i.e. leave the site in its existing condition) to redevelopment of the site and office buildings as a training/business center or an interpretive/nature/history center to complete building removal and site restoration to a natural condition. These alternatives are fully outlined in the DEIS.

 

Lyle Laverty, Acting Assistant Secretary of the Department of the Interior (DOI), wrote on November 25, 2008 that the DOI has identified the course of action they recommend for the Bureau of Mines site. It includes the “removal of all existing structures and associated above-ground infrastructure (roads, power lines, ore bins, etc.) at the Center, restoration of the site to natural conditions, restoration of the spring, and retention of the site by the federal government.” DOI also suggests that “…long-term ownership of this property should rest with the National Park Service as part of the Mississippi National River & Recreation Area.”

The process of determining the disposition and future of the Bureau of Mines property has been under formal review since November of 2004. Public meetings were held and comments collected until November 27, 2006. The next step in the process will afford additional opportunities for public input on the details of the restoration and rehabilitation of the site. Meetings and other opportunities for public involvement will be scheduled during the winter and spring of 2009.

The Bureau of Mines site is a 27-acre plot of land that includes Coldwater Spring. It is within the current boundaries of the Mississippi National River and Recreation Area and is part of the Fort Snelling National Historic Landmark. There are 11 “modern” buildings on the site, numerous ore bins, roads and parking lots. A small, historic well-house is situated at the upstream end of the Coldwater Spring reservoir. The property is located between Minnehaha Regional Park and Fort Snelling State Park, with the Winchell Trail alongside the eastern boundary and Highway 55 to the western edge.

Last updated: October 15, 2018

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