The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA), National Park Service (NPS), in partnership with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), Region 3, hosted a public open house on February 23, 2009 at the VA Medical Auditorium in Minneapolis to receive public comment on how implementing the Preferred Alternative could affect cultural and natural resources on the former Bureau of Mines property. Protecting the site’s history is a key aspect of the Section 106 process, under the National Historic Preservation Act. The National Park Service is preparing a Memorandum of Agreement as part of the Final EIS that will define how the site’s history will be preserved and/or mitigated as a result of implementing the selected, preferred alternative.
At the open house, staff from the MNRRA and FWS provided information at four areas within the VA Medical Auditorium. Staff members took comments on environmental restoration, ideas concerning appropriate activities and access to the site, and the treatment of historic resources including the spring. Staff also addressed policy and management issues regarding the EIS process. Paper copies and a CD of previous studies prepared during the Draft EIS process were available. MNRRA also displayed maps of the site, photos and descriptions of Bureau of Mines buildings and banners with photographs highlighting the property’s history as well as general information about the MNRRA and NPS.