February 23, 2009 Open House

Participants gather around a table at the Open House.
Courtesy Griff Wigley.

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.

People gather at the bulletin board to review comments on notes left by Open House participants.
Courtesy Griff Wigley.

One hundred forty two attendees comprised of private citizens, elected officials and representatives of various groups visited the information areas and spoke with NPS and FWS staff. While not an intended purpose of the meeting, some attendees verbally expressed their opinion on the future ownership of the property. Some attendees recorded their comments on comment cards and/or on forms for posting on the Podium Wall. Staff also recorded verbal comments. Additionally the public could provide comment by e-mail, mail, fax or by phone through March 25, 2009.

Last updated: April 10, 2015

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