Comment Period Opening for State Trail Development

Long Meadow Lake Trail

Learn about the State Trail Right of Way Request

Minnesota Valley National Wildlife Refuge will hold an Open House and comment period to evaluate the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources request to place seven miles of paved trail through the Refuge as part of the Minnesota Valley State Trail. 

An Open House will be held Thursday, Dec. 5, 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Refuge’s Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd. East in Bloomington. The Open House will focus on identifying the range of issues the Refuge will consider when evaluating the DNR’s request. 

Interested individuals and groups are invited to attend the Open House to learn how the US Fish and Wildlife Service will evaluate the proposed trail and how they can participate in the evaluation process.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the land management agency with oversight of the refuge, is required by law to evaluate requests to use refuge lands. Agency staff will consider the potential benefits and adverse effects of granting the trail building request. The effects on refuge operations and the natural and human environment will be considered.

The process of formally identifying the range of issues to consider is referred to as scoping and is one of the first steps in completing an environmental assessment that documents the evaluation process. Additional comment periods will be held after the environmental assessment is completed.

Learn more about the scoping document that briefly outlines the refuge’s legal responsibilities, as well as describes the general location of the proposed trail. Paper copies of the scoping document are available at both the refuge’s Bloomington Education and Visitor Center and at the Rapids Lake Education and Visitor Center at 15865 Carver Highlands Dr. in Carver, Minnesota. 

Comments will be accepted through Friday, January 3rd, 2020 at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center. You may also submit comments via email to minnesotavalley@fws.gov. Please include “Minnesota Valley State Trail Scoping” in the subject line. Send written comments to Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, attention Minnesota Valley State Trail Scoping, 3815 American Blvd E, Bloomington, MN 55425.


For more information about the open house or the environmental assessment, please call Gerry Shimek at 952-858-0705.

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is committed to providing access to this event for all participants. Please direct all requests for sign language interpreting services, closed captioning or other accommodation needs to Cortney Solum. Please email Cortney_Solum@fws.gov with your request by the close of business on November 30th, 2019. 

 


 Upcoming steps for public involvement:

 

  1. Attend the open house: ask questions and learn about the proposed project on Dec 5 at the 4:30-7:30 p.m. at the Refuge’s Bloomington Education and Visitor Center, 3815 American Blvd. East in Bloomington.
  2. Submit comments during scoping period: The process of formally identifying the range of issues to consider is referred to as scoping and is one of the first steps in completing an environmental assessment that documents the evaluation process. A scoping document that briefly outlines the Refuge’s legal responsibilities, as well as describes the general location of the proposed trail has been prepared. Paper copies of the scoping document are available at both the Refuge’s Bloomington Education and Visitor Center 3815 American Blvd. East in Bloomington and at the Rapids Lake Education & Visitor Center at 15865 Carver Highlands Dr. in Carver.   
  3. USFWS evaluates right of way request by creating an environmental assessment. 
  4. Submit comments for environmental assessmentAdditional public comment periods will be held to review the environmental assessment in spring 2020. Check back for more details.

Submit Your Comments

Comments prior to writing the environmental assessment will be accepted Dec 5, 2019 through Friday, Jan. 3, 2020 at the Bloomington Education and Visitor Center or via email at minnesotavalley@fws.gov. Please include “Minnesota Valley State Trail Scoping” in the subject line. 

Send written comments by mail to:
Bloomington Education and Visitor Center
Attention: Minnesota Valley State Trail Scoping
3815 American Blvd E
Bloomington, MN 55425