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DNR officials seek public input

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Minnesota DNR officials are seeking public comments via an online survey for the La Salle Lake State Recreation Area (SRA) management plan.

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The 1,000-acre property, which is located eight miles north of Itasca State Park on Hubbard County Road 9, includes the entire shoreline of La Salle Lake, a 213-foot deep, 221-acre lake. The property is currently open for limited day use including hiking, wildlife viewing, and fishing, hunting and trapping. A water access on the lake is also open, but with limited parking. Other facilities at the property include a campground, an indoor swimming pool and several cabins that are anticipated to be open to the public this spring.

This management plan will include recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and interpretative opportunities to visitors. It will set the direction for this new SRA for the next 15 to 20 years.

The online survey is posted so people can share their ideas for the new SRA. The survey, management plan process, maps, fact sheets and other materials are available on the DNR website's La Salle Lake SRA planning page.

As part of the planning process, a Citizens Advisory Committee is being formed to provide input, help evaluate alternative courses of action and review the draft management plan, which will be released for public review and comment before a final version is completed. This group will meet several times in the next few months. People interested in serving on the committee should contact Jade Templin, principal planner, at 651-259-5598 or jade.templin@state.mn.us.

La Salle Lake SRA was authorized by the Minnesota State Legislature during the 2011 legislative session. DNR acquisition of the property was completed in late October. The property was purchased with funds dedicated to environmental projects. The majority of the $8.49 million came from the 2008 Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Act.

through the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. Additional funding came from the Legacy Amendment's Parks and Trails Fund, and from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (from State Lottery proceeds) as recommended by the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.

More information about La Salle Lake SRA is available on the DNR website or by contacting Templin or Chris Weir-Koetter at 218-308-2679 or christine.weir-koetter@state.mn.us.

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