The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources will host two public open houses to solicit public comment on the draft master plan for the Vermilion and Soudan Underground Mine State Parks.
The events will take place at Silverwood Regional Park, 2500 West County Road E., St. Anthony Village, on Tuesday, December 7 from 5:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. and at Tower Civic Center, 402 Pine Street, Tower on Thursday, December 9 from 4:30 p.m. until 7:30 p.m.
The draft master plan is a cooperative plan for both state parks that includes guidance for the types of activities that will be offered, how natural and cultural resources will be protected and interpreted, and for locations of major facilities within the parks. Minnesota Statutes require a master plan before major park development can begin.
The open houses, the DNR says, are the next step in the master planning process that includes a Citizen’s Advisory Committee, an online early public input questionnaire, a 30-day public review/comment period for the draft master plan (running from November 22 to December 22), and two public open houses.
At the December open houses, DNR staff and Citizens Advisory Committee members will be available to answer questions. Display maps and other park information will be available for review.
Lake Vermilion and Soudan Underground Mine state parks are located on the southeastern shores of Lake Vermilion, near the towns of Tower and Soudan in northeastern Minnesota. Lake Vermilion is located just south of the Superior National Forest and Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, and includes 40,557 acres of water, 368 islands, and 340 miles of shoreline. Ten miles of shoreline and 4,000 acres of land are within the statutory boundaries of Lake Vermilion and Soudan Underground Mine state parks.
For citizens wishing an electronic copy, more information, or a public input questionnaire about the parks’ draft master plan, the agency invites them to call the DNR Information Center, 651-296-6157, or toll-free 888-646-6367 between 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.