The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service is having an open house and comment period to help them to determine whether to A) Implement Proposed Action Alternatives and issue easement to the DNR ONLY IF doing so is appropriate and compatible with the USFWS’ overall mission….OR B) No Action Alternative:  NOT issue a right-of-way easement to the DNR for the paved trail meaning NO MN paved trail would be built in the Wildlife Refuge. So, allow the paved trail to go through the Refuge or not allow the paved trail to go through the refuge.  This is your chance to truly impact this effort.

You must either comment via email, snail mail or comment in person at the open house.  They are NOT looking for reasons why there should or should not be built.  They are looking for your thoughts on the on how a paved trail could detrimentally impact the environment and user experience in the Refuge.

Here are some deals to consider as you develop your comments:

  • Do you have concerns about specific wildlife species or other resources (e.g., plants, water, soils) on the Refuge that should be analyzed in the environmental assessment?  I.E. endangered species, erosion, wetlands, runoff from asphalt, climate change and springs / wetlands being filled in.
  • Do you have concerns about public use activists (E.G., accessibility, multiple use) on the Refuge that should be addressed in the environmental assessment? I.E. on potential paved trail high speed bikes/ebikes could impact user experience and wildlife.  Who will responded respond to accidents and enforce usage of the area?
  • Do you have suggestion or other information on things like maintenance and development that should be considered in the environmental assessment with regard to the State Trail in the Refuge? I.E. Lack of funding for maintenance and DNR maintenance backlog.

Email your comments to  Please use the subject line:  Scoping comments for Minnesota Valley State Trail Easement Environmental Assessment or mail them to Gerry Shimek, Attn:  State Trail Easement Environmental Assessment 3815 American Blvd East, Bloomington, MN 55425

Even if you choose to email or mail your comments, please attend the open house and show your support.  

Details on the open house and how to comment…and you must comment….can be found in the link below.  Within the link below there all several other links with further detail on what they are looking for.

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