|86A.04||COMPOSITION OF SYSTEM.|
|86A.05||CLASSIFICATION AND PURPOSES.|
|86A.055||PROHIBITION ON SALES OF OUTDOOR RECREATION SYSTEM LANDS FOR CERTAIN PURPOSES.|
|86A.07||AUTHORIZATION AND ACQUISITION OF UNITS.|
|86A.08||AUTHORIZATION OF SECONDARY UNITS.|
|86A.09||DEVELOPMENT AND ESTABLISHMENT OF UNITS.|
|86A.10||Subdivisions renumbered, repealed, or no longer in effect|
|86A.11||REGISTRY OF UNITS.|
|86A.12||NATURAL RESOURCES CAPITAL IMPROVEMENT PROGRAM.|
|LAKE SUPERIOR SAFE HARBORS PROGRAM|
|86A.21||POWERS AND DUTIES OF COMMISSIONER.|
|86A.22||AUTHORITY OF LOCAL UNITS OF GOVERNMENT.|
|86A.23||OPEN FACILITIES; LIABILITY EXEMPTION.|
|86A.24||FINANCING OF HARBORS AND FACILITIES.|
Laws 1975, chapter 353, may be cited as the "Outdoor Recreation Act of 1975."
The legislature finds that the unique natural, cultural, and historical resources of Minnesota provide abundant opportunities for outdoor recreation and education, and finds that these opportunities should be made available to all citizens of Minnesota now and in the future.
The legislature further finds that the preservation and proper utilization of Minnesota's outdoor recreational resources is becoming increasingly important to the health, welfare, and prosperity of the citizens of Minnesota due to the growing demand for outdoor recreational facilities and the spread of development and urbanization in the state.
The legislature further finds that the outdoor recreational needs of the people of Minnesota will be best served by the establishment of an outdoor recreational system which will (1) preserve an accurate representation of Minnesota's natural and historical heritage for public understanding and enjoyment and (2) provide an adequate supply of scenic, accessible, and usable lands and waters to accommodate the outdoor recreational needs of Minnesota's citizens.
Nothing in sections 86A.01 to 86A.11 shall be deemed or construed to abolish, repeal, or negate any of the ongoing programs, approved by law, or the authority or activities of the commissioner of natural resources in improving, maintaining and developing fishing, hunting, or other recreational activities conducted upon the public waters and lands of the state or on private lands in cooperation with the owners thereof, except as the uses of the lands or waters may be in express conflict with the provisions of sections 86A.01 to 86A.11.
The legislature hereby determines that the establishment of an outdoor recreation system will serve these needs and will thus serve a valid public purpose for the people of this state.
For the purposes of the outdoor recreation system, the terms defined in this section shall have the meanings given them.
"Managing agency" means the organization or person which, pursuant to section 86A.05, is given responsibility for the administration of a particular unit or class of units of the outdoor recreation system.
"Outdoor recreation" means any voluntary activity, including hunting, fishing, trapping, boating, hiking, camping, and engaging in winter sports, which is conducted primarily for the purposes of pleasure, rest, or relaxation and is dependent upon or derives its principal benefit from natural surroundings; "outdoor recreation" shall also mean any demonstration, structure, exhibit, or activity which is primarily intended to preserve, demonstrate, or explain a significant aspect of the natural and cultural history, and archaeology of Minnesota.
"Administration" or "administer" means the process, or any part thereof, of the preparation, operation, and management of a unit, including but not limited to the following:
(a) management of natural resources and visitors;
(b) construction and development of structures, service facilities, and programs for visitor and administrative use;
(c) maintenance of natural resources and facilities;
"Landscape region" means an identifiable geographic region with generally homogeneous natural characteristics which exemplify the natural processes which formed the geography, geology, topography and biology of the state.
"Facility" or "facilities" means any building, structure, modification, or improvement made or built upon the land or waters of a unit.
The outdoor recreation system shall consist of all state parks; state recreation areas; state trails established pursuant to sections 84.029, subdivision 2, 85.015, 85.0155, and 85.0156; state scientific and natural areas; state wilderness areas; state forests; state wildlife management areas; state aquatic management areas; state water-access sites, which include all lands and facilities established by the commissioner of natural resources or the commissioner of transportation to provide public access to water; state wild, scenic, and recreational rivers; state historic sites; state rest areas, which include all facilities established by the commissioner of transportation for the safety, rest, comfort and use of the highway traveler, and shall include all existing facilities designated as rest areas and waysides by the commissioner of transportation; and any other units not listed in this section that are classified under section 86A.05. Each individual state park, state recreation area, and so forth is called a "unit."
The outdoor recreation system shall be comprised of units classified as follows, and each unit shall be authorized, established, and administered to accomplish the purpose and objectives of its classification.
(a) A state park shall be established to protect and perpetuate extensive areas of the state possessing those resources which illustrate and exemplify Minnesota's natural phenomena and to provide for the use, enjoyment, and understanding of such resources without impairment for the enjoyment and recreation of future generations.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state park unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) exemplifies the natural characteristics of the major landscape regions of the state, as shown by accepted classifications, in an essentially unspoiled or restored condition or in a condition that will permit restoration in the foreseeable future; or contains essentially unspoiled natural resources of sufficient extent and importance to meaningfully contribute to the broad illustration of the state's natural phenomena; and
(2) contains natural resources, sufficiently diverse and interesting to attract people from throughout the state; and
(3) is sufficiently large to permit protection of the plant and animal life and other natural resources which give the park its qualities and provide for a broad range of opportunities for human enjoyment of these qualities.
(c) State parks shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision to preserve, perpetuate, and interpret natural features that existed in the area of the park prior to settlement and other significant natural, scenic, scientific, or historic features that are present. Management shall seek to maintain a balance among the plant and animal life of the park and to reestablish desirable plants and animals that were formerly indigenous to the park area but are now missing. Programs to interpret the natural features of the park shall be provided. Outdoor recreation activities to utilize the natural features of the park that can be accommodated without material disturbance of the natural features of the park or the introduction of undue artificiality into the natural scene may be permitted. Park use shall be primarily for aesthetic, cultural, and educational purposes, and shall not be designed to accommodate all forms or unlimited volumes of recreational use. Physical development shall be limited to those facilities necessary to complement the natural features and the values being preserved.
(a) A state recreation area shall be established to provide a broad selection of outdoor recreation opportunities in a natural setting which may be used by large numbers of people.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state recreation area unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) contains natural or artificial resources which provide outstanding outdoor recreational opportunities that will attract visitors from beyond the local area;
(2) contains resources which permit intensive recreational use by large numbers of people; and
(3) may be located in areas which have serious deficiencies in public outdoor recreation facilities, provided that state recreation areas should not be provided in lieu of municipal, county, or regional facilities.
(c) State recreation areas shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision primarily to provide as broad a selection of opportunities for outdoor recreation as is consistent with maintaining a pleasing natural environment. Scenic, historic, scientific, scarce, or disappearing resources within state recreation areas shall be recommended for authorization as historic sites or designated scientific and natural areas pursuant to section 86A.08 to preserve and protect them. Physical development shall enhance and promote the use and enjoyment of the natural recreational resources of the area.
(a) A state trail shall be established to provide a recreational travel route which connects units of the outdoor recreation system or the national trail system, provides access to or passage through other areas which have significant scenic, historic, scientific, or recreational qualities or reestablishes or permits travel along an historically prominent travel route or which provides commuter transportation.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state trail unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) permits travel in an appropriate manner along a route which provides at least one of the following recreational opportunities:
(i) travel along a route which connects areas or points of natural, scientific, cultural, and historic interest;
(ii) travel through an area which possesses outstanding scenic beauty;
(iii) travel over a route designed to enhance and utilize the unique qualities of a particular manner of travel in harmony with the natural environment;
(iv) travel along a route which is historically significant as a route of migration, commerce, or communication;
(v) travel between units of the state outdoor recreation system or the national trail system; and
(2) utilizes, to the greatest extent possible consistent with the purposes of this subdivision, public lands, rights-of-way, and the like; and
(3) provides maximum potential for the appreciation, conservation, and enjoyment of significant scenic, historical, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas through which the trail may pass; and
(4) takes into consideration predicted public demand and future use.
(c) State trails shall be administered by the commissioners of transportation or natural resources as specified by law in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision. State trails established by the commissioner of natural resources shall be managed to provide a travel route through an area with a minimum disturbance of the natural environment and recognizing other multiple land use activities. Trail markers shall be limited to those providing safety information and interpretation.
(d) Facilities for the rest and comfort of trail users shall be provided primarily within units of the outdoor recreation system through which the trail passes. When additional facilities are required to insure the rest and comfort of the traveler, the managing agency may develop such facilities along the trail and shall designate the facilities as trail waysides. In addition to the foregoing purpose, trail waysides shall be developed for the preservation and interpretation of the trail's natural, historic, or scenic values, and may include facilities for primitive camping, picnicking, sanitation, and parking for access to the trail.
(a) A state scientific and natural area shall be established to protect and perpetuate in an undisturbed natural state those natural features which possess exceptional scientific or educational value.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a scientific and natural area unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) embraces natural features of exceptional scientific and educational value, including but not limited to any of the following:
(i) natural formations or features which significantly illustrate geological processes;
(ii) significant fossil evidence of the development of life on earth;
(iii) an undisturbed plant community maintaining itself under prevailing natural conditions typical of Minnesota;
(iv) an ecological community significantly illustrating the process of succession and restoration to natural condition following disruptive change;
(v) a habitat supporting a vanishing, rare, endangered, or restricted species of plant or animal;
(vi) a relict flora or fauna persisting from an earlier period; or
(vii) a seasonal haven for concentrations of birds and animals, or a vantage point for observing concentrated populations, such as a constricted migration route; and
(2) embraces an area large enough to permit effective research or educational functions and to preserve the inherent natural values of the area.
(c) State scientific and natural areas shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources, in consultation with qualified persons, in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision to preserve, perpetuate and protect from unnatural influences the scientific and educational resources within them. Interpretive studies may be provided for the general public. Physical development shall be limited to the facilities absolutely necessary for protection, research, and educational projects, and, where appropriate, for interpretive services.
(d) An area designated as a state scientific and natural area shall not be altered in designation or use without holding a public hearing on the matter at a time and place designated in the notice of the hearing, which shall be published once in a legal newspaper in each county in which the lands are situated at least seven days in advance of the hearing. At the hearing the commissioner shall provide an opportunity for any person to be heard. The commissioner may designate these areas by written order published in the State Register. Designations are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply.
(e) At the discretion of the managing agency, each scientific and natural area shall be designated as one of the following types:
(i) Research unit. Use is limited to programs conducted by qualified scientists and college graduate and postgraduate students.
(ii) Educational unit. Permitted uses include all activities specified in paragraph (i) above and primary, secondary, and college undergraduate programs.
(iii) Public use unit. Permitted uses include all uses permitted in paragraphs (i) and (ii) above and interpretive programs for the benefit of the general public.
(a) A state wilderness area shall be established to preserve, in a natural wild and undeveloped condition, areas which offer outstanding opportunities for solitude and primitive types of outdoor recreation.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state wilderness area unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria: appears to have been primarily affected by the forces of nature, with the evidence of humanity being substantially unnoticeable or where the evidence of humanity may be eliminated by restoration.
(c) State wilderness areas shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision, and shall be managed only to the extent necessary to control fire, insects, and disease, and to preserve existing wilderness or reestablish wilderness conditions. There shall be no development of public roads, permanent dwellings, or recreational facilities except trails for nonmotorized traffic. Motorized traffic shall not be allowed. No commercial utilization of timber or minerals shall be allowed. Facilities existing at the time of establishment shall be removed.
(a) A state forest, as established by section 89.021, shall be administered to accomplish the purposes set forth in that section, and a state forest subarea shall be established to permit development and management of specialized outdoor recreation at locations and in a manner consistent with the primary purpose of the forest.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state forest subarea unless it is located within a state forest and contains suitable natural resources to accommodate any of the following uses:
(1) Day use areas. Areas which permit recreational use of the forest in its natural state, not requiring an overnight stay, including but not limited to picnicking, fishing, swimming, boat launching, hiking, interpretation, and nature observation.
(2) Campground. Provide minimum facilities to accommodate overnight camping.
(c) Outdoor recreation subareas located within state forests shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision.
(a) A state wildlife management area shall be established to protect those lands and waters which have a high potential for wildlife production and to develop and manage these lands and waters for the production of wildlife, for public hunting, fishing, and trapping, and for other compatible outdoor recreational uses.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state wildlife management area unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) includes appropriate wildlife lands and habitat, including but not limited to marsh or wetlands and the margins thereof, ponds, lakes, stream bottomlands, and uplands, which permit the propagation and management of a substantial population of the desired wildlife species; and
(2) includes an area large enough to ensure adequate wildlife management and regulation of the permitted recreational uses.
(c) State wildlife management areas shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision to perpetuate, and if necessary, reestablish quality wildlife habitat for maximum production of a variety of wildlife species. Public hunting, fishing, trapping, and other uses shall be consistent with the limitations of the resource, including the need to preserve an adequate brood stock and prevent long-term habitat injury or excessive wildlife population reduction or increase. Physical development may provide access to the area, but shall be so developed as to minimize intrusion on the natural environment.
(a) A state water-access site shall be established to provide public access to rivers and lakes which are suitable for outdoor water recreation and where the access is necessary to permit public use.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state water-access site unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) the body of water to which access is being provided and surrounding lands can withstand additional recreational use without undue damage to the environment or undue risks to the health and safety of water users;
(2) public access to the body of water is either nonexistent or inadequate.
(c) State water-access sites shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources or the commissioner of transportation in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision to provide public access to water. Access roads, off-road parking areas, refuse containers, sanitary facilities, and facilities for limited picnicking and primitive camping may be provided when the commissioner determines that these activities are justifiable and are compatible with the resource and the natural environment.
(a) State wild, scenic, and recreational rivers shall be established to protect and maintain the natural characteristics of all or a portion of a river or stream, or its tributaries, or lake through which the river or stream flows which together with adjacent lands possesses outstanding scenic, scientific, historical, or recreational value, as provided by sections 103F.301 to 103F.345.
(b) State wild, scenic, and recreational rivers shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision and sections 103F.301 to 103F.345.
(a) A state historic site shall be established to preserve, restore, and interpret buildings and other structures, locales, sites, antiquities, and related lands which aptly illustrate significant events, personalities, and features of the history and archaeology of the state or nation.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state historic site unless it is historically important for any of the following reasons:
(1) is the site of or directly associated with a significant historical event; or
(2) is associated with persons whose lives and accomplishments are historically unique or important; or
(3) embodies the distinctive characteristics of an architectural style or method of construction which represents a particular and significant historical period, or the work of a master builder, designer, or architect; or
(4) has yielded, or is likely to yield, historical or archaeological artifacts, records, or other original data or information; or
(5) is a geographical feature of outstanding significance and includes, by way of example, the highest point in the state, the continental divide, and the source of the Mississippi River.
(c) State historic sites shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources, the Minnesota Historical Society, the Board of Regents of the University of Minnesota, governmental subdivisions of the state, or by county historical societies jointly or independently as designated by law in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision to maintain and, if necessary, restore the historical integrity of the site to commemorate or illustrate its historical importance. Ancient features of significance shall be protected from disturbance until archaeological research has been completed. Interpretive programs for visitors shall be provided including, where practicable, interpretation of research programs under supervised conditions. Recreational use of natural features shall be permitted only where this can be accomplished without detriment to historical values. Physical development shall be limited to those facilities necessary to achieve the management and use objectives.
(a) A state rest area shall be established to promote a safe, pleasurable, and informative travel experience along Minnesota highways by providing areas and facilities at reasonable intervals for information, emergencies, or the rest and comfort of travelers.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state rest area unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) is adjacent to or in near proximity to a trunk or interstate highway;
(2) is developed at appropriate intervals based on the type of road system, traffic and traffic projections and known or projected usage of the proposed development;
(3) may be near or associated with a place or area of natural, scientific, cultural, or historic interest.
(c) Rest areas shall be administered by the commissioner of transportation in cooperation with other agencies as appropriate in a manner which is consistent with the purposes of this subdivision. State rest areas may be managed to provide parking, resting, restroom, picnicking, orientation, travel information, and other facilities for the convenience of the traveling public. Where located in conjunction with features of interest, state rest areas shall provide interpretive exhibits or other facilities if appropriate to promote understanding and enjoyment of the features.
All other state parks which, though not meeting the resource and site qualifications contained in subdivisions 2 and 3, were in existence on January 1, 1984, shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources as units of the outdoor recreation system.
(a) Aquatic management areas may be established to protect, develop, and manage lakes, rivers, streams, and adjacent wetlands and lands that are critical for fish and other aquatic life, for water quality, and for their intrinsic biological value, public fishing, or other compatible outdoor recreational uses.
(b) Aquatic management areas may be established to protect wetland areas under ten acres that are donated to the Department of Natural Resources.
(c) No unit may be authorized unless it meets one or more of the following criteria:
(1) provides angler or management access;
(2) protects fish spawning, rearing, or other unique habitat;
(3) protects aquatic wildlife feeding and nesting areas;
(4) protects critical shoreline habitat; or
(5) provides a site for research on natural history.
(d) Aquatic management areas must be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner consistent with the purposes of this subdivision to perpetuate and, if necessary, reestablish high quality aquatic habitat for production of fish, wildlife, and other aquatic species. Public fishing and other uses shall be consistent with the limitations of the resource, including the need to preserve adequate populations and prevent long-term habitat injury or excessive fish population reduction or increase. Public access to aquatic management areas may be closed during certain time periods.
(e) State-owned lands or waters, or any state-owned interests in lands or waters, acquired before August 1, 2000, that meet the criteria of this subdivision and that have been administered by the commissioner of natural resources as fish management areas or other areas of fishery interest are authorized as units of the outdoor recreation system upon designation by the commissioner of natural resources as aquatic management areas.
(a) Boater waysides may be established to provide for public use.
(b) No unit shall be authorized as a state boater wayside unless its proposed location substantially satisfies the following criteria:
(1) contains resources that are desirable for use by boaters;
(2) is accessible by persons traveling by boat, canoe, or kayak; and
(3) may be near, associated with, or located within a unit of the outdoor recreation system under this section.
(c) State boater waysides shall be administered by the commissioner of natural resources in a manner that is consistent with the purpose of this subdivision. Facilities for sanitation, picnicking, overnight mooring, camping, fishing, and swimming may be provided when the commissioner determines that these activities are justifiable and compatible with the resources and the natural environment.
1975 c 353 s 5; 1976 c 166 s 7; 1984 c 599 s 5; 1986 c 444; 1990 c 391 art 8 s 17; 1992 c 462 s 3; 1992 c 566 s 16; 1993 c 172 s 39,40; 1993 c 285 s 5; 2004 c 221 s 22; 2004 c 262 art 2 s 4; 2009 c 176 art 1 s 17
Notwithstanding Laws 2005, chapter 156, article 2, section 45, as amended by Laws 2007, chapter 148, article 2, section 73, or other law to the contrary, a state agency shall not sell land that, on or after May 8, 2009, is classified as a unit of the outdoor recreation system under section 86A.05, for the purpose of anticipated savings to the general fund.
Each managing agency shall promulgate rules relating to the units of the outdoor recreation system within its jurisdiction, which shall provide for administration of the units in the manner specified in section 86A.05 and the laws relating to each type of unit.
A unit of the outdoor recreation system shall be deemed to be authorized upon the enactment of a law (1) describing the land, water, or facility which shall comprise the unit; (2) designating the unit's classification pursuant to section 86A.05; (3) directing and authorizing acquisition of the unit thus described; and (4) specifying the methods of acquisition and the types of interests in land that may be acquired.
Upon authorization of a unit pursuant to subdivision 1, the managing agency shall as soon as possible acquire the lands, waters, or facilities as authorized.
In any instance where a managing agency, or the commissioner of administration on behalf of the managing agency, is specifically empowered by law to acquire lands or waters or any interest in lands or waters for the purpose of establishing units of the outdoor recreation system a unit may be authorized upon (1) the acquisition of land and waters pursuant to the lawful exercise of the power to acquire and (2) the designation by the managing agency of the land and waters as a classified unit of the outdoor recreation system by written order published in the State Register. Designations are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply.
A unit of the outdoor recreation system may be authorized wholly or partially within the boundaries of another unit only when the authorization is consistent with the purposes and objectives of the respective units.
A unit shall be administered by the managing agency to which it is assigned by section 86A.05 even when located wholly or partially within another unit administered by a different managing agency, unless otherwise specifically provided by law or by agreement between the agencies involved.
No construction of new facilities or other development of an authorized unit, other than repairs and maintenance, shall commence until the managing agency has prepared a master plan for administration of the unit in conformity with this section. No master plan is required for wildlife management areas that do not have resident managers, for scientific and natural areas, for water-access sites, for aquatic management areas, for rest areas, or for boater waysides.
The managing agency shall supervise preparation of the master plan and shall utilize the professional staffs of any agency of the state when the expertise of the staff of such agency is necessary to adequately prepare the master plan; the master plan shall present the information in a format and detail that is appropriate to the size and complexity of the authorized unit. When the master plan has been completed the managing agency shall announce to the public in a manner reasonably designed to inform interested persons that the master plan is available for public review and in the case of any major unit shall hold at least one public meeting on the plan in the vicinity of the unit. The managing agency shall make the master plan available for review and comment by the public and other state agencies for at least 15 days prior to the public meeting and shall accept comments on the plan for at least 30 days before approval. The managing agency shall prepare a record of the public meeting and any comments received during the comment period.
All master plans required by this section shall:
(1) provide for administration of the unit in a manner that is consistent with the purposes for which the unit was authorized and with the principles governing the administration of the unit, as specified in section 86A.05 and the statutes relating to each type of unit; and
(2) recognize values and resources within the unit that are primarily the responsibility of another managing agency to protect or develop and provide for their protection or development either through a cooperative agreement with the other managing agency or through designation of the appropriate area as a secondary unit.
Construction of necessary facilities and other development of the unit shall commence as soon as practicable and shall be carried out in conformity with the master plan.
When, in the opinion of the managing agency, acquisition and development of the unit are sufficiently complete to permit operation and administration of the unit in substantial conformity with the master plan as approved, the managing agency shall declare the unit established and ready for use.
The managing agency shall prepare an amendment to a master plan to address changes proposed for a unit that would vary from the approved master plan. The master plan amendment shall address the impacts of the proposed changes to the natural and cultural resources, interpretive services, recreational opportunities, and administrative activities at the unit. The master plan amendment supersedes the master plan for those areas addressed by the amendment. The managing agency shall hold a public meeting for master plan amendments that constitute a significant change in public use or access to the unit or that may be controversial. Public notice and approval of the master plan amendment shall follow the process described in subdivision 2. Construction of necessary facilities and other development of the unit shall commence as soon as practicable after the master plan amendment is adopted.
1975 c 353 s 9; 1981 c 356 s 106-109; 1983 c 289 s 115 subd 1; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 312 art 1 s 26 subd 2; 1992 c 566 s 17; 1993 c 163 art 1 s 5-8; 2009 c 176 art 1 s 19; 2010 c 361 art 4 s 37; 2014 c 289 s 29
The commissioner of natural resources and the director of the Minnesota Historical Society shall each compile and maintain a current registry of the name, location, size, and description of all units of the outdoor recreation system under their respective jurisdictions, and shall publish and distribute the information contained in the registry in a form and manner suitable to assist persons wishing to use these units.
A natural resources capital improvement program is established to prioritize among eligible public projects to be funded from state bond proceeds appropriated to the commissioner and distinctly specified for the purposes of the program established in this section and in accordance with the standards and criteria set forth in this section.
The purpose of the natural resources capital improvement program is to improve the management and conservation of the natural resources of the state, including recreational, scientific and natural areas, and wild game and fish, through the acquisition and betterment of public lands, buildings, and improvements of a capital nature.
Article XI, section 5, clause (a), of the Constitution provides that state general obligation bonds may be issued to finance the acquisition or betterment, including preservation, of public land, buildings, and improvements of a capital nature and to provide money to be appropriated or loaned to any agency or political subdivision of the state for those purposes. Article XI, section 5, clause (f), of the Constitution further provides that state general obligation bonds may be issued to finance the promotion of forestation and prevention and abatement of forest fires, including the compulsory clearing and improving of public and private wild lands. In interpreting these provisions and applying them to the purpose of the program established in this section, the following standards are adopted for determining the priority among eligible natural resources projects to be funded under the program:
(a) A project will be an expenditure eligible under this program only when it is a capital expenditure on a capital asset owned or to be owned by the state or a political subdivision of the state within the meaning of accepted accounting principles as applied to public expenditures. The legislature assumes that some provisions for the management and conservation of the natural resources of the state constituting acquisition or betterment of land, buildings, or capital improvements within the meaning of the Constitution will be sensitive to timing and circumstances and require discretion of the commissioner based on currently available facts and circumstances, particularly projects related to the mitigation of natural disasters and the acquisition of lands as they become available, and so these projects will be financed more efficiently and economically under the program than by separate appropriations for each project.
(b) The commissioner will review potential eligible projects, will make initial allocations among types of eligible projects within each category enumerated in the act making an appropriation for the program, will determine priorities within each category, and will allocate money as specified in the appropriation act and in priority order within each category until the available appropriation for the category has been committed.
(a) The following criteria must be considered:
(1) expansion of the natural resources of the state for the enjoyment and use of the public;
(2) urgency in providing for the conservation of the natural resources of the state, including protection of threatened and endangered species and waters;
(3) necessity in ensuring the safety of the public; and
(4) additional criteria for priorities otherwise specified in state law, statute, rule, or regulation applicable to a category listed in the act making an appropriation for the program.
(b) Criteria can be stated only in general terms, since it is a purpose of the program to improve the allocation of limited amounts of available funds by enlisting the knowledge and experience of the Department of Natural Resources in determining relative needs as they develop.
(c) The criteria in paragraph (a) are not listed in a rank order of priority.
(d) Economy is also to be determined and may even reinforce a decision based on other criteria, if the project would forestall a larger future capital expenditure or would reduce operating expense.
(e) Absolute cost must also be considered. It may be too high to warrant funding except by an additional appropriation, or so high as to warrant a recommendation to abandon the project. It may be so low as to permit payment out of the department's operating budget.
"Commissioner" means the commissioner of natural resources.
"Mooring facility" means one or more anchorage or boat slips provided for the safe and convenient docking of boats, which may also provide utility, fuel, or sewage pump-out services to the docked boats.
"Small craft harbor" means a protected harbor with boat tie-ups consisting of piers or moorings, boat launches, and support facilities such as roads and parking areas.
"Marina" means a mooring facility providing additional services to boats, such as repairs, haul-out, winter storage, food and beverage service, and services and facilities of a related nature.
(a) The commissioner may:
(1) acquire, construct, and maintain small craft harbors, channels, and facilities for recreational watercraft in the navigable waters lying within the locations identified in Laws 1993, chapter 333, section 1;
(2) acquire by purchase, lease, gift, or condemnation the lands, rights-of-way, easements, and other interests necessary for small craft harbors, channels, mooring facilities, marinas, launching ramps, and facilities normally used to support harbors of refuge, channels, docks, and launching ramps;
(3) provide the public within the boundaries of small craft harbors, through leases of public property, with mooring facilities and marinas developed and operated by public or nonpublic entities at no cost to the state or its political subdivisions;
(4) charge fees for both seasonal and daily moorage at state-operated or state-assisted small craft harbors and mooring facilities;
(5) collect the proceeds from the sale of marine fuel at small craft harbors or mooring facilities operated by the state.
(b) Fees and proceeds collected under paragraph (a) must be credited to the water recreation account. The sale prices of marine fuel and petroleum supplies and fees under paragraph (a) are not subject to the rulemaking provisions of chapter 14 and section 14.386 does not apply. The commissioner may establish the fees under paragraph (a) notwithstanding section 16A.1283. The fees and proceeds are appropriated to the commissioner of natural resources and must be used for purposes relating to mooring facilities and small craft harbors, including:
(1) operation and maintenance;
(2) purchase of marine fuel and other petroleum supplies;
(3) replacement or expansion; or
(4) debt service on funds provided through the sale of state bonds.
(c) Fees collected at small craft harbors and boating facilities constructed or operated by local units of government with financial assistance from the state shall, after payment of the costs of operating and maintaining the facilities, be used for purposes relating to mooring facilities and small craft harbors, including:
(1) operation and maintenance;
(2) replacement or expansion; or
(3) debt service on funds provided through the sale of state bonds.
Counties, towns, and home rule charter and statutory cities of this state abutting on Lake Superior or inland waterways connected with Lake Superior for navigation and shelter of recreational watercraft are authorized by majority vote of their respective governing bodies to enter into contracts and agreements with the commissioner to accomplish the purposes of sections 86A.20 to 86A.24.
Facilities in harbors and connecting waterways established under sections 86A.20 to 86A.24 shall be public and open to all users on equal and reasonable terms. Users shall have no cause of action against owners of land adjacent to small craft harbors and mooring facilities for damage as a result of noise and dust generated by facilities of iron-producing industries.
The commissioner may take actions necessary to:
(1) provide the finances required of nonfederal sponsors as a condition for United States participation in any project in which the commissioner is empowered to participate;
(2) enter into agreements with the United States Army Corps of Engineers to provide the funds and other items of local cooperation required as a condition precedent to the construction of a harbor, mooring facility, or marina project; and
(3) enter into agreements with political subdivisions of this state regarding participation with the United States in any project within the commissioner's authority, and to make adjustments which in the judgment of the commissioner are in the best interest of the state.