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Grindstone river dam removal awaits public opinion
Minnesota Ag Connection - 09/27/2023

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is in the process of assessing the public’s views on the final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for a proposed project in Hinckley. The focus of the project is the removal of the Grindstone River Dam and the subsequent restoration of river connectivity.

This initiative would lead to the permanent elimination of the 26.6-acre Grindstone Reservoir, a recognized public water basin.

The Grindstone River Dam is currently in a state of disrepair, posing safety risks. Its removal would not only address these hazards but also enhance environmental conditions by:

Improving River Connectivity: The project aims to restore natural connectivity to the river channel, benefiting the local ecosystem.

Promoting Wildlife Movement: Removing the dam would eliminate barriers, allowing free movement for fish and other wildlife.

Increasing Habitat Diversity: The proposal would foster natural sediment transport, enhancing habitat diversity in the area.

The final EIS evaluates the proposed project and its alternatives, assessing their potential environmental effects. The Minnesota DNR is seeking comments on the EIS's "adequacy determination," focusing on whether significant issues were addressed, all substantive comments received a response, and the document complies with state environmental review rules.

The Minnesota DNR will use the comments received to inform its decision on EIS adequacy. The final EIS is accessible for review online on the DNR website and at the Hinckley Public Library.

Those interested in contributing their views should submit comments by 4:30 p.m., Monday, Oct. 9, 2023, either by mail to Becky Horton, EAW project manager, Ecological and Water Resources Division, Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 500 Lafayette Road N, St. Paul, MN 55155.

Or by email to environmentalrev.dnr@state.mn.us with “Grindstone EIS” in the subject line.

Contributors to the discussion will receive a copy of the adequacy decision along with responses to comments. Since this environmental review is a public record, commenters' names and contact details will also be publicly available.

The Minnesota DNR values public engagement and encourages the community to participate in this environmental initiative, ensuring that all voices are heard and contributing to the preservation of Minnesota’s natural resources.

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