DNR seeks input on new Lake Vermillion parkby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Department of Natural Resources is asking for public comment on an environmental study of its plans for developing the new Lake Vermillion State Park and adjacent Soudan Underground Mine State Park in northeastern Minnesota.
The state bought 3,000 acres to create Lake Vermillion State Park in 2010. So far the Legislature has committed $10 million to develop it.
Some areas that have rare plants will not be developed, said park manager Jim Essig.
He said that even some of the areas planned for roads and campsites have some valuable plants that must be protected. Valuable resources in the park include bats, eagles, old growth forest and several rare wildflowers.
Essig said he will emphasize education to prevent introduction of new invasive species to the area, adding that public boat landings are a perfect place for it.
"Actually have staff down there showing people how to properly go through and clean their trailers and boats and vehicles of invasives," Essig said.
This summer the DNR will build a road through the park, and then work will begin on campgrounds and camper-cabins.
The DNR will take public comment until April 3; detailed information is on the agency's website.