2/16/2018 11:53:00 AM James Oberstar Trail master plan clears early stage
Longtime District 8 U.S. Congressman, James Obsertar, died in 2014 and part of his legacy was serving as chair of the House transportation committee. Oberstar had a reputation for tireless efforts finding ways to promote various modes of transportation, and bicycling was a personal passion. To recognize his lengthy congressional service, state officials named a segment of Minnesota’s Willard Munger Trail network in memory of Oberstar. The legislature also set in motion a process to create a master plan and that process wrapped-up recently.
Foundational plans for the Oberstar Trail are on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources website, look for management plans and parks.
The MN Department of Natural Resources reports calls this the first major step in a long, ongoing process of implementation.” The plan is based on citizen and agency suggestions and expertise. Comments and input, and a public open house in Pine City were part of the trail defining effort that closed a few months ago. Three “search corridors” are described in depth, see graphic.
The DNR communications release says the plan, “...provides longterm guidance for development, management and maintenance.” At this point the master plan complies with what was asked for in state law, and it is not a proposal and is not final, according to Marty Torgerson, state Parks & Trails Area Supervisor. If anyone has questions about how to further develop the master plan or wants to be involved, e mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Basically the Oberstar segment was designated to start in Chisago County and terminate at Hinckley.
It may take a St Croix River-side route, or it may adhere more to the existing Sunrise Prairie Trail local corridor or it could take an intertwined hybrid path. Most of the route is meant to follow existing right-of-way, or be on land provided voluntarily. Public feedback revealed the trail was desired to be multi-use, multi-seasonal and is expected to include a paved surface.