The watersheds of Minnesota do more than provide fishing and swimming holes; they offer diverse cultural traditions and educational opportunities. Between the forests, prairies and thousands of miles of waterways are common denominators that can bring together the many diverse communities that call Minnesota home.

One way of interaction and understanding by others is having the St. Croix waterways become a National Heritage area. There are currently 55 National Heritage areas with locations across 34 states. Minnesota does not have any other National Heritage areas at this time.

Marty Harding, Chair for the North Woods and Waters (NWW) of the St. Croix Heritage Area, requested resolution support from the Pine County Commissioners at the January 7 board meeting of a legislative bill.

This bill, sponsored by Representative Ron Kind and other legislators, seeks to have the St. Croix watershed area designated as a national heritage area. The bill is under final draft, and the definitive language of it is the last step before being officially signed. The Pine County Commissioners approved the resolution of support for this bill.

Economic growth and tourism are two of the benefits of being a National Heritage area. The NWW also has an extensive calendar of activities including history, art, concerts, sports, recreation and nature adventures.

Other board agenda items include the election of Pine County Board Chair Steve Hallan and Vice Chair Josh Mohr for 2020.

Certificates of appreciation were presented by Land and Resources Manager Caleb Anderson to Gary Valvoda, Rick Williams, Richard Glattly and Michael Kubesh for their work and volunteering in the county’s agricultural plastics recycling program.

The following appointees were approved for the Zoning Board from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, 2023; District 2, Les Orvis, District 4, Ryan Clark, At-Large, Susan Grill.

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