A draft management plan for La Salle Lake State Recreation Area (SRA) in northwestern Minnesota is now available for public review and comment, according to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Parks and Trails Division. When approved, the management plan will guide development and operations at La Salle Lake SRA. The review period is open through June 29.
As part of the public review, DNR staff will hold an open house at the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center at Itasca State Park on Tuesday, June 12, from 6:30 to 8 p.m. People may provide comments about the draft management plan or learn more about the SRA. The public will also have the opportunity to comment on the trail and trailhead facilities proposed for the La Salle Lake Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), which is located within the SRA.
The draft management plan and information about La Salle Lake SRA are available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/state parks/la_salle_lake/index.html.
Copies of the plan will also be available to review at the DNR Regional headquarters in Bemidji and Itasca State Park office.
The draft management plan was developed by the DNR with the assistance of a citizen advisory committee, which helped identify issues and review potential management actions for the plan.
The management plan will set the direction for the SRA for the next 15-20 years and includes recommendations for managing natural and cultural resources and providing recreational and interpretative opportunities for recreation area visitors.
La Salle Lake SRA was authorized by the Minnesota State Legislature during the 2011 Legislative session. DNR acquisition of the property was completed last October. The property was purchased with funds dedicated to environmental projects. The majority of the $8.49 million came from the 2008 Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment Act through the Outdoor Heritage Fund, as recommended by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council. Additional funding came from the Legacy Amendment’s Parks and Trails Fund, and from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund (from State Lottery proceeds) as recommended by the Legislative Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources.
The 990-acre property includes nearly the entire shoreline of La Salle Lake, a 213-foot deep, 221-acre lake. Current recreation opportunities available at the SRA include hiking, wildlife viewing, fishing, hunting and trapping. A water access on the lake is open, but with limited parking. Full hook-up campsites and cabins are also available for reservation.
La Salle Lake SRA is located 8 miles north of Itasca State Park on Hubbard County Road 9.