Today marks 50 years since the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act was signed into law, creating the St. Croix National Scenic Riverway.
Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton signed a proclamation recognizing the occasion and declaring October 2 “Saint Croix River Day”. The proclamation reads “Minnesotans appreciate the Saint Croix River for its beauty, scenic view sheds, clean water, abundant fishery, and close proximity to over three million citizens.”
The Governor recognized Xcel Energy’s historic donation of 24,000 acres of land along the Riverway to federal and state governments, calling the company role a “true public/private partnership.” Governor Scott Walker signed a similar proclamation in June honoring the anniversary.
The St. Croix National Scenic Riverway, located in northwest Wisconsin and eastern Minnesota, is comprised of the St. Croix and Namekagon rivers.
“Xcel Energy is honored to be part of the history behind the beautiful St. Croix National Scenic Riverway,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota. “Decades later, our company is just as committed and passionate about being responsible by nature and delivering safe, reliable energy for our customers.”
“Today’s Riverway reflects the commitment of people working together over the past 50 years,” said Julie Galonska, National Park Service Superintendent. “This legislation would not have been possible without the great effort and commitment of legislative, corporate and community leaders, and we want to say thank you to all.”
The act was passed with the intention to preserve rivers with outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational values in a free-flowing condition for the enjoyment of present and future generations.
Celebrations have been taking place all year long with a film airing on Twin Cities Public Television, a special book by artist Craig Blacklock and many other community events.
Pictured below: 50th Anniversary celebrations include airing of “The Wild and Scenic St. Croix” documentary at the Fitzgerald Theater and a book release at Mill City Museum.