Headwaters of Rice Creek conserved

UPDATE (Jan. 24, 2013) Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department invites comments from the public on the proposed Columbus Lake Conservation Area Master Plan.  Written comments must be submitted by February 25, 2013 to the Project Manager: Karen Blaska, Park Planner, Anoka County Parks and Recreation Department, 550 Bunker Lake Blvd. NW, Andover, MN  55304, 763-767-2865, or karen.blaska@co.anoka.mn.us.

(Jan. 14, 2013) Anoka County has announced that nearly 350 acres of land have been permanently protected for conservation purposes in eastern Anoka County.  Two tracts of natural habitat at the headwaters of Rice Creek will connect several existing public conservation lands.

This new conservation area will be a legacy for generations to come, providing access to pristine and diverse wildlife lands that are best suited to hunting and conservation,” said Anoka County Board Chairperson Rhonda Sivarajah.

The management of this headwaters creek corridor just south of the state-owned Lamprey Pass Wildlife Management Area (WMA) provides multiple water quality benefits, protecting nearly all of the shoreline of Columbus Lake and half a mile of Rice Creek. It also helps complete public ownership of a 20+ -mile conservation corridor extending from the WMA and along Rice Creek to the Mississippi River.

Anoka County will manage 258 acres of the land as a new public hunting area called Columbus Lake Conservation Area (map). The conservation area will be open to the public following the development of parking and access areas. The remaining 85 acres will be added to Anoka County’s Rice Creek Chain of Lakes Park Reserve providing improved public access for nature observation and hiking.

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