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The Department of Natural Resources

Thursday, August 13, 2009 - 3:33pm




The Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will conduct a public hearing to consider allowing an existing snowmobile trail to cross the Hastings Sand Coulee Scientific and Natural Area (SNA). The 77-acre Hastings Sand Coulee SNA located in Marshan Township in Dakota County (Twp 114N R 17W Sec 11) was designated as a State Scientific and Natural Area in 2007 in order to protect the native prairie and 13 rare animal and plant species which exist in the area.

The hearing will be held August 20, 2009, from 5:30pm to 7:00pm, or until all testimony is taken, in the Hastings City Hall Community Room, 101 Fourth St. E., Hastings, Minnesota. The purpose of the hearing is to take public testimony regarding allowing an existing snowmobile trail to cross the SNA. A change in the designation order establishing the site would allow the snowmobile to continue to cross the SNA.

The ravine or coulee formed by a tributary stream to the Vermillion River of which the SNA is part contains the largest extent of native prairie still remaining in Dakota County. Five rare animal species have been documented in the site, including two butterfly species and three snake species.

At the hearing, a hearing official will record all testimony on whether the snowmobile trail should be allowed to cross the SNA. The SNA Program staff will be available for questions. Written statements on this subject will also be accepted until August 19, 2009. Testimony may be emailed to or sent to the following address.

Regional Director, c/o Scientific and Natural Areas Program

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

500 Lafayette Rd, Box 25

St. Paul, MN 55155-4025