Minnesota lawmakers approved funding for conservation and recreation projects across the state from the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources and the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, including $638,000 for the Superior Hiking Trail Association.
The association’s 2020 proposal, which had been on hold for more than a year with all other proposals due to lawmaker inaction, was fully funded at $450,000. The money will go to build and rehabilitate the trail near the Gooseberry River as well as remove and replace dangerous and failing structures like boardwalks, stairways and small bridges along the North Shore. The projects are expected to minimize environmental damage along the trail, increase resilience to the impacts of increasing use and climate change and enhance hiker safety.
From 2021 coffers, lawmakers approved another $187,000 for the association for improvements to address perennial water and erosion issues along the route. The goal is to have a “hydrologically invisible” trail to keep water off and hikers on the trail.
The state money comes from both Minnesota’s profits on lottery ticket sales and the state’s 3/8ths percent sales tax dedicated to conservation, arts and recreation.