The Natural Resource Manual was created to help inform the Comprehensive Plan update, while informing the focus areas discussed throughout the Pillars. This manual provides a snapshot of Stearns County’s diverse natural resources, parks, open spaces, and trails. It also provided a foundation for developing the “natural resource overlay” depicted in the Future Land Use Plan map.
The Natural Resource Manual can be used in the following ways.
Planning decisions are influenced by a variety of entities that have some regulatory or planning authority for natural resources in Stearns County. The Natural Resource Manual identifies some of these roles and responsibility, while providing resources to learn more.
Recreation programs, trail corridors, and parks are all part of the natural systems of Stearns County. The Natural Resource Manual provides an inventory and assessment of the existing systems and a framework for Stearns County to follow in order to meet regional needs for recreation and open space, while preserve significant natural resources.
The focus areas discussed throughout the Comprehensive Plan’s Pillars represent some of the County’s key priorities. Therefore, it is important to note they are not all encompassing when considering the range of environmental concerns and recreational needs facing our future. Stearns County will need to continue to evaluate policies, best practices, and regulations when making informed decisions about the natural environment and how we connect people to these resources.
The following resources and regulations are examples of tools used to help manage and protect Stearns County’s aggregate resources. These tools, and others should be referenced when making planning decisions that impact these resources.