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Upper Sioux Agency State Park to Close February 16, 2024

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2023 legislation directs the Department of Natural Resources to transfer Upper Sioux Agency State Park (USASP) lands to the Upper Sioux Community. The Upper Sioux Community has had a longstanding request to the State of Minnesota to return the land at Upper Sioux Agency State Park, given the extraordinary significance of the land to the Community. This land is the site of starvation and death of Dakota people during the summer of 1862, when the U.S. Government failed to provide food promised to the Dakota by treaty.

DNR is moving forward with the process of transferring the land at Upper Sioux Agency State Park to the Upper Sioux Community, which requires closing the park. The park will be open to the public through Feb. 15, 2024 and close on Feb. 16, 2024. Beginning on Feb. 16, there will be no public access to the park. Closure of the park at this time is necessary to allow the DNR to remove park infrastructure prior to the land transfer, which is expected to occur in mid-March.

DNR is committed to ensuring high-quality recreation opportunities are available within the Minnesota River Valley. Through the summer and fall months of 2023, DNR engaged the public to identify potential investments in outdoor recreation that could be made in the area after the park closes. Ideas and proposals have come from DNR staff, members of the local community, local government officials, park visitors and interested park- and conservation-focused organizations. The ideas and proposals gathered are being evaluated by DNR with input from partners. DNR will share more information as it is available.

Written by: KLQP

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