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Conference to Examine Challenges Facing North Shore Economies and Land Use

April 16, 2002

Communities along Minnesota’s North Shore share unique physical, cultural, and demographic features that contribute to the area’s renowned appeal. In an effort to maintain those qualities, the North Shore Consortium is sponsoring State of the Coast 2002. This is the sixth conference dedicated to sharing insights and generating solutions to challenges along the North Shore of Lake Superior. Regional and local elected officials, resource planners, business owners, and interested individuals will convene on April 22 in Two Harbors, Minnesota, to participate in discussions about the North Shores’ rapidly changing social, economic and physical landscapes, and to explore innovative ways to address associated issues.

A regional planner and a recreation specialist from the Lake Tahoe area will describe the invaluable lessons they learned during community struggles to preserve the character of the Lake Tahoe basin while promoting it as a major destination. The visiting speakers will detail the changes in community dynamics generated by the unprecedented growth of the recreation and hospitality industries with the goal of helping North Shore communities confronted by similar circumstances.

A panel of North Shore authorities representing interests in economic development, real estate markets, tourism, and local government will contribute regional perspective. They will outline the challenges and changes they see affecting the North Shore and how these may potentially impact Minnesota’s unique coastline. State of the Coast 2002 will also highlight current planning efforts and successful endeavors in the Lake Superior basin and will conclude with an audience-driven discussion.

“We are expecting a record number of people and lively conversations on economics, land use, and environmental integrity,” said Larry Moon, one of the original co-founders of the North Shore Consortium conference. “Even an ice storm didn’t stall last years’ valuable exchange of information about the North Shore’s unique ecology and latest development patterns. Participants said the topics were pertinent and that they enjoyed the mix of ideas and issues. We’re expecting better weather this year and an equally productive program.”

This project is made possible in part by a grant with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources-Waters and Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program through the Coastal Zone Management Act administered through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management. Other sponsors and cooperators in the North Shore Consortium include: the Arrowhead Regional Development Commission, Lake County, Minnesota Land Trust, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, University of Minnesota Sea Grant Program, and the North Shore Management Board.

The conference will be held at Superior Shores Resort and Conference Center. The registration fee, which includes lunch, is $10 prior to April 17 and $15 thereafter. Pre-registration is advised. Additional information and an agenda are available on the State of the Coast 2002 Web page. You may also call (218) 529-7535 for more information and to register.

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