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Introduction How Rivers Run Stories Value Of A River What We Can Do
Common wealth from healthy rivers
Destinations of recreation and enjoyment

Recreation: If you've never floated down a river, you haven't yet experienced one of life's greatest joys. Rivers provide exhilarating recreation experiences for rafters, canoeists, kayakers, boaters, anglers, divers, windsurfers, swimmers, inner-tube aficionados and shoreline recreationists.

Nature enjoyment: One of the fastest growing industries that fuels local economies is wildlife watching, or "eco-tourism." The number of Minnesotans participating in bird watching, bird feeding, wildlife tourism, and wildlife photography increased from 1.2 million in 1996 to 1.9 million in 2001-a 58% increase in five years, according to a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service survey. This was also the first time in the survey's history that the annual expenditures for wildlife watching activities exceeded the annual expenditures for hunting activities in Minnesota, growing from $383.2 million in 1996 to $523.5 million in 2001.

Rivers are essential assets in this balance sheet as they attract and support the wildlife that people love to see. River systems are also critical for plant lovers because many of our native plants and plant communities, particularly the rarest of the rare, occur in areas with unique hydrology (such as calcareous fens, algific talus slopes, and patterned peatlands). Rivers themselves are travel destinations, with entire guidebooks devoted to topics such as scenic waterfalls.

Karen Terry
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Tubing in summertime
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J. Drake Hamilton
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A connection to the wild
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Walt Popp
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Birding on the river
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A New Stream
Common Wealth
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