In the Osceola Sun, editor Suzanna Lindgren recently celebrated the start of the 50th anniversary of the Wild & Scenic Rivers Act with a column about why the St. Croix is so special.
Titled “Fifty years old, but barely beginning,” Lindgren points out that the most important thing about the St. Croix is its potential to remain relatively pristine for the foreseeable future:
The St. Croix River was the thoroughfare by which French explorers first traveled this region. The river was the freeway by which freshly chopped logs were delivered from St. Croix Falls and Taylors Falls to hydro-powered sawmills in Marine on St. Croix and Stillwater. Osceola is also a mill town. Having been founded by saw millers, it was later home to wheat and corn mills. After the grains were turned to flour, they were transported by steamer to St. Croix Falls to feed the lumbermen in the pineries, according to the Osceola Historical Society’s book, “Osceola: A Village Chronicle.”
The river is the reason these small towns were founded and, ultimately, the reason any of us are here.
Although it was development that drew people to this area and allowed them to prosper hundreds of years ago, our task now is different. Now, the value of the river is in its pristine state — an increasing rarity in an ever-developing world. It is a glimpse of wilderness available to everyone.