University of Minnesota
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Vermillion Highlands: A Research, Recreation and Wildlife Management Area

Concept Master Planning

Vermillion Highlands is a research, recreation and wildlife management area jointly managed by the University and the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), in conjunction with Dakota County and Empire Township.

The Vermillion Highlands joint management Steering Committee contracted with the University of Minnesota's Center for Rural Design in the fall of 2007 to develop a concept master plan for the property, based on a collaborative vision and 12 guiding principles.

The Steering Committee produced a draft concept master plan in June 2008 which was presented at community and University forums for public comment.

In March 2010, the Steering Committee approved the Final Report of the Vermillion Highlands Concept Master Plan.

View the Concept Master Plan Final Report (352 KB PDF)

View the Concept Master Plan Illustrations below:

Regional Context (253 KB PDF): A map showing the regional context of Vermillion Highlands in Dakota County

Regional Connections (295 KB PDF): A map showing proposed regional connections and land-use zones

Concept Master Plan (373 KB PDF): A map showing the concept master plan for Vermillion Highlands

Zone Descriptions (166 KB PDF): A map showing the concept master plan land-use zones along with a description of general land cover features and land-use objectives in each zone

Research Opportunities (165 KB PDF): A map showing the range of research opportunities in each zone with a generalized description of research management objectives

Recreation Opportunities (165 KB PDF): A map showing recreational opportunities intended in each zone with a generalized description of recreation management objectives

Hunting and Trapping Opportunities (165 KB PDF): A map showing hunting and trapping opportunities intended in each zone with a generalized description of hunting management objectives

Intensity of Use (165 KB PDF): A map showing the intensity of human use intended in each of the zones

Management Zones (244 KB PDF): A map identifying two primary zones within Vermillion Highlands, each with its own management priorities

Collaborative Research Area (248 KB PDF): A map depicting the location of a collaborative research area dedicated to a joint effort between the University and Minnesota Department of Natural Resources

Trail System (265 KB PDF): A map identifying refinements to the equestrian trail, Lone Rock hiking trail, trail access to the Dakota County regional park and access points to a future regional recreation trail