Health of lakes addressed at legislative forumCommunity leaders, civic organizations, business leaders and citizens came together on September 23, in Walker, Minnesota at the Northern Lights Convention Center for the fourth annual Healthy Lakes Legislative Forum.
By: Staff Report, Alexandria Echo Press
Community leaders, civic organizations, business leaders and citizens came together on September 23, in Walker, Minnesota at the Northern Lights Convention Center for the fourth annual Healthy Lakes Legislative Forum.
The forum was presented by Minnesota Waters in partnership with the Pine River Watershed Alliance and hosted by the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. The forum featured Minnesota’s vital citizen-led efforts for lake and stream protection – and the steps legislators can take to best support these efforts at the Capitol. The robust agenda featured citizen presenters from across the state and highlighted relevant projects that addressed: aquatic invasive species prevention and management; shoreland protection and regulations; water quality monitoring; and successful citizen-state partnerships that can lead to greater resource protection.
“During the 2012 session, Minnesota Waters looks forward to continuing to work with legislators for the long term protection of Minnesota’s most prized natural assets – our lakes and streams,” said Lois Sinn Lindquist, Executive Director, Minnesota Waters. “Minnesota Waters believes that education and enforcement go hand in hand. As we see with all existing rules and regulations, some folks need a little added incentive to do what’s right. Representative McNamara and others acknowledge the
importance of this and continue to work with us to make progress.”
House Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee Chair, Denny McNamara and Senator John Carlson attended and spoke at the Forum. Senate Environment and Natural Resources Committee Chair, Bill Ingebrigtsen, planned to attend, but was unable due to a last minute scheduling conflict. Several north central regional legislators also attended the Forum.
As discussed at the Forum, during the 2012 legislative session Minnesota Waters will advocate for:
--The adoption of the statewide shoreland rules update;
--Increased AIS prevention measures and sustainable funding to support these programs; and
--Increasing legislative and agency support for the citizen and locally-led efforts that are leading the way in much of Minnesota’s lake and stream protection.
If you’re interested in the long term protection of Minnesota’s lakes and streams, contact your legislator today and let them know your priorities for the 2012 legislative session. You can find who represents you and their contact information at: www.leg.state.mn.us/leg/districtfinder.aspx
To learn more about the Legislative Forum and other important issues impacting Minnesota’s lakes and streams, visit www.minnesotawaters.
Minnesota Waters believes an engaged citizenry will effectively protect and restore Minnesota’s irreplaceable natural assets -- clean and healthy lakes and streams -- for current and future generations. The non-profit organization provides issue advocacy, training, connections, and support to empower citizens and citizen-led groups to be active, effective advocates for Minnesota’s unique waterscape.