Legislators Sing MSRPO Praises

Legislators sing MSRPO praises at 2012 Legislative Summit - urge greater grassroots activism in AIS fight

January 14, 2012 - M-State Campus Detroit Lakes - The Becker County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA), the Pelican River Watershed District and the Lake Detroiters Association held its second (annual?) AIS Legislative Summit, "Do More Now."   Over 400 consituents and a dozen legislators packed the room to learn what more must be done to stop the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species in Minnesota.  MSRPO was a co-Sponsor of the event.

MSRPO presented an agressive AIS agenda at the Bold ActionNow Summit:

  • Dedicated and reliable AIS funding
  • Increased penalties for AIS violations - 18% non-compliance rate is too high
  • Increased inspection authority to empower local efforts
  • Authority to remove boats or structures already in the water
  • Greater control of water related equipment like boat lifts or docks that are moved around the state
  • Best Management Practices for fishing tournaments to prevent AIS spread.

Following MSRPO's presentation legislators spoke in support of both the agenda and funding. A number also sang MSRPO's praises, urging lake shore owners to join MSRPO.

Key note speaker Dr. Darby Nelson, past legislator, professor, writer, member of the Lessard Sams council, Conservation Minnesota Board member, said:

"You and others like you across the state have significantly moved the AIS agenda forward ... lobbyists and constituents play very, very important roles... Jeff and his organization... play a crucial role in Saint Paul influencing lake policies... help Jeff in his lobbying effort by joining his organization or at least conrtibuting some money toward that cause.  It is an extremely important effort."

Sen John Carlson, District 04, which covers parts of Cass, Hubbard and Crow Wing County, said:

"I want you to know ... four days after being sworn in,  in my first term, .... I met Jeff Forester and Henry Erdman... Folks, if ... you care about your lakes... and you don't belong to MSRPO, shame on you.

These folks are worth gold to you... Be a participating member of this association...."

Sen. Gretchen Hoffman, District 10, which covers much of Otter Tail and Becker County said:

"... when you have these groups that will come and present your story to us I can't tell you how important that is.  They are our go-to people and I just want to encourage you all to support them...."

Rep. Bruce VogelDistrict 13B, which covers much of Kandiyohi County, said:

"...these lobbyists educate and inform me ...  They are good people ... and we do rely that what they are giving us is the truth."

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