Lake Associations Are Leaders in Preserving Minnesota's Lake and River Heritage

The only problem? Most people in the state do not know of the many actions lake associations take and the millions of dollars they contribute to the pubic good. As a result, they are often not at the tale when decisions are being made that affect them.

Until now. Minnesota Lakes and Rivers is committed to letting people know about the work lake associations do for the benefit of all. See the Fox News clip.

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Lake Associations across the state are the most effective, generous and committed conservation group in Minnesota. The work you and your lake association members do is critically important; buying shoreline to create parks, stocking fish, staffing boat landings to educate the public about aquatic invasive species, leading local efforts to put effective invasive species programs in place, treating lakes to suppress invasive aquatic plants, gathering data for scientific studies ranging from wildlife counts to water chemistry - lake associations are leaders. No other group of people does as much to advance the public good.

The only problem? Most people in the state do not know of the many actions lake associations take and the millions of dollars they contribute to the pubic good. As a result, they are often not at the tale when decisions are being made that affect them.

Until now. Minnesota Lakes and Rivers is committed to letting people know about the work lake associations do for the benefit of all.

The point is not just recognition, but to help lake associations leverage their efforts by increasing their profile in Minnesota. Policy makers need to know about the work Minnesotan's are doing to protect the public waters.

Here is a clip of Jeff Forester, Executive Director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers on a recent Fox News broadcast promoting Lake Associations and detailing their efforts to protect the public waters for the benefit of every Minnesotan.

Lake home and cabin owners are working on the most important natural resource issues: water.

In Minnesota and the rest of the world, there is no more important natural resource. Imagine all the water on Earth as being about the size of a basketball. Now compare that with a golfball which represents all the saline water on the planet. A quarter represents all the drinkable water on the planet. And water is not a renewable resource - we cannot make more water. Even in Minnesota we are degrading our lakes and rivers. We are pumping water from underground aquifers faster than it is recharging. Minnesota's water resources are finite and diminishing.

Click the picture below to see the Fox News Interview.

Water is critically important for Minnesota's welfare and future:

  • MN's Population is 5.2 million people.
  • 1.3 million people in Minnesota rely on surface water.
  • 3.9 million rely on ground water.
  • Estimates are that if only 1/3 of MN lakes had had a decline in water quality there would be a $100 Billion drop in property values.
  • Fishing accounts for 43,000 jobs, $2.8 billion in revenue and $640 million in tax revenue. Minnesota sells over 90,000 nonresident fishing licenses.
  • 12,000 jobs are related to hunting and wildlife in Minnesota. $1.5 Billion in revenue.
  • What happens on land does affect water. Storm water runoff is the #1 water quality problem in the US.

There is no more important resource than water. And there is no important or effective advocate for water than Lake Associations.

Some potential actions you can take now to protect water:

  • If you are not a member of your local lake association, reach out to them. Learn about the work they are doing. Get involved.
  • Reach out to your legislators and candidates during the election cycle and listen to their positions on our lakes and rivers. Share your ideas and concerns with them.
  • Invite the legislators and candidates to your annual meeting, or even a board meeting.  Thank them for the work they have done on your behalf - and if they have not been an ally in your water work, find out why. Give legislators a chance to address your group and present their agenda and make a pitch to the membership. If they are a strong supporter of lake issues, encourage your members to make a contribution or to volunteer on their campaigns. If they have not been a strong supporter on a specific issue, respectfully give them a chance to explain why they have not. Challenge them respectfully and intelligently. Convince them that you, like them, are interested in working for the public good. Let them know the specific problems you are experiencing and ask for their ideas on potential solutions.
  • Make sure legislators and the larger community hear about the volunteer programs you are doing, the boat ramp inspectors, invasive weed removal and fish stocking programs you are funding voluntarily, the lake data you are collecting, the loon counts, water analysis and secci disc readings, the lake management plans you have written and implemented. 
  • Find a few great spokesperson's from your group, someone who knows your issues and has an even demeanor well suited to urging action on and issue. Have this small group (2 or 3) invite each candidate to share a cup of coffee so that you can ask them their views on lake issues in greater detail.

Now, during an election, is the time to develop a relationship with the men and women who will be making decisions that will impact our lakes and rivers. If you find a candidate that is particularly strong, consider volunteering as an individual to their campaign or making a contribution to their campaign. Elected officials are uniquely approachable during a campaign.

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