MNNPS Opposes SNA Land Use Proposals

On June 14, hearings were held regarding proposed land use changes on existing SNAs. Board Member Tom Casey, representing MNNPS, testified at the hearings, opposing these proposals.

Mississippi River Islands SNA

Proposal: vacate the Dimmick Island portion of the Mississippi River Islands SNA and transfer control to MN Parks and Trails for use as campgrounds.

SUMMARY

The proposed vacation of a portion Dimmick Island to allow an overnight campsite and other activities:

  1. Will cause significant adverse impacts to the remainder of the SNA and surrounding waters;
  2. Sets an adverse precedent and perpetuates an administrative mistake made after the SNA was designated;
  3. Is not required by a deed “condition”;
  4. Is contrary to the purposes and administrative requirements outlined in Minn. Stat. 86A.05; and
  5. Violates the requirements of the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act.

Download the Letter to DNR (6-19-17) describing the issues in further detail.

Unca Dunes SNA

Proposal: continue allowing snowmobiles and horses.

SUMMARY

The proposal to allow horses and snowmobiles, along with the continued use of dogs:

  1. Will cause significant adverse impacts to the remainder of the SNA
  2. Rewards illegal and incompatible activities and perpetuates historic abuses;
  3. Is contrary to the purposes and administrative requirements outlined in Minn. Stat. 86A.05; and
  4. Violates the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (Minn. Stat. 116D).

Download the Letter to DNR – Uncas Dunes SNA (6-19-17) describing the issues in further detail.

 

Legislative Wrap-Up 2017

Summary

This legislative session failed to do more to protect the resources that Minnesotans value. Download the full MEP Legislative Wrap-Up 2017.

Dozens of detrimental provisions were advanced. Through a tremendous effort by citizens across the state, many were dropped. But others became law. The legislature also missed opportunities to protect pollinators, invest in water protecting crop research, and adequately fund transit and transportation.

Initiatives

Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) priorities for the 2017 legislature included:

  • Forever Green: Provide long-term funding to the University of Minnesota.
  • Protecting Pollinators: Support the MN Department of Agriculture’s goals
  • Transportation: Pass balanced, comprehensive funding that increases long-term state-wide investment in all modes of transportation.
  • Capital Bonding: Funding for clean-up St. Louis Estuary Area of Concern, modernize aging drinking and waste water systems, and the Conservation Reserve Easement Program

Defense

Numerous proposals passed and will move Minnesota backwards, while many other harmful proposals were approved by either the House or Senate, but did NOT become law; MEP and member organizations – working with citizens from across the state — successfully blocked these proposals.

Download the full MEP Legislative Wrap-Up 2017.

Governor Dayton Signs Omnibus Environment Bill SF844

Governor Dayton has signed Environment and Natural Resources Omnibus Bill SF844. The Governor Signing Statement (5-30-17), while raising some concerns, makes no mention of calcareous fens or lead shot.  MNNPS with the Minnesota Environmental Partnership (MEP) has requested the governor now take certain actions regarding these and other issues of concern (see MEP suggested signing actions (5-27-17)). MNNPS encourages members and other concerned citizens to contact the governor’s office and voice support for these actions.