The Governor’s Conservation Legacy Council has presented their recommendations to the Governor. The Governor put out a press release that summarizes their three points as this:
- Dedicated Conservation Funding. The Council recommends an immediate increase in funding for the conservation and management of Minnesota’s natural resources and calls for the legislature to approve a constitutional ballot question regarding the dedication of a portion of a state general tax for conservation. The Council also recommends dedicated funds be appropriated by the Legislature to the Conservation Commission to fund the priorities identified in the Conservation Compact, and that this funding should supplement, not supplant, existing conservation funding.
- Minnesota Conservation Commission. The Council recommends that a citizen-based Conservation Commission of four to nine members be established to lead state conservation efforts. Among its recommended duties, the Commission would recommend to the Governor candidates to serve as commissioner of the DNR, oversee the development and implementation of Minnesota’s Conservation Compact, provide strategic direction and oversight to the DNR on policy and budget matters, identify needed state conservation policies and programs, and coordinate intergovernmental delivery of state conservation policies and practices. Members would be appointed by the Governor at large, with the advice and consent of the Senate, for four to six year terms.
- Minnesota Conservation Compact. The Council recommends a Minnesota Conservation Compact as the focal point for identifying and funding needed conservation practices. The Compact would establish measurable conservation goals and identify statewide and regionally based conservation priorities and strategies required to address the most critical threats to the state’s natural resources. The Compact would emphasize partnerships between governmental and nongovernmental entities, landowners, and others to achieve specific improvements in the state’s water, fish, wildlife, forests, soil, and outdoor recreation resources.
A bit of history and the appointees are all detailed in the full release.