On its first full day of hearing presentations from groups requesting money for the 2008 funding cycle, the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) reviewed fifteen project requests. Each proposal was only allotted one-half hour and Chair David Hartwell did his best to keep the meeting on pace. Much to the consternation of several members who felt they were not getting time to fully vet the issues, Chair Hartwell had to resort to cutting questioning short on several occasions.
Commission members appear to be taking their fiduciary responsibilities very seriously. They are fully aware that they are $75 million short of what they would need to fund every project. Hence, they asked many detailed questions of the groups that gave overviews on Wednesday. Specifically, panel members focused on the desired results and outcomes of projects, whether other funding sources were available for proposed activities, if non-state money would be leveraged, and how projects fit in with the priorities laid out by the LCCMR.
The Commission heard presentations on the following proposals:
* Metro Conservation Corridors – DNR – $6,118,000
* MN Habitat Conservation Partnership – Pheasants Forever – $6,016,000
* Conservation Easement Stewardship, Oversight and Maintenance, Phase I – BWSR – $1,120,000
* Conservation Easement Stewardship and Enforcement Program Plan – DNR – $670,000
* Community Global Warming Action and Renewable Energy Grants – PCA – $1,424,000
* Global Warming: Reducing Carbon Footprints of Minnesota Schools – PCA – $1,480,000
* Climate Change, CO2, and Prairie/Forest Production – U of M – $495,000
* Intra-Lake Zoning to Protect Sensitive Lakeshore Areas – DNR – $140,000
* Harmful Organisms and Pathogens in MN Water: Stepping UP the Transition to Ballast Treatment – Northeast/Midwest Institute – $1,550,000
* Waters of MN: Television Outreach Documentary on Watersheds – U of M, Bell Museum of Natural History – $698,000
* Bertram Chain of Lakes Acquisition – Wright County – $8,000,000
* Install Riparian Buffers in the Whitewater River Watershed – Whitewater Joint Powers Board – $234,000
* Soil Surveys: Their Completion and Web-based Delivery – BWSR – $400,000
* Perfluorochemical Fingerprinting: Characterizing Non-Point Perfluorochemical Sources – Washington County Public Health and Environment – $425,000
* Integrating Vermillion River Corridor Resource Protection and Funding – Dakota County – $700,000
Details of all proposals can be found on the web at www.lccmr.leg.mn
The next meeting is scheduled for Monday, October 15, 2007, at which point the LCCMR will continue project presentations.
Submitted by: Kirk Pederson, October 11, 2007