Re: House File 1265 – Loss of LCCMR Funding – Scientific and Natural Areas – Please Vote to Restore LCCMR Funding Recommendation

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Dear Minnesota Representatives, Senators, and Governor Dayton:

HF 1265, the appropriations bill for the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund, deletes the LCCMR’s recommendation to fund $4,500,000 for Scientific and Natural Area “Acquisition, Restoration and Citizen Science Engagement.”

Minnesota’s 160+ Scientific and Natural Areas (SNAs) are among Minnesota’s most precious natural resources.  They contain rare plants and animals, along with imperiled habitat of exceptional scientific and educational value. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, LCCMR appropriations are by far the largest and most important source of funding for Minnesota’s Scientific and Natural Areas Program.  This funding loss will:

  1. Eliminate upcoming acquisitions of approximately 500 acres of at risk native plant communities and wildlife habitat of state significance, identified by the Minnesota Biological Survey.
  1. Eliminate all funding support for SNA outreach work – including no support for the site steward network, no DNR-organized volunteer events, no citizen-science activities, no updates to SNA webpage and maps, no quarterly e-newsletter or other publications, and no SNA social media.
  1. Eliminate resources to do SNA conservation easement monitoring as required by Op. Order #128.
  1. Eliminate funding for new Natural Area Registry agreements to gain protection of high quality natural resources owned and managed by other organizations.
  1. Suspend work to with partners and landowners to identify and cultivate protection of the most vulnerable and highest quality habitats.
  1. Eliminate or seriously reduce funding for division staff to provide technical oversight and work with partners doing projects on SNAs.
  1. Seriously reduce funding for SNA restoration, enhancement, and development work – particularly for forest habitats not currently funded by any LSOHC appropriations.
  1. Seriously reduce DNR’s resources to prepare ecological management plans and do ecological monitoring (including those required by LSOHC and LCCMR for restorations and recent acquisitions).
  1. Loss of 2 years of funding for 11.8 full-time equivalent of staff.

Therefore, we respectfully request the Minnesota Legislature and Governor Dayton to restore the LCCMR recommendation to fund $4.5 million for “Scientific and Natural Area Acquisition, Restoration and Citizen Science Engagement.”

Thank you.

Letter: Support 2-year pause for environmental review of Boundary Waters Watershed

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April 3, 2017

United States Congress

Washington, DC 20510

Re: The Boundary Waters

Dear Members of Minnesota Delegation to the U.S. Congress,

We write today to urge you to support the two-year pause and study process commenced by the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture in January 2017 for the watershed of the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. This study will determine if the Superior National Forest lands adjacent to the Boundary Waters and in the Rainy River Drainage Basin should be removed from the federal mining program to protect the wilderness and Voyageurs National Park from the pollution and damage caused by sulfide-ore copper mining.

As you are all well aware, the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness is one of our nation’s largest and most visited wilderness areas.  It is a critical piece of the Quetico-Superior protected region, which also includes Voyageurs National Park and Quetico Provincial Park.  The Boundary Waters is home to some of the cleanest and clearest waters in our country. They are the crown jewel of Minnesota, and are truly wild. Americans of all walks of life treasure these vast water-rich regions for fishing, canoeing, boating, camping, hunting, and other forms of outdoor recreation.

The Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park face a threat of permanent and irremediable harm if the Rainy River Watershed is opened to sulfide-ore copper mining.  Sulfide-ore copper mining has never been done in Minnesota, but has a consistent track record of polluting ground and surface waters elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world. Peer-reviewed science shows that sulfide-ore mining on lands adjacent to rivers and lakes that flow into the Boundary Waters would pollute the wilderness, even under ordinary operation of a modern, state-of-the-art facility. This particular watershed, upstream from the Boundary Waters and Voyageurs National Park, is one of the worst places in the United States for sulfide-ore mining.

Minnesotans have made it clear time and time again that they oppose the proposed sulfide-ore mine next to the Boundary Waters. For example, recent polling has shown that 79% of Minnesotans support the two-year pause and study of whether mining is appropriate in the area.

It is vital that the U.S. Departments of Interior and Agriculture fully finish the two-year pause and study to determine if the Superior National Forest lands adjacent to the Boundary Waters and in the Rainy River Drainage Basin should be removed from the federal mining program in order to protect the wilderness and the park from the pollution and damage of sulfide-ore copper mining.

We know, and you know, that this land is special, and that it is vital to our heritage as Minnesotans and as Americans.  That is why it is so important to keep it wild and open for years to come, which is why we ask for your support in upholding the two-year pause from mining and the study of the area that DOI and USDA began earlier this year.

Sincerely,

League of Conservation Voters

National Parks Conservation Association

The Wilderness Society

National Wildlife Federation

Defenders of Wildlife

Natural Resources Defense Council

The Conservation Alliance

Conservatives for Responsible Stewardship

Partnership for the National Trails System

Center for Biological Diversity

Wildlands Network

San Juan Citizens Alliance

Californians for Western Wilderness

Rivers and Birds

Klamath Forest Alliance

Environmental Protection Information Center (EPIC)

Friends of the Kalmiopsis

Conserve Southwest Utah

Hundreds from across Minnesota rally at Capitol to “Protect our Water!”

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Hundreds from across Minnesota rally at Capitol to “Protect our Water!”

Governor Dayton, Winona LaDuke, Ann Bancroft among speakers rallying for Minnesota’s water

St. Paul, Minnesota – On April 19, a coalition of over 40 organizations hosted over 800 registered participants from across Minnesota at Water Action Day, a day of action and advocacy to protect Minnesota’s clean water. Water Action Day included workshops on clean water issues, meetings with lawmakers, and a Capitol Rotunda rally that featured Gov. Mark Dayton, Winona LaDuke, and polar explorer Ann Bancroft.

Many citizens came to the Capitol because of concerns about budget bills that contain significant budget cuts and policy changes that threaten water quality in Minnesota. Speakers at the rally and morning workshops delved into proposals that would suspend water quality standards, cut recommended drinking water protections from the Clean Water Fund, skip route review of the Enbridge Line 3 oil pipeline, and limit environmental review of large animal feedlots in Minnesota. Throughout the day, participants in Water Action Day met with their legislators to ask them to fully fund environmental protection, stop environmental rollbacks, safeguard the Clean Water Fund, and respect sound science and public participation.

Speakers at a Capitol Rotunda rally called for lawmakers and people across Minnesota to get engaged and protect our water. Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton has declared 2017 to be the “Year of Water” in Minnesota. Governor Dayton today announced a series of Water Quality Town Hall meetings that will be held across the state beginning in August, following up on Governor Dayton’s “25 by 25” Water Quality goal proposal, announced earlier this year. “All Minnesotans have a stake in water that’s safe for drinking, swimming, and fishing,” said Governor Dayton. “These town hall meetings will further the important conversations already happening across Minnesota around water quality. Together we can develop strategies and solutions that work for all of our communities.”

Winona LaDuke of Honor the Earth called attention to the impact of water pollution on native peoples in Minnesota. “We will be dancing for our water and to protect and heal our people,” stated LaDuke. “Our sacred jingle dress dance is used as a healing dance. We see that almost half of the water in Minnesota is contaminated with agricultural poisons. Other waters are poisoned from the mining industry; now we face more mines. And we face these pipelines. We pray for our water.”

“We live in a dynamic and changing environment, so protecting our waterways is a huge challenge,” said polar explorer Ann Bancroft. “It will take all of us engaged in their protection and management to ensure healthy water systems for future generations. Thoughtful planning with state and local governments as well as citizens will ensure our path forward to healthier waterways for all.”

Farmer Julie Arnold called attention to solutions for agricultural water pollution. “Strong rural communities require clean water,” she said. “We need a public investment in creating more opportunities for farmers to use cover crops and perennial crops that are profitable to grow, build soil health, and clean our water. This time of year when 75% of our farmland is bare and exposed reminds us why we need farming systems that create continuous living cover. Our land grant University has a vital role to play in making this happen through their Forever Green research initiative which is developing new perennial crops like Kernza.”

“In our water-rich state we need to hold the line on further deterioration of Minnesota’s precious groundwater and surface waters,” said farmer Audrey Arner. “Rural Minnesotans will be devoting their whole day to get this message to our legislators. Farmers, rural citizens and urbanites are joining together to bear this responsibility. Politics aside, the water belongs to everyone because water, as we have come to understand, is life.”

Water Action Day was organized by members of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, and these organizations from across Minnesota participated in the event:

1 Mississippi, Anglers for Habitat, Audubon Minnesota, Clean Water Action, Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River, CURE, Duluth for Clean Water, Fish and Wildlife Legislative Alliance, Friends of Pool 2, Friends of the Boundary Waters Wilderness, Friends of the Mississippi River, Honor the Earth, Izaak Walton League, Land Stewardship Project, League of Women Voters, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy, Minnesota Environmental Partnership, MN350, MN Interfaith Power and Light, MN River Congress, New Ulm Area Sports Fishermen, Save Our Sky Blue Waters, Save the Boundary Waters, Sierra Club North Star Chapter, St. Croix River Association, Sunnyside Marina (St. Croix River), WaterLegacy, Alliance for Sustainability, Bob Mitchell’s Fly Shop, Conservation Minnesota, Cool Planet MN, Duluth for Clean Water, Environment Minnesota, Fly Fishing Women of Minnesota, Friends of the Headwaters, Great Old Broads for Wilderness, Minnesota Trout Unlimited, MN Conservation Federation, Native Lives Matter, Powershift Network, and Voyageurs National Park Association.

Water Action Day on Social: #ProtectOurWater, #KeepMNClean

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About Minnesota Environmental Partnership
Minnesota Environmental Partnership is a coalition of more than 70 environmental, conservation, and civic organizations working together for clean water, clean energy and protection of our Great Outdoors. The Minnesota Environmental Partnership engages state leaders, unites environmental efforts and helps citizens take action for the Minnesota they love.

www.mepartnership.org
www.facebook.com/MinnesotaEnvironmentalPartnership
www.twitter.com/MEPartnership

News Watch: April 24

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April 24, 2017

Today’s Topics: Earth Day and March for Science, Agriculture & Food, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Conservation, Oil and Pipelines, Parks and Trails, Pollinators, Transportation, Water, Wildlife & Fish

Earth Day and March for Science:
Star Tribune: At least 10,000 march for the love of science in St. Paul
MinnPost: Photos: March for Science in St. Paul
Winona Daily News: Winona residents come together for Earth day celebration
Rochester Post Bulletin: Rochester march supports science, environment

Agriculture and Food
Star Tribune: Appetite for local food fuels land rush in Twin Cities
Winona Daily News: County Planning Commission recommends feedlots for approval
MPR News: Chew on this for Earth Day: How our diets affect the planet

Clean Energy
Star Tribune: Target field honored as greenest ballpark in America
Pioneer Press: St. Paul to juice a fourth of its municipal buildings with power from solar gardens
Alpha News Minnesota: Minnesota ranked one of nation’s greenest states

Climate Change
MPR News: Will climate change help ticks and mosquitos spread disease?

Conservation
Saint Cloud Times: (editorial) Despite Constitution, legislators attack environment
MPR News: How to be less of a jerk to the environment
West Central Tribune: Smoke in the air…
Crookston Daily Times: Landowners can apply to conservation program

Oil and Pipelines
Bismarck Tribune: 47 pipeline protest cases closed last month, 33 dismissed

Parks and Trails
Austin Daily Herald: “For the wild ones…” Nature center interpretive center opens to public

Pollinators
Austin Daily Herald: Hormel Foods announces pollinator garden expansion
Agrinews: What is it like to be a beekeeper?

Transportation
Star Tribune: War of words over Southwest light-rail transit line grows
Brainerd Dispatch: Event focuses on connected communities

Water
Star Tribune: Is brine the solution to Minnesota’s salt problem?
Pioneer Press: Minnesota is against it, but corps confident diversion project will be done
Mankato Free Press: Ask us: Everybody paying for drainage fixes
Albert Lea Tribune: Guest column: Lake dredging project enters review period

Wildlife & Fish
Rochester Post Bulletin: Trout opener brings people together in Whitewater
 

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©2012 Minnesota Environmental Partnership, 546 Rice St. Suite 100, St. Paul, MN 55103

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News Watch: April 20

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April 20, 2017

Today’s Topics: Water Action Day, Agriculture & Food, Air Quality, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Earth Day, Oil and Pipelines, Parks and Trails, Transportation, Water, Wildlife & Fish

Water Action Day:
Governor’s Proclamation: April 19th, 2017 is Water Action Day
MinnPost: On Water Action Day, a flood of citizens washes through the Minnesota Capitol
Pioneer Press: Gov. Mark Dayton plans community meetings about water quality
CBS Minnesota: Dayton Calls For Water Quality Boost After GOP Challenge
Winona Daily News: Group heading to St. Paul to support water conservation

Agriculture and Food
Agrinews: Beginning farmers: An answer to the land transition question
MPR News: Pesticide maker tries to kill risk study
Winona Post: County considers 5,360-hog expansion

Air Quality
Lacross Tribune: Lung association gives Coulee region an A in annual State of Air report

Clean Energy
Bemidji Pioneer: Minnesota wind power expands
MPR News: Solar energy disparity emerges among Minnesota schools
Albert Lea Tribune: Residents voice their concerns about wind turbines

Climate Change
Washington Post: Scientists have discovered vast systems of flowing water in Antarctica. And that worries them.

Earth Day
Star Tribune: Scientists plan to march ‘into the streets’ Saturday in Minnesota, across U.S.
Alexandria Echo Press: Join the Earth Day Science Walk

Oil and Pipelines
Winona Daily News: Sand facility gets bad reviews
Bemidji Pioneer: Last stand: Nebraska farmers could derail Keystone XL pipeline

Parks and Trails
Sun Current: Prescribed burns planned for 16 Bloomington park areas

Transportation
Star Tribune: A rally and a call for long-term funding for roads, bridges and transit
Minnesota Daily: Protected bike lanes are coming to UMN campus

Water
Duluth News Tribune: Water walkers to begin journey in Duluth
Austin Daily Herald: Hormel donating items to waste facility
Detroit Lakes Online: No time to ‘waste’: Design on DL’s $34 million wastewater plant is done 

Wildlife & Fish
Minnesota Daily: UMN gets $4.5 million to fight invasive species
Star Tribune: Ladybugs by the tens of thousands being unleashed inside Mall of America
Duluth News Tribune: 15 indicted in SD for trafficking of eagles, other birds
Winona Daily News: Dairyland Power seeks renewal of permit to cross Mississippi River refuge

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©2012 Minnesota Environmental Partnership, 546 Rice St. Suite 100, St. Paul, MN 55103

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News Watch: April 17

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April 17, 2017

Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Conservation, Oil and Pipelines, Parks and Trails, Pollution, Transportation, Water, Wildlife & Fish

Register for Water Action Day, April 19!

Agriculture and Food
Mesabi Daily News: Earth Fest plants new ideas on April 22

Clean Energy
Midwest Energy News: Q&A: Minnesota’s lieutenant governor champions clean energy

Climate Change
Lake County News Chronicle: Climate Column: Congress needs to “carpool” on climate

Conservation
Pioneer Press: Ann Bancroft’s foundation celebrates 20 years of helping girls achieve their dreams

Oil and Pipelines
Bemidji Pioneer: A look at Enbridge’s next big pipeline project: Line 3 replacement (featuring MEP member group Honor the Earth)

Parks and Trails
Star Tribune: Lighthouse, northern trails feel the power of volunteers

Pollution
Star Tribune: As hog feedlots grow, neighbors ask: What about our rights?

Transportation
Pioneer Press: St. Paul’s commitment to cyclists, neighbors put to test near Lake Phalen

Water
Mankato Free Press: Farmer recommends becoming a water quality certified farm
Winona Daily News: Legislators look at leaky Lanesboro Dam
MPR News: 20 years after epic flood, Red River towns no longer dread the spring

Wildlife & Fish
Star Tribune: Calling all citizen scientists: U researcher wants your help counting seals in Antarctica
Pioneer Press: Wisconsin turns to Minnesota for new blood to restore sharp-tailed grouse
Duluth News Tribune: Shoring up a stream: Angling group spearheads project to benefit Knife River steelhead (featuring MEP member group Minnesota Trout Unlimited)
Star Tribune: St. Paul’s fight against emerald ash borer leaves a trail of stumps

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News Watch: April 13

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April 13, 2017

Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Oil and Pipelines, Pollution, Parks and Trails, Transportation, Water, Waste and Recycling, Wildlife & Fish

MEP News Release: Voices from across Minnesota call on Legislature to protect water
MCEA Video of MEP Press Conference on April 13
Sign up now for our Water Action Day!

Clean Energy
Duluth News Tribune: Duluth curbs coal consumption at steam plant

Climate Change
Finance & Commerce: The greening of Minnesota’s urban rooftops

Mining
Minnpost: Three new cases expand the challenges to land exchange for PolyMet project

Oil and Pipelines
Bemidji Pioneer: ND oil production up 5 percent, passes 1 million barrels a day

Parks and Trails
Alexandria Echo Press: County gets $60,000 for Brophy Park trails

Pollution
MPR News: Minnesota firefighters brace for busy spring wildfire season
The Timberjay: MPCA slams U.S. steel over pattern of delay

Transportation
Star Tribune: MnDOT announces 2017 road and bridge construction projects Thursday
Transportation Forward: Rally: No Cuts. No hikes. Fund Transit Now!

Water
Minnesota Spokesman-Recorder: Fix water leaks and save an average of 10,000 gallons a year
St. Peter Herald: Make this your Year of Water action – volunteer now

Wildlife & Fish
Star Tribune: Minnesota nature center declares war on giant goldfish: ‘We want to kill Dory’
Duluth News Tribune: Wolf Center to celebrate 1 million visitors
St. Cloud Times: Trout streams a good way to enjoy spring

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Voices from across Minnesota call on Legislature to protect water, end attempts to roll back environment protection

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April 13, 2017

St. Paul, Minnesota — Thursday morning, April 13, citizens from across Minnesota held a press conference at the Minnesota Capitol, calling on the Minnesota Legislature to protect our water and end attempts to unravel the fabric of Minnesota’s environmental protections.  The Minnesota Legislature’s budget bills include proposals to limit environmental review, suspend water quality standards and limit the ability to acquire public lands for hunting and fishing.

“The 2017 legislature is effectively mounting a frontal assault on Minnesota’s Great Outdoors,” said Steve Morse, Executive Director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership. “From raiding the legacy amendment funds to blocking existing water quality standards to bypassing the public process for review of dangerous tar sands oil pipelines and large factory farms, this legislature is ignoring the wishes of Minnesotans and unraveling the protections that are there to make our outdoors great into the future.”

These wide-ranging proposals threatening the environment are opposed by Minnesotans from across the state. Kathy DeBuhr, a member of Land Stewardship Project and a farmer in Chokio, Minnesota described why a proposal to limit environmental review for large feedlots would impact her farm and her neighbors in rural Minnesota. “I know firsthand why environmental review matters for rural Minnesota. It was the environmental review process that allowed me and my neighbors to make our voices heard when an 8,000-cow factory farm was proposed in our township,” DeBuhr said. “This operation was going to use 100 million gallons of water a year. We wanted to know what the impact of this massive operation would be on our wells, on our air quality, on our lives.”

Paul Schollmeier, a City Councilor in Winona, is deeply concerned about provisions that would suspend water quality standards, particularly those that would limit phosphorus pollution that causes algae blooms. He highlighted the impact of pollution on Lake Winona. “Lake Winona has suffered from tremendous phosphorus loading over the past 30+ years, and residents can no longer face the algae blooms to risk a swim. To save our lake, our community is working diligently to adhere to water quality standards, supported by science, so that once again we might have a healthy Lake Winona,” stated Schollmeier.

Local governments’ ability to limit the use of plastic bags would be suspended if provisions in the Minnesota Legislature’s budget are passed into law. Lynn Hoffman, co-President of Eureka Recycling, decried these proposals, stating “Americans use 100 billion plastic bags every year. Each one used for roughly 12 minutes or less before ending up floating in our waterways, buried in a landfill, or burned in an incinerator. Any of these outcomes pollute our air, water, land and wildlife – and disproportionally harm low income communities and communities of color.”

Lance Ness, President of Anglers for Habitat, called attention to changes in the Legacy funding bill passed by the Minnesota House that would limit the ability to protect land and raid the Clean Water Fund. “When you save the land, you protect the water – for what happens on the land surely affects what happens to the water,” Ness stated.

All speakers encouraged Minnesotans to contact their legislators to let them know that they oppose rolling back protections for clean water and public land. One opportunity coming up is Water Action Day at the Minnesota Capitol on Wednesday, April 19th. Over 600 Minnesotans from across the state have already registered for a day of citizen lobbying and a rally in the Minnesota Capitol Rotunda. People can register for Water Action Day by going to http://bit.ly/wateractionday.

Watch MCEA video of the press conference here.

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Biographical information for speakers at the event

Kathy DeBuhr is a member of the Land Stewardship Project from Chokio, Minnesota. She is a nurse and farms with her husband Les. Along with her neighbors she fought a proposed 8,850-cow factory dairy farm and in 2014 succeeded in getting the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Citizens’ Board to require an in-depth environmental review. As a result, corporate agriculture interests pushed successfully to eliminate the 48-year-old Citizens’ Board during the 2015 legislative session.

Evan Holmes is 11-years-old and a 6th grader at St. Paul Academy. Evan is concerned about the harm that plastic bags do to our fragile world, citing the many sea turtles that die every year from mistaking the plastic for jellyfish. Evan presented testimony to the Senate Local Government Committee this session, opposing a pre-emption of plastic bag bans passed by municipalities.  “I think that we should help our communities to make moves in the right direction and this bill does the opposite.” Evan cares for two dogs and a hermit crab at home. He is on the St. Paul Academy tennis team.

Lynn Hoffman is a Saint Paul native and co-President of Eureka Recycling. Lynn stepped into this role last fall after having been with Eureka Recycling for over 13 years. Overseeing HR, Communications, Community Engagement, Policy & Advocacy for the organization, she is passionate about the potential for zero waste to address issues of climate change, local economic development and environmental justice.

Tara Houska is a member of Couchiching First Nation and is a tribal attorney based in Washington, D.C. She is the National Campaigns Director of Honor the Earth, and a former advisor on Native American affairs to Bernie Sanders. She advocates on behalf of tribal nations at the local and federal levels on a range of issues impacting indigenous peoples. She recently spent nearly six months living and working in North Dakota fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline. She is a co-founder of Not Your Mascots, a non-profit committed to educating the public about the harms of stereotyping and promoting positive representation of Native Americans in the public sphere.

Steve Morse is Executive Director of the Minnesota Environmental Partnership, a coalition of more than 70 environmental, conservation, and civic organizations working together for clean water, clean energy and protection of our Great Outdoors. Steve has served as Senior Fellow in the College of Agricultural, Food and Environmental Sciences, at the University of Minnesota, was Deputy Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) from 1999 to 2003, and was elected to the Minnesota State Senate for four terms beginning in 1986.

Lance Ness is President of Anglers for Habitat and is on the board of the Minnesota Conservation Federation. He is a past president of the Fish and Wildlife Legislative Alliance. Ness was an organizer of the Ducks, Wetlands and Clean Water rallies in 2005 and 2006, and worked to pass the Legacy Amendment in 2008. He was named Person of the Year in 2006 by Outdoor News.

Erin Rupp is a beekeeper and founder of the organization Pollinate Minnesota.  This year she keeps 21 honeybee colonies at eight different apiaries, including libraries, schools and two western Wisconsin farms.  She’s been beekeeping for ten years and teaches classes with live bees, connecting beekeeping and hands on agricultural education experiences with K12 audiences around Minnesota. She’s a member of the MN Honey Producers Association and MN Hobby Beekeepers and serves on Governor Dayton’s Committee for Pollinator Protection.

Paul Schollmeier is a member of the Winona City Council. He also served four years as Soil and Water Supervisor in Winona County from 2012-2016. As president of the Mississippi River Revival he organized numerous river cleanups in the Twin Cities between 1985-1990, assisted in the development of Minnesota’s Adopt a River program in the late 80’s, and guided the River Revival to two consecutive National Take Pride in America Awards.  Paul steadfastly believes that our environment is an indicator of the type of people we want to be, now and into the future, and that science and a healthy environment should be our guide to a habitable planet.

News Watch: April 10

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April 10, 2017

Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Oil and Pipelines, Pollution, Parks and Trails, Transportation, Water, Waste and Recycling, Wildlife & Fish

Featured Article:
MinnPost: Legislature makes a sweeping assault on Minnesota’s Environmental Traditions (featuring MEP Executive Director Steve Morse and Friends of the Mississippi River Executive Director Whitney Clark)

Agriculture & Food
Star Tribune: Minnesota “Eco-palm” project sends nearly 1 million palms to 5,000 churches
Agrinews: Look out for herbicide carryover in cover crop operations

Clean Energy
Austin Daily Herald: What is the Home Energy Report
La Crosse Tribune: Blue Sky Science: Could the biofuels cycle be made more efficient?

Climate Change
Huffington Post: Climate Change Is Ruining Farmers’ Lives, But Only A Few Will Admit It

Oil and Pipelines
CBS Minnesota: Surprise Pipeline Vote Brings Protesters to State Capitol 
Star Tribune: Minnesota governor says he’d veto pipeline replacement
Bemidji Pioneer: Activists gather to inspect Enbridge pipelines in Cass Lake (Featuring MEP member group Honor the Earth)

Parks and Trails
Star Tribune: Minnesota state parks face major budget squeeze

Pollution
Wisconsin State Journal: DNR points to informal deals as pollution penalties drop

Transportation
Pioneer Press: Who should pick road projects? MnDot, lawmakers clash over “earmarks”

Water
Star Tribune: White Bear Lake ruling could affect scores of lakes in Minnesota
Rochester Post Bulletin: Study finds North American lakes at risk of rising salt levels
Brainerd Dispatch: County reminds landowners to protect their groundwater

Waste and Recycling
Pioneer Press: Garbage collection negotiations stuck on price, billing, unions
Star Tribune: First garbage-to-ethanol plant in U.S. proposed for Inver Grove Heights
Star Tribune: The Drive: Volunteers needed to clean up after litterbugs

Wildlife & Fish
Minnpost: Our mindset is the biggest obstacle to achieving success against aquatic invasive species
St. Cloud Times: Bison help Minneopa State Park thrive
Inforum: ND makes desperate attempt to keep sage grouse in state

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News Watch: April 6

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April 6, 2017

Today’s Topics: Agriculture & Food, Clean Energy, Climate Change, Mining, Oil and Pipelines, Parks and Trails, Transportation, Water, Waste and Recycling, Wildlife & Fish

Featured Article:
MinnPost: Legislature makes a sweeping assault on Minnesota’s Environmental Traditions (featuring MEP Executive Director Steve Morse and Friends of the Mississippi River Executive Director Whitney Clark)

News Release:
MEP Floor Letter for House Omnibus Jobs Growth and Energy Affordability Bill: SF 1937

Agriculture & Food
West Central Tribune: Destructive weed threatens U.S. corn fields
Austin Daily Herald: A day for crop and soil health; Mower SWCD partnering with farmer for field day on cover crops

Clean Energy
Granite Falls Advocate Tribune: Clarkfield moves on solar garden

Climate Change
New York Times: Antarctic Ice Reveals Earth’s Accelerating Plant Growth

Mining
Duluth News Tribune: Judge: Work can restart at former Essar site
Jackson County Chronicle: Sand mines and silica dust

Oil and Pipelines
Pioneer Press: Minnesota regulators push back release of pipeline review
MPR News: Thousands of defects found on oil train routes
Duluth News Tribune: Local View: Stop Enbridge Line 3 to save Minnesota’s wildlife, hunting heritage

Parks and Trails
Pioneer Press: Outdoors: Time to pony up for Minnesota’s state parks

Transportation
Mankato Free Press: MnDOT plans $150 million in area road upgrades

Water
Austin Daily Herald: Mower SWCD assisting landowners with state buffer law

Waste and Recycling
Rochester Post Bulletin: St. Charles company aims to be “ecorestorative”

Wildlife & Fish
Pioneer Press: Minnesota DNR pushing for hunting, fishing fee hikes
Albert Lea Tribune: Golden shiners at center of bait debate in Minnesota

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