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DNR Roundtable

  • Vern Wagner
    Participant
    Posts: 24
    #2175326

    Attended the 2023 DNR Roundtable. This year they culled the invite list and opened attendance up to 50 new attendees. The format followed that of 2022, with a key note by Emily Larson, Mayor of Duluth, then a conversation with Gov Walz, Sarah Strommon DNR Commish and Tom Neustrom.
    Interesting presentation on Rough Fish, which are now referred to as Other Native Minnesota Fish.

    Number One topic Funding, current, future. https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/aboutdnr/funding-future-natural-resources-and-outdoor-recreation.html

    – [ ] Most interesting was an after hour’s conversation on fishing tournament permits, fisheries area managers and a handful of anglers. The permit process didn’t anticipate the fast growth of Student Angler tourneys. It’s an interesting problem; clubs that aren’t required to obtain permits, sometimes do so. Parking at ramps continues to be a problem. Savvy tournament Directors schedule on weekdays. Often permits restrict start times, (7am) , only to arrive and find spaces full from clubs that launched at first light. Permits are issued according to restrictions in statute as to acreage, monthly events and weekend availabilities. But all tourneys aren’t equal, there is little conflict between putting a large walleye and large bass tourney on the same lake. While two large Bass tourneys wouldn’t be fun for anyone. Use of tournament parking plans (offsite locations) need more attention. MN public accesses weren’t designed for current activity (of any kind). Minnesota is the leading State nationally in recreational boating, surpassing one billion in 2020 boat sales. Boat ownership is high(834,974), a 35% increase occurred during Covid.

    A two hours meaningful discussion evolved. Suggestions centered on perhaps returning to holding an annual DNR sponsored tournament director/ Coach meeting. Perhaps the tournament statute needs some tweaking?

    Brian Klawitter
    Keymaster
    Minnesota/Wisconsin Mississippi River
    Posts: 58712
    #2175719

    Thanks Vern,

    I was over at the Wake Boat table when you were talking touneys.

    That’s either good or bad for the last portion of the Round Table, not everyone hears what’s going on at the next table.

    I’m a bit surprise that you and I weren’t thrown back this year with all the culling!

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 6978
    #2175758

    Was there a reason given for the name change on rough fish? The funding issue is a big one, and one I don’t see ending well for outdoorsmen (hunters and fishermen) as they go away from license funding. I think the DNR needs to be exploring ways for different programs to be self sufficient (or at least more so) as well. I’m not sure how the State Park money works out, but I doubt $35 year round passes are paying the maintenance bills. It takes far more in gas to visit most state parks. Same could be said for bike trails or any DNR program that draws from the funds rather than contribute. Also, there is never a mention of tightening the DNR’s belt in St. Paul, which is no surprise but still disappointing. If anyone has some Excel skills, here is the link to the DNR payroll (starts on page 549), and it sure looks to be a better gig if you are in St. Paul than actually out working in the Natural Resources…
    https://mn.gov/mmb-stat/executive-branch-total-compensation-report/2022.pdf

    big_g
    Participant
    Isle, MN
    Posts: 19890
    #2175767

    As far as rough fish…wasn’t “asian carp” ruled racist sometime back ? coffee doah

    Vern Wagner
    Participant
    Posts: 24
    #2175810

    There isn’t an official name change, but more of a new attitude toward “ the other native MN fish”. As with Burbot/pout we will likely see a gamefish bag limit. This appreciation of other aquatic species, could catch on.
    My big concern with Funding is that it creates more funding streams for the legislators to pick off. $$ need to flow out of the general fund. MN Outdoors shouldn’t be funded just by fish and game licenses or park fees.

    BigWerm
    Participant
    SW Metro
    Posts: 6978
    #2175814

    MN Outdoors shouldn’t be funded just by fish and game licenses or park fees.

    I think they *should* but also realize that isn’t very realistic in today’s bureaucratic world. Would be nice if they would shift some of the E-Pulltab money, or funds from Legalizing Gambling/MJ.

    Brian Klawitter
    Keymaster
    Minnesota/Wisconsin Mississippi River
    Posts: 58712
    #2175872

    Speaking of funding….Just out….

    One Minnesota Budget includes critical funding
    for the DNR
    Investments to connect people to the outdoors, mitigate and adapt to climate change, manage natural resources proactively,
    and address operational needs
    Gov. Tim Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan released additional details of their One Minnesota Budget today, which gives a full picture of one-time and operational funding proposed for the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. The budget package would invest approximately $287.4 million to connect people to the outdoors, mitigate and adapt to climate change, manage natural resources proactively, and address operational needs.

    “With this budget, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to invest in our state’s outdoor recreation experiences and harness the power of our natural lands to mitigate climate change,” said DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen. “By investing in the state’s grasslands, wetlands, and forested lands, we can address the climate challenge and improve our environment, public health, and economy. This budget will enable more Minnesotans to connect to the outdoors, regardless of how they choose to experience nature.”

    Outdoor recreation, which contributes more than $9.9 billion annually to Minnesota’s economy and supports 91,000 jobs, depends on Minnesota’s well-managed outdoor recreation system. Many DNR-managed facilities, from state park buildings to fish hatcheries, are 60 to 90 years old. For example, the state’s largest cool-water hatchery in Waterville, which keeps waters across the state stocked with walleye, northern pike, muskie, and channel catfish, is more than 70 years old. This budget invests in those facilities to ensure fishing, hunting, hiking, biking, and paddling opportunities will remain available to all Minnesotans, and have the capacity to serve expanding uses.

    Climate change adaptation and mitigation also require critical investment, and Minnesota’s natural lands present powerful opportunities to address these urgent needs. By investing in managing grasslands, wetlands, and forested lands, Minnesota can capture and store carbon and help mitigate the impacts of climate change.

    The Walz-Flanagan budget request includes investments in the following areas:

    Connect People to the Outdoors
    Mitigate and Adapt to Climate Change
    Manage Natural Resources Proactively
    Address Operational Needs
    For additional information visit the legislative resources page of the DNR website (mndnr.gov/aboutdnr/legislativeinfo).

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