LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Don’t let government over-regulate your recreational experience
The question was asked why I would not support efforts to prevent invasive species from entering our lakes. I would direct those folks to fully research my position on this before being critical. I think I have been very clear on my position that I do promote clean water, healthy ecosystems and the prevention of invasive species. I do disagree with some of the strategies the Department of Natural Resources have in place and I made many recommendations to their staff in St. Paul also to include the DNR commissioner, Tom Landwehr. There is a new tactic to conduct volunteer decontamination. Sounds great, but watch out. An experimental effort is already in place in Minnesota to make this mandatory before you enter a lake. What a nightmare and with no guarantee that it would be 100 percent effective.
This political climate we are in seems to generate false narratives that discredit one’s view. Statements like that mentioned above do not tell the whole truth. Other examples are from the director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers, who said once invasive species are found in a lake “You hate to lose a lake, if you lose a lake, it’s gone.” That is absurd. Without referencing scientific data considering biological, chemical and physical attributes of the lake, you cannot make that statement. Also, Friends of Lake Bemidji referenced mandatory boat inspections were the only way to prevent invasive species from entering Lake Bemidji when requesting money from the city of Bemidji. That is not true. The facts tell a different story.
I started out over three years ago with three major issues to get changed at the state governmental level. They were: 1. End mandatory boat inspections, 2. Change regulations on unwanted bait in the trash, and 3. Prohibit swimming at a boat access. I have written letters, sent emails, attended government work sessions, volunteered to be on the state advisory board for AIS, contacted conservation officers, county sheriff, county commissioners, DNR commissioner, city mayor and many government representatives. I do have public support and a genuine desire to continue on this mission. Please help me and let your commissioners and government representatives know how you feel about these issues. Together we can make a difference.