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BSU survey aims to gauge public attitudes toward lake management

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- Researchers at Bemidji State University are planning a survey that would compile local views on the Sauk River Chain of Lakes and find out what residents are willing to pay to clean up the waterways.

ST. CLOUD, Minn. (AP) -- Researchers at Bemidji State University are planning a survey that would compile local views on the Sauk River Chain of Lakes and find out what residents are willing to pay to clean up the waterways.

The survey would focus on the Sauk River Chain of Lakes in Stearns County and Lake Margaret, part of the Gull Lake Chain, in Cass County.

"One of the goals of this is to understand the long-term management of the Chain of Lakes, what methods they would be looking at as far as how to pay for programs to improve the quality of the lakes," said Jim Hodgson, project manager for the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The researchers plan to hold public meetings this summer, and this fall they expect to pass out 2,400 surveys in the two watershed areas. The study, funded by grant money from the MPCA, is anticipated to be finished by next summer, Hodgson said.

The Sauk River Chain of Lakes and Lake Margaret were chosen because they haven't met state and federal water quality standards. Both have excess nutrients, especially phosphorus.

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