The hearings, as well as the now-open public comment period, give interested citizens an opportunity to have their concerns considered before the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) adopts rule changes. Written comments may be submitted to Administrative Law Judge Bruce H. Johnson, Office of Administrative Hearings, 600 North Robert Street,P.O. Box 64620, Saint Paul, MN 55164-0620, or by e-mail to .
The 2008 Legislature directed the DNR to recover the costs of the aquatic plant management permit program through fees. The proposed rule changes would increase fees for aquatic plant control adjacent to privately owned lake shore from the current permit fee of $35 to $90. The proposed rules would eliminate the permit fee requirement for lake or bay wide invasive aquatic plant management efforts.
In addition, the rules propose a $100 permit fee for businesses that remove aquatic plants for lakeshore property owners for hire. The revised rules also propose a $100 permit fee for businesses that harvest aquatic plants, or plant parts, from public waters for sale. The current rule requires a permit and training for both of these commercial activities in public waters, but contains no provision for permit fees.
In addition to fee changes, other proposed rule revisions include:
- Prohibiting the control of lotus (Nelumbo lutea), a native aquatic wildflower, in public waters.
- Changes to the landowner approval and notification requirements for invasive aquatic plant management.
- Extending the duration of aquatic plant management permits from Sept. 1 to Dec. 31 of the year the permit is issued unless otherwise stated in the permit.
Hearings are scheduled from 2-5 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. on:
- Feb. 23, at Bigwood Event Center, 925 Western Ave., Fergus Falls.
- Feb. 24, at the Camp Ripley Education Center, 15000 Highway 115, Little Falls.
- Feb. 25, at the Kelly Inn, 2705 Annapolis Lane N., Plymouth.
The proposed rules as well as additional information about the process are available on the DNR Web site at www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/rules/app/index.html. If you would like a printed copy of the proposed rules or the statement of need and reasonableness mailed to you, contact Steve Enger at 651-259-5092 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.