Keep the pressure on

It was good to see the Star Tribune editorial this morning that
dealt with the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council. While the
newspaper opposed dedicated funding to begin with, it’s good to see
its defense of the council now in the matter of metro versus rural
spending. As has been reported, the council made preliminary
recommendations for about $68 million worth of spending last week,
but two members – Sen. Ellen Anderson and Rep. Rick Hansen, both of
whom represent metro districts – said the recommendations were too
heavily biased toward rural projects.

Put me in the camp that gives a thumbs-up to the council as a
whole for not prioritizing projects based on location, but based on
habitat needs. Council members have done an admirable job of
sifting through $250 million worth of proposals and selecting those
with the greatest conservation value. Of course, the Legislature
has the final say over how the money is spent, but it would be a
mistake for lawmakers not to approve the council’s
recommendations.

The council meets again on Monday to formally approve its list
of recommendations. Then responsibility turns to lawmakers, and to
sportsmen, who must keep the pressure on lawmakers and ensure
politics isn’t played with the habitat money.

Categories: Joe Albert

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