Habitat funding recommendations

The Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council made its final picks for
year one of dedicated funding. It’s a nearly $69 million package
that includes 18 on-the-ground habitat projects and that funds a
program to distribute small grants to sporting groups and other
local organizations. The council passed the measure on an 11-1 vote
and will formally send it to the Legislature next week.

The lone voice of dissent was Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St.
Paul, who continues to believe the package is too heavy on
acquisition and light on restoration and enhancement. Nevertheless,
he did say he’ll champion the bill as it moves through the
Legislature.

One interesting note from the meeting: Some made the case that
the number of acquisitions likely will tail off as the years go by
and that the number of projects aimed at restoration and protection
will increase. Part of their argument was that land prices are low,
so now’s a good time to get more bang for the buck. Hansen, for his
part, doesn’t believe that’s the case. He says there haven’t been
enough recent land sales to come up with accurate appraisals, so
“we have inflated appraisals.”

To look at all of the recommendations, head to the Lessard
council’s www.lohc.state.mn.us“>web page.

Categories: Joe Albert

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