U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar's amendment to fight Asian carp by closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls lock within a year has passed the Senate, Klobuchar's office announced Thursday morning.
The amendment, whose co-sponsor was Minnesota Sen. Al Franken, was including in the Senate's Water Resources Development Act.
“Asian carp not only pose a serious threat to Minnesota’s environment, they also threaten the recreation and fishing industries that play a key role in the state’s economy,” Klobuchar said. “Today’s action is a significant step forward to help the state take action to protect Minnesota’s waterways so we can keep this invasive species from wreaking havoc on our lakes and rivers.”
Earlier this year, Klobuchar introduced the Upper Mississippi Conservation and River Protection Act (Upper Mississippi CARP Act) that was similar to the amendment that passed Thursday. The bill was introduced with Senator Franken and Reps. Keith Ellison, Erik Paulsen, Tim Walz, and Rick Nolan, and would help keep Asian carp out of the state’s waterways by closing the Upper St. Anthony Falls Lock if certain criteria are met.
Klobuchar also co-sponsored an additional amendment to the Water Resources Development Act, introduced by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), to help create a coordinated state-federal response to the Asian carp threat.
Re-alignment of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is expected to begin soon.
Sen. Tom Saxhaug, DFL-Grand Rapids, is expected to be re-appointed to the council, this time as representative of the DFL majority.
Previously, Saxhaug had served as the Senate minority's representative when Republicans controlled the Legislature.
Also expecting an appointment is Robert "Bob'' Anderson, mayor of International Falls. His term would be for four years.
The Lessard-Sams Council is charged with reviewing conservation projects to be funded from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, which was created with passage of the 2008 Legacy Act.
The council's recommendations are just that, recommendations, and the Legislture can accept them or not.
But so far, the council's suggestions have been passed by the Legislture relatively intact.
Eight citizens and four legislators make up the panel.
The House has yet to announce its picks or, possibly, re-appointments. Gov. Mark Dayton also so far has been mum on appointments to be made from his office.
Appointments are staggered to prevent wholesale turnover.
The Outdoor Heritage Fund, through the Lessard-Sams Council and Legislature, pays for almost $100 million in conservation projects each year.
Minnesota DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr opened the DNR's annual stakeholder meetings Friday in St. Paul listing accomplishments his agency and supporters have achieved in the past year, and challenges that lie ahead.
Accomplishments cited by Landwehr:
• Successful wolf season
• A hunting and fishing license fee increase
• The undertaking of two enforcement academies
• Wild lands and waters secured by the Outdoor Heritage Fund (Legacy money.)
• The writing of a state prairie conservation plan
• Changes in the waterfowl season; establishment of a new invasive species research center at the U
• Water quantity and quality
• Loss of grasslands
• Aquatic invasive species
• Recruitment of hunters/anglers
• Mille Lacs walleye management
• Decline of the state's moose
• Forest management in a time of difficulties for the forest-products industry
Below is Wisconsin DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp's statement following a federal judge's ruling Wednesday afternoon that prohibits Chippewa in that state from night hunting of deer with aid of a light, at least until a Dec. 12 hearing.
The Chippewa declared last week, through their Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission, that beginning Monday their band members could hunt deer at night across the northern third of Wiscsonsin with aid of a light "at the point of kill.''.
The DNR objected and filed suit, saying an earlier federal court ruling prohibited the practice, even though night hunting for coyotes is allowed by the state.
The latest conflict arose after the DNR also allowed night hunting for wolves beginning Monday with aid of a light "at the point of kill.''
Most Wisconsin Chippewa oppose the state's wolf hunt.
Here's Stepp's statement:
“This afternoon Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District Federal Court ruled that the State may enforce state shining laws against any Chippewa Tribal member hunting deer at night within the Ceded Territory (roughly the northern third of the state) until the preliminary injunction hearing scheduled for Dec. 12 and further order of the court. Chippewa Tribal members have been prohibited from night hunting/shining deer since 1990 in line with a 1989 federal court decision.
“The State is pleased that shining will be prohibited until such time as we can adequately address these issues within the appropriate court setting. We will continue to try to work with the Tribes to resolve this issue.”
The Wisconsin wolf harvest has risen to 38 after a busy weekend in which seven animals were taken, two by foothold trap.
In all, 21 of the 38 animals were caught by traps — an indication how effective this method is compared to hunting.
Wolves taken in Wisconsin have been widely dispersed. Below, in order of animals killed, beginning on Oct. 15, the first day of the season, and ending Sunday, Oct. 28, is a list of counties where harvests have been recorded.