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.
Department of Natural Resources fisheries managers announced Friday an effort to undertake a statewide "fish habitat plan'' intended to improve water quality, and therefore fish populations.
Details were vague, and DNR fisheries habitat research supervisor Peter Jacobson said no budget recommendations had been developed.
In a presentation at the agency's annual roundtable, or stakeholder meetings, in St. Paul, Jacobson said that about 42 percent of state lakes were "high quality,'' and need to be protected.
Many of the rest, he said, require restoration, in part through partnerships whose goal would be to protect entire watersheds.
Jacobson suggested the Clean Water Fund created by passage of the Legacy Amendment, and perhaps also the Outdoor Heritage Fund, would be sources of funding for the proposal.
Objectives of the plan include:
• Establishing landscape scale conservation zones.
• Prioritizing project areas.
• Educating the public
• Tracking results.
Jacobson indicated that DNR Fisheries will add details to the plan including budgets and timetables in the near future.
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