Council approves more money for fight against aquatic invasive species

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There could be more money heading towards the fight against invasive aquatic species for lake associations in Minnesota.

Minnesota Public Radio reports the Lessard Sams Outdoor Heritage Council is recommending $3.6 million in new funding for the fight.

If approved by the legislature the money could be used by the Minnesota Coalition of Lake Associations to buy land and equipment to create regional boat decontamination stations.

The move was thought to be controversial as some, according to a Politics in Minnesota blog earlier in September, thought that fighting invasive aquatic species fell outside of the of the purview of council. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr told the council that funding a boat decontamination program doesn't fit the mission of the legacy amendment.

The recommendation from the council was short of the lake association's $25 million request, but still a big improvement considering the DNR budget for invasive species is about $8.5 million.

Amongst the largest problems facing Minnesota lakes are zebra mussels. So far in September the DNR has announced the finding of the pests in both Maple Lake in Douglas County and Lake Hiawatha in Minneapolis.

Some lake associations in northern Minnesota have even changed their focus from stopping the spread of zebra mussels to finding a way to combat them.

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