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Bill would require timely update to state's invasive species plan

Minnesota's plan for slowing the spread of invasive species may need to be updated every five years.

Sponsored by Rep. Patty Acomb (DFL-Minnetonka), HF228 would require the DNR to update the plan by Dec. 31, 2021, and every five years thereafter. It would also require the plan to address the impacts of climate change on invasive species management.

House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee 01/28/21

The bill, held over Thursday in the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance and Policy Committee, does not have a Senate companion.

State law requires the DNR to prepare and maintain a long-term plan for invasive species that includes specific plans for individual species.

The law does not say how often the plan, which was most recently completed in 2009, must be updated, though the DNR began work to update it last year.

Acomb said the plan should be updated on a regular basis and that it's important to account for the impacts of climate change on the spread of invasive species.

"We need to be looking at everything from a more comprehensive stance to make sure we're not missing things," said Naomi Blinick, a conservation sciences graduate student.

Rep. Josh Heintzeman (R-Nisswa) noted the DNR already considers the effects of climate change and said he hopes the committee will tackle more substantial issues.

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