I had the opportunity to attend the Emily Cooperative Telephone Company’s (ECTC) annual meeting this week. They met at the Emily City Hall and had an excellent turnout. ECTC is one of a number of local cooperatives that serve the communication needs of rural Minnesota.
ECTC serves the Central Minnesota communities of Emily, Fifty Lakes, Little Pine and Fairfield Townships. They provide a full spectrum of communication services including telephone, high speed internet and high definition digital television.
The coop is managed by a five-member board elected by the coop members. The day-to-day operations are supervised by a general manager. Cooperatives are a major part of rural Minnesota’s infrastructure in both the communications area and also for delivery of electricity.
It was primarily through these local member owned and operated coops that rural Minnesota was able to get electricity and phone services delivered to our residents.
Next week, there will be a public hearing taking place on Tuesday, June 25 at the Franklin Arts Center Auditorium, 1001 Kingwood Street, Brainerd, MN on the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s proposal to again delist the wolf federal protection.
The hearing will be from 6:30-9 p.m. at which time citizens will be able testify on the matter. There is an open house beginning at 5 p.m. prior to the formal hearing where USFWS staff will be available to answer questions. This is the only public hearing in our area on the proposed delisting.
The public has until July 15 to submit comments on the plan to delist the wolves in Minnesota. For more info or to submit comments online visit this link.
The federal government has removed endangered species protections for wolves in Minnesota before. However, due to lawsuits over the delisting process, the USFWS was ordered to restore federal protection.
The state has a very detailed federally approved wolf management plan that successfully operated during the 2012-14 time frame which was the most recent time wolves were delisted. The Minnesota DNR has for many years employed the necessary staff and has closely monitored the wolf population in Minnesota.
Wolf numbers in Minnesota have or many decades far exceeded the federal recovery plan goals for delisting. It is time for wolf management to be returned to Minnesota. That will ensure Minnesota’s wolves will always be properly managed and never become a candidate for relisting again. See you there.