Busy week, starting at the DNR Public Boat Access at Garrison on Monday. DNR, MNDOT, Garrison City Officials and I walked the area that years ago was a nice MNDOT wayside rest area. The property still belongs to MNDOT, with the DNR only actively managing the boat ramp area.
MNDOT has agreed to work with the City of Garrison to clean up a portion of the property returning it back to the well-groomed standard when is was an official MNDOT rest stop.
Tuesday began with a 10 a.m. Joint House/Senate Environment and Natural Resource Committee hearing in St. Paul. The DNR updated us on the special Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) regulations. In our area that includes CWD management area 604. Visit the DNR’s CWD webpage for details.
During the firearms seasons, hunters must present all deer taken in area 604 in person at a CWD sampling station. The sampling stations will be located at Aitkin, Brainerd, Nisswa, Pine River, Crosby and Emily.
One of the issues that surfaced during the hearing was Waste Management company, which holds a state-wide contract for picking up trash at state facilities, has refused to assist the DNR in handling deer carcass waste.
Because Waste Management has refused to support the special requirements related to disposal of deer-related waste in the special CWD zones, I will be recommending to Gov. Tim Walz that this company be disqualified from their current state-wide waste management service contract.
The state contract they currently operate under requires state facilities to exclusively use them for waste disposal services. Those services were previously provided by local waste haulers.
We don’t need a company operating in rural Minnesota that is unwilling to be part of the solution in helping to stop the spread of CWD in Minnesota’s wild deer population.
My next stop was Hill City for a meeting with local officials and the leadership team from Enbridge. While it will likely later in 2020 before actual construction begins, Enbridge is already working closely with local officials to make this project a success. Then it was on to Garrison for a Town Hall meeting with the Mayor and other city officials to round out Tuesday evening.
Wednesday we hosted DNR Commissioner Sara Strommen and Parks and Trails Division Director Erika Rivers to a tour of the Cuyuna Country State Recreation Area, followed by a round-table discussion. Great opportunity for the community to show and tell this gem.
Friday included the Mississippi Headwaters Board Biennial Conference at Walker followed by a quick trip back to Aitkin for a ribbon cutting ceremony for the newly constructed Aitkin County Government Center. Just a typical week in Paradise!