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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Rob Ecklund (DFL)

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RELEASE: Rep. Ecklund appointed to Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council

Thursday, January 20, 2022

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – State Representative Rob Ecklund (DFL – International Falls) has been appointed to serve on the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, a panel charged with providing annual funding recommendations to the full Legislature from the state’s Outdoor Heritage Fund. The council reviews and recommends proposed projects to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife, and that prevent forest fragmentation, encourage forest consolidation, and expand restored native prairie.

“Minnesotans across our state value our strong outdoor heritage, and in fact value it enough they voted to raise their own taxes to protect our strong traditions when it comes to hunting, fishing, and other outdoor pursuits,” Rep. Ecklund said. “I’m quite excited about the opportunity to serve on this council and evaluate funding proposals for projects across our state so we can continue to make Minnesota a great state to get outside and enjoy everything it has to offer.”

The Outdoor Heritage Fund contains proceeds from the dedicated sales tax established following voters’ overwhelming adoption of the Clean Water, Land, and Legacy amendment in 2008. It is one of four funds created under the amendment, and receives one-third of the money raised by the sales tax. Since 2010, lawmakers have invested over $1.2 billion from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, investing in more than 400 projects across the state toward conservation and preservation. 

The council is named after former Senators Bob Lessard, of International Falls, and the late Dallas Sams, of Staples, both champions of outdoor heritage during their time in the Legislature. Rep. Ecklund was appointed by Rep. Rick Hansen, the House Environment & Natural Resources Committee Chair. His first meeting as a member was Tuesday, January 18.