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Minnesota Legislature

Natural resources policy begins to take shape, budget targets remain elusive

With budget targets still lingering in the political ether, Senate and House conference committees are working toward what agreements they may.

A partial agreement was reached Tuesday on policy provisions contained in Article 3 of the omnibus environment and natural resources finance bill, SF2314, sponsored by co-chairs Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) and Sen. Bill Ingebrigtsen (R-Alexandria).

Included in the agreement crafted by the conference committee are provisions that would:

  • allow leashed dogs to be used for tracking wounded deer and bear (House);
  • allow trappers with permits from their local government to keep beaver pelts (House);
  • create a provisional firearms safety certificate for people with physical disabilities (House);
  • prohibit trade in endangered animal parts (House);
  • allow the use of night vision/thermal imaging equipment to hunt coyote or fox (Senate);
  • exempt truck washes from open air swine basin designation and requirements (Senate);
  • codify service and duties of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (Senate); and
  • allow the Agriculture Department to determine the full reimbursement rate for processing donated deer (House).

Saying he is optimistic that more could be accomplished, Hansen asked House and Senate committee members to bring additional offers to the table. Negotiations on provisions relating to chronic wasting disease are also expected when the committee reconvenes Tuesday.


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