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Minnesota Legislature

Fishing allowances amended

Published (4/24/2009)
By Sue Hegarty
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An attempt to promote fishing by offering free angling in state parks was deleted from the House omnibus game and fish bill that was approved as amended April 21 by the House Environment and Natural Resources Finance Division. Sponsored by Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake), HF1238 awaits action by the House Finance Committee.

Its companion, SF1116, sponsored by Sen. Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley), awaits action by the Senate Environment, Energy and Natural Resources Budget Division.

Rep. Rick Hansen (DFL-South St. Paul) said that following media coverage about a bill to offer free licenses to anglers age 90 and older, he received calls from constituents who wanted the age limit lowered to 80 or 75. “Each has a cost,” Hansen said, as he successfully amended the bill to delete the section that would have allowed residents to fish free in state parks. The 90-year-old angler portion remains in the bill.

Dill successfully amended the bill to allow people to fish with two lines if they pay an extra $10 on fishing licenses.

Dill also amended HF696, the House Game, Fish and Forestry Division’s omnibus lands bill, onto the bill. It includes an amendment that would require the Department of Natural Resources to lease state land in St. Louis County for 30 years to the Mountain Iron Economic Development Authority, which plans to install up to four wind turbines on the property.

Also incorporated into the bill was HF1132, a bill that would increase the percentage of timber that can be sold by state forestry operations. Sponsored by Dill, it also authorizes a pilot project that would allow the DNR to lease state-owned forests to private or public groups that would manage the forest production activities. The state forestry division only harvests a portion of the available timber and leasing some of the maintenance and operations to private business, such as paper mills, could increase production, he said.

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