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Access moratorium in omnibus bill

Published (3/11/2010)
By Sue Hegarty
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An omnibus game and fish bill approved March 9 by the House Environment Policy and Oversight Committee includes a five-year moratorium on building public accesses along water bodies.

Sponsored by Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake), HF3124 was sent to the House State and Local Government Operations Reform, Technology and Elections Committee.

Dill said about 10 projects would be stalled during the moratorium. The measure is needed, he said, to prevent the spread of invasive species, a major concern of shoreland residents, anglers and tourism representatives.

The bill would allow anglers to fish in open water with two lines if they purchase a $10 endorsement stamp. Penalties for baiting deer during hunting season, a problem reported by conservation officers, would increase to include immediate license seizure. Other provisions would affect bear and coyote hunting, and the incidental trapping of muskrat and otter during beaver season.

The bill represents 42 sections of new or modified game and fish regulations. It was amended to include changes to:

the manner in which bear hunting licenses are issued;

specifications for quartering deer at the kill site; and

who qualifies for turkey licenses issued under separate selection.

A companion, SF2900, sponsored by Sen. Satveer Chaudhary (DFL-Fridley), awaits action by the Senate State and Local Government Operations and Oversight Committee.

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