Legislative letter by HuJEMt


									Dear ______________(Elected Official(s)),

I’m asking that you act immediately to save our lakes from new aquatic invasive species
(AIS). The most urgent threat to most Minnesota lakes is zebra mussels, but other AIS
are coming including even more harmful quagga mussels.
The state’s current approach to AIS control is inadequate; it simply slows the spread of
these harmful organisms with the result that every popular lake will be infested with
every aquatic invasive species. There are no known ways to reverse these very
ecologically disastrous and economically debilitating infestations. I hope you want the
State to do everything it can to avoid these game-changing impacts; I know that I do.
The DNR cannot stop this threat using today's approaches of education, awareness,
spot inspections and spot decontamination. It didn't work for Eurasian watermilfoil, is not
working for zebra mussels, and will not work for future AIS.
Inspecting 100% of inbound watercraft is the only viable near-term solution to stop the
spread of AIS, as demonstrated at Lake Tahoe over the last four years. The large
number of public waters in Minnesota makes inspection at each boat ramp cost
prohibitive. The most viable and cost-effective solution for conducting inspections of all
watercraft is achieved through regional inspection sites. Even with this approach the
State government simply may not have enough money to spend on AIS prevention.
Yet there is some good news as the DNR has conceptually agreed to delegate their
inspection authority to select local units of government. And there is more good news;
there is no shortage of engaged citizens, cities, counties, watershed districts and lake
associations to help support the inspection process.
This is where we need your immediate help, as the next boating season is only four and
a half months away. We need legislation:
   1. Requiring 100% inbound inspections with the ability to turn away watercraft that
      fail inspection;
   2. Requiring delegation of DNR inspection authority to local government units; and
   3. Allowing regional inspections.
As all watercraft entering the water, with the exception of government watercraft, will be
inspected, there can be no argument about fairness.
I look forward to your support on this critical issue to protect our incredible public waters.
Thank you,
[Email address]

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