Saturday, January 28, 2023

Play

A critical number of rural IA nursing homes close; TX lawmakers consider measures to restrict, and expand voting in 2023 Session; and CT groups, and unions call for public-health reforms.

Play

Attorney General announces enforcement actions on ransomware, Democrats discuss border policies, and the FDA is relaxing rules for gay and bisexual men to donate blood.

Play

"Brain Gain?" Research shows rural population is actually growing, especially in recreational areas; other small towns are having success offering relocation incentives like free building lots, cash, complimentary dinners and even internet credits; and researchers say the key is flexibility and creativity.

MN Groups Press for More Detailed Plan to Fight Aquatic Invaders

Play

Wednesday, September 15, 2021   

ST. PAUL, Minn. - Minnesota continues to battle aquatic invasive species in certain lakes. As the state fights these threats, there are calls for the Department of Natural Resources to develop a more robust management plan.

The state's overall blueprint for combating zebra mussels and other habitat-disrupting pests was written in 2009. DNR leaders have said they're putting a new plan together, with invasive species detected in more waterways this summer.

Jeff Forester, executive director of Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates, said he hopes it's a comprehensive strategy, with better coordination of on-the-ground efforts.

"Nobody really knows what anybody else is doing, and it's not targeted toward specific and achievable goals. It's not coordinated," Forester said of the current plan.

He said the DNR should guide detailed collaboration between lake associations, county governments and others doing prevention work. The DNR has anticipated a new plan over the next year, and said it will include such information as the impact of climate change.

A bill in this year's Legislature called for a new management plan every five years. Ann Pierce, the DNR's deputy director of ecological and water resources, said that kind of timeline would require more federal reviews, potentially delaying prevention funding from Congress.

"Having to have the federal government have to review it, which takes time - sometimes up to a year - it's going to put kind of a roadblock in some of that annual granting process," she said.

However, Minnesota Lakes and Rivers has contended that those issues shouldn't be connected. It noted that the federal grants are a narrow scope in combating aquatic invasive species, and thinks the state should focus on its own plan. The bill's sponsor said there's room for compromise, but will keep pressing for urgency.

Carroll Schaal, lakes and rivers section chief for the Wisconsin DNR, which last updated its management plan in 2019, acknowledged that it was a big undertaking, and federal involvement was only one part of the approach.

"[The] federal money at stake isn't that significant," he said. "I mean, we're very appreciative of it. But you know, we're able to, with our own resources, adjust to the current conditions."

On the Minnesota side, the DNR said its planning doesn't prevent making an alteration if a crisis prompts one. But it insists required updates aren't optimal in carrying out a broader plan.

Disclosure: Minnesota Lakes and Rivers Advocates contributes to our fund for reporting on Climate Change/Air Quality, Public Lands/Wilderness, Sustainable Agriculture, Water. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
New data show in California, 2021-22 state testing scores are even lower than the state's historically low testing scores. (Rawpixel/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Many of California's 13.5 million children and teens have not bounced back after the pandemic, especially children of color, according to the just-…


Social Issues

Americans continue to report low trust in mainstream media, with many younger than 30 saying they trust information from social media nearly as much …

Social Issues

A Minnesota House committee heard testimony Thursday about the governor's proposed spending plan for education. As these talks unfold, public polling …


From February 2020 to November 2021, the number of workers in nursing homes and other care facilities dropped by 410,000 nationally, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals say low pay and a worker shortage have led a dramatic number of nursing homes in rural Iowa to close their doors. They hope …

Health and Wellness

Health-care professionals and advocates in Connecticut have said it will take sweeping reforms to bolster the state's flailing public health system…

In a national survey, Michigan was ranked 27th among the 50 states for its cost, access and quality of long-term care supports and services. California was ranked first. (Flickr)

Social Issues

In her fifth State of the State address this week, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer emphasized policies designed to put more money in Michiganders' pockets…

Social Issues

By nearly every measure, voter fraud in U.S. elections is rare, but that isn't stopping the Texas Legislature from considering dozens of bills this …

Social Issues

A Republican-sponsored bill in the Arkansas Legislature would make it illegal to circulate petitions at or near polling places during elections…

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright © 2021