DNR Seeks People To Serve On Fish And Wildlife Budget Oversight Committees; Roseau Legislator Encourages Northwest Minnesota Residents To Apply

 

People in northwest Minnesota sometimes feel they’re on the outside looking in when it comes to dealing with the Department of Natural Resources, especially at the St. Paul level, but there’s an opportunity for anyone who has an interest to have a greater voice in how the agency spends its money.

The DNR is taking applications through Sept. 25 for 12 people to service on the DNR’s Fisheries Oversight and Wildlife Oversight committees. Appointees will review the DNR’s annual Game and Fish Fund Report in detail and, after discussions with agency leaders and others, write a report on the findings of this review.

About half the current members’ terms expire Dec. 14 and are subject to this open application, the DNR said in a news release.

Rep. Dan Fabian

State Rep. Dan Fabian, R-Roseau, called me this morning in an effort to get the word out about the openings and to encourage people in northwest Minnesota to apply for the committees.

In a news release, the DNR said potential committee members should have a strong interest in natural resource management and how it is funded. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr will appoint committee members for three-year terms. Applications are being accepted until Sept. 25 online at the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund Budgetary Oversight webpage at mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight.

Minnesota’s Game and Fish Fund is the fiscal foundation for many of the state’s core natural resource management functions, the DNR said in the news release. Upwards of $110 million a year is deposited into this fund from hunting and fishing license sales, a sales tax on lottery tickets, and other sources of revenue, including a reimbursement based on a federal excise tax on certain hunting, fishing and boating equipment.

Here’s more information about the committee from the DNR news release:

  • Committee members participate in a mid-December orientation meeting and one to two meetings per month January to May.
  • Meetings are generally two hours in the evening at DNR headquarters in St. Paul, with the total time commitment estimated at 20 to 40 hours, plus travel time.
  • Some members also attend monthly joint Budgetary Oversight Committee meetings January to May and may complete their report via email correspondence.
  • Estimated additional time commitment is 12 to 15 hours, plus travel time. Members are asked to make three-year commitment.

Past DNR Game and Fish Fund expenditure reports and citizen oversight committee reports are also available at mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight.