FMSNA asks Legislature to Delete National Loon Center
SF 2201/HF 2032 – Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund Bill
The proposed $4,000,000 is the second highest appropriation, this year, from the Environment & Natural Resources Trust Fund! In contrast, the entire $3.5 million ENRTF appropriation for the SNA program is deleted from the Senate bill. This large sum can be better used elsewhere to protect and enhance Minnesota’s precious natural resources.
Please note that we are not opposed to a “National Loon Center” – and can understand how it could be a tourist attraction. However, all of the above items are unnecessary for loon conservation, will adversely impact the shoreline area, and detract from loons migrating through or nesting in the area.
These bills propose to spend the money to pay for, among other things:
(1) “… an approximately 15,000 square foot National Loon Center …” [Note: ENRTF ID 252-G, page 5, states that the center will house, among other offices “… Chamber of Commerce offices … and multi-purpose rooms for the community …”]
(2) “boat docks”
(3) “a fishing dock”;
(5) “interpretative trails”
Instead, loon conservation is better advanced through measures such as:
(1) acquisition and/or easements of lakeshore loon nesting habitat;
(2) habitat restoration;
(3) protecting and enhancing water quality; and
(4) prohibiting the use of lead ammunition and lead fishing tackle and promoting non-toxic alternatives.
Minnesotans should be vigilant stewards of how we spend our ENRTF money. Expenditures, described in the bill, will not advance loon conservation. The National Loon Center is a community development project, which may have merit to attract tourists, but should be funded elsewhere. FMSNA has taken and will continue to take a lead in defending the ENRTF (our lawsuit was successful in stopping another attempted raid on the ENRTF).
(See masterplan image below)