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Comments by Bob Djupstrom regarding the Prairie Smoke Dunes Scientific and Natural Area 

On December 13, 2019, the Minnesota DNR ruled in our favor concerning Prairie Smoke Dunes Scientific and Natural Area. Great to see the decision. Hats off to everyone that worked through gathering data, driving to the hearing, getting the word out to others, to local media, everyone that took the time to send in comments, and to FMSNA using the data practices act to get the many emails, written correspondence and other forms of communication from the DNR that enabled FMSNA to discover that DNR appeared to be preparing to just give the County what they wanted because some members of the County Board threatened to deny future acquisitions for wildlife management areas.

Although the ruling is good news, there may still be an attempt at an end run in the upcoming legislative bonding session. It has come to our attention that an item listed as "SNA parking lots" has been added which we worry could end up as a simple line or two being slipped in by a senator, even at the last minute in the conference committee, creating an exception to the rules for Prairie Smoke Dunes SNA and giving the local county officials what they have been trying to extort from the DNR for the last few years. We plan to make sure our conservation minded legislators are aware of this possibility.

You can read the notice from DNR is below:

To whom it may concern:

Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has considered the Norman County Board of Commissioner’s (Board) request for an additional travel corridor and parking area on the north end of the Prairie Smoke Dunes Scientific and Natural Area and determined that the request is not authorized. In making this determination DNR considered public comments and MN Rules which have specific criteria we must consider to determine if exceptions to prohibited activities should be allowed (Minn. R. 6136.0550, subp. 6B).
You can find additional information about the request and the decision record on our webpage using the link below.

Background information about the request, public hearing, and a copy of the Findings of Fact that support the decision

Please contact Nathan Kestner, NW Regional Manager | Division of Ecological and Water resources at or 218-308-2626 with any questions about the decision. Additionally, you may contact Jan Shaw Wolff, Ecosystems Management and Protection Section Manager at (651) 259-5106 or ; or Molly Roske, SNA Program Supervisor at (651) 259-5094 or

We value your input and participation in the Public Hearing process.

Nathan Kestner
NW Regional Manager | Division of Ecological and Water resources
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
2115 Birchmont Beach Rd.NE
Bemidji, MN 56601
Phone: 218-308-2626
Fax: 218-755-4066

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