Rollbacks on Wetlands Protections

Legislation which threatens to undermine Minnesota’s commitment to wetland conservation is advancing.  It is time to ask Governor Dayton to stand by Minnesota’s policy of NO NET LOSS of wetlands, and have his agencies press this message.   Send the sample letter below or edit it with your own words to let the Governor know why you support no net loss of wetlands.

Where things stand today:

As most of you know, Minnesota’s wetlands provide critical stormwater storage, groundwater recharge, and water purification functions in the watersheds which support coldwater fisheries around the state.  They also provide habitat for hundreds of plants, animals, birds and other wildlife.  They play important, often vital, roles in every coldwater watershed.

Minnesota’s Wetland Conservation Act (WCA) has received strong bipartisan support for over two decades.  The law protects Minnesota’s wetlands, promising NO NET LOSS of remaining wetlands by requiring avoidance of impacts whenever possible, and replacement for any lost wetlands. However, several legislative initiatives which undermine Minnesota’s commitment to wetland conservation are still “in play” in the Minnesota Legislature this spring.  Provisions poised to pass the legislature include ones which would:

  • exempt all agricultural land enrolled in the federal farm program from WCA requirements
  • expand loopholes for minimum “free” losses
  • diminish protections for wetlands near rivers and lakes

These proposals put thousands of acres of wetlands at risk, including many near trout streams or in watersheds supporting trout fisheries.  These provisions are unnecessary, especially coming just two years after a comprehensive public revision of current WCA rules.  They only serve to roll back critical and longstanding wetland protections.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Send an email to Governor Dayton: Ask the Governor to stand by Minnesota’s policy of NO NET LOSS of wetlands. Send an email today to Governor Dayton.    Below is a sample letter which you can use or modify to express you particular, heartfelt concerns:

 

Dear Governor Dayton,

Since the passage of the Minnesota Wetland Conservation Act in 1991, every Governor has reaffirmed their personal commitment to No Net Loss of wetlands in Minnesota.  Wetlands provide floodwater storage, groundwater recharge, and water purification functions statewide, including for coldwater fisheries and their watersheds.   They also provide habitat for hundreds of plants, animals, birds and other wildlife species.  The Wetland Conservation Act serves to minimize and replace unavoidable wetland losses. I urge you to voice your support for No Net Loss of wetlands and the Wetland Conservation Act.

 A number of provisions have appeared in legislation that weaken wetlands protections and offer a variety of loopholes that increase wetlands loss.  Please make it clear to legislators and members of the public that you will not sign any legislation which undermines wetland protection.

 Please stand with over 20 years of bipartisan commitment to No Net Loss of wetlands, and voice your intention to veto any bill that allows for expanded exemptions from the Wetland Conservation Act.

 Thank you.

 

Where/how to contact the Governor:

  • By phone:  651-201-3400 , or Toll Free – 1-800-657-3717
  • Message him on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ussmbd
  • With his web form (paste your comments onto the form):  http://mn.gov/governor/contact-us/
  • Write and/or Fax (Fax: 651-797-1850):
    Office of the Governor
    130 State Capitol
    75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
    St. Paul, MN 55155

Fax: 651-797-1850

Contact your legislators:

Also let your legislators to support wetlands and oppose rollback of the WCA.  To locate your legislator click on this direct link:  http://www.gis.leg.mn/OpenLayers/districts/?address=

Click on their name and you will be taken to their individual web page.

Thank you for taking a few minutes to help stop the rollback of wetland protections.