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Watershed Protection

Legislation to undermine agency rulemaking adopted in State Government Finance Conference Report

This week, the State Government Finance Conference Committee released its conference report which includes 30 pages of redundant, regressive, time-consuming, and expensive hurdles that agencies must go through in order to adopt or even propose rules to protect our environment, natural resources, health, and safety. These provisions were written by the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, which characterizes them as "streamlining" the agency process. The reality, however, is that this legislation will result in significant delays and administrative expenses.

May 3

House bill aims to replace the Legacy Amendment

A bill introduced by Republican Rep. Steve Green (Fosston) would require the state to conduct a new referendum to replace the Legacy Amendment with funds for a narrow list of highway and bridge projects and bar Clean Water Fund spending on most clean-up and restoration projects.

February 9

Survey: What would you like to be called?

FMR is shoring up our advocacy program. In addition to offering opportunities to sign petitions, write letters and speak up at meetings, we're coordinating fun and educational happy hours, training sessions and networking events. We're also amping up our communications to better support our growing community of river advocates. Help name our improved advocacy program and sign up to join us!
February 3

Opponents of Minnesota's buffer law claim it's an unconstitutional taking. It's not.

Legislators and testifiers opposed to Minnesota's buffer law continue to claim that the law is unconstitutional because it constitutes a government taking of private property without just compensation to the property owner. These claims are incorrect and misleading. The law would only be unconstitutional if it denied property owners every and all reasonable use of their land.

January 20

FMR’s 2017 legislative priorities

Water issues will once again be a hot topic during this year's legislative session. While Gov. Mark Dayton has made water a priority, House and Senate majority parties have signaled intentions to roll back policies and funding essential to protecting Minnesota’s rivers, lakes and streams.

Without a doubt, defending against these rollbacks and securing much-needed funding for critical water infrastructure will be our top priorities during the 2017 legislative session. 

January 10

New fuel standards could help river

Perennial grasses for biofuels

Perennial plants can be grown to produce fuel while also protecting water quality and boosting farm profits.

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency updated the nation’s renewable fuel requirements. While we were disappointed to see an increase in traditional corn-based ethanol, we’re pleased to see a raise in production goals for cellulosic biofuel in 2017.

This creates a powerful market incentive for farmers to grow perennial crops, supporting FMR’s work towards market-based solutions to reduce agricultural water pollution.

December 16

Recommended reading: 'Danger Downstream'

The greatest river in North America begins in Minnesota. But our pristine stretch of the Mississippi faces mounting environmental threats.

As this trio of Star Tribune articles shows, solving Minnesota’s water quality issues begins on the land.

The Star Tribune’s recent series on threats to Minnesota’s rivers – including our own Upper Mississippi – beautifully illustrates many of the challenges and opportunities facing our surface waters. Each article by veteran reporter Josephine Marcotty explores a different aspect of how land use and water interact, with inevitable consequences for surface water, groundwater, habitat and public health. Together, these three articles tell a powerful story of Minnesota’s water resources. They also illustrate and reinforce many of the key lessons of the FMR-National Park Service State of the River Report.

October 20