You can help manage DNR wildlife funding

EDITOR’S NOTE: If you, like Doug Nelson, have been preparing your hunting gear, you might be interested in this article from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources. National Hunting and Fishing Day is celebrated on the fourth Saturday in September. President Richard Nixon on May 2, 1972, wrote in a presidential proclamation that created the holiday, “I urge all our citizens to join with outdoor sportsmen in the wise use of our natural resources and in insuring [sic.] their proper management for the benefit of future generations.” See p. 28 for more outdoor news. —Tucker Nelson, HTF Interim Managing Content Editor

STATEWIDE — Do you buy hunting or fishing licenses and wonder how the money is spent? Are you interested in good fiscal stewardship and how key elements of the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources’ operations are funded? If so, here is an opportunity to play an active oversight role.

Minnesotans who would like to serve on committees that review how the DNR spends Game and Fish Fund dollars are encouraged to submit an application. The committees are established pursuant to state law.

“Committee members play important and valuable roles in conservation delivery here in Minnesota,” said Dave Olfelt, DNR Fish and Wildlife Division director. “Through the budget oversight process, they have an opportunity to learn about and assess the DNR’s fish and wildlife management activities.”

The DNR needs at least nine people to fill vacancies on the fisheries oversight and wildlife oversight committees.

A detailed request for applications with an online link to submit an application is available on the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight. The application deadline is Wednesday, September 30. DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen will appoint committee members for two-year terms.

People who want to serve should have a strong interest in natural resource management and how it is funded, financial review, and working together. Applicants must be Minnesota residents and must have purchased at least one of the personal or commercial Minnesota licenses for hunting, fishing or trapping since January 1, 2019.

“We want committee members who represent Minnesota— people with a variety of experiences and perspectives who come from all corners of the state,” Olfelt said.

Minnesota’s Game and Fish Fund is the fiscal foundation for many of the state’s core natural resource management functions. Upwards of $110 million is deposited into this fund annually.

The dollars come from hunting and fishing license sales, a sales tax on lottery tickets and other sources of revenue—including a federal reimbursement based on an excise tax on certain types of outdoor gear and marine fuels. The Minnesota Legislature authorizes all allocations from the Game and Fish Fund.

More information about the fund, expenditure reports and its oversight committee reports are available at www.mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight.

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