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Vermillion Time to act

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I just got this e-mail from a good friend and wanted to pass it on to you guys, this is a very important purchase in MN, So call them or write them today.

This would be a real good time for anglers to contact their Legislators and ask them to support funding for the purchase of the US Steel property on Lake Vermillion. This land purchase would create a state park along the shores of the lake. The area adjacent to this land is some excellent fish habitat that needs protecting. This habitat includes muskie spawning areas and cover for young muskie. If the state doesn't buy it the developers will and all the fish habitat will be destroyed. Anglers don't seem to want to get involved in habitat issues but this is where the biggest gains for future fishing can be made. Drop your Legislator a line and tell them how important it is to protect the future of muskie fishing on Vermillion.

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Thanks for the post. A state park on Vermilion would be awesome. Do you know what bill that is part of? Or what number that bill would be?

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It needs some help guys or its going to die from politics as usual

Lake Vermilion park hits a snag Published (3/14/2008)

By Nick Busse

A bill sponsored by Rep. David Dill (DFL-Crane Lake) would establish the Lake Vermilion State Park — but with some strings attached.

Gov. Tim Pawlenty has been a vocal proponent of the plan to establish a new state park on a 3,000-acre block of undeveloped land on Lake Vermilion in northeastern Minnesota. Dill said he supports the plan too, but with one caveat: if St. Louis County is going to sell the land for the park to the state, Dill wants the state to give some of its land to the county too.

His bill, HF3433, would authorize the Department of Natural Resources to acquire the land for the park — but only if the state then ceded an equal amount of school trust land to the county. The Lake Vermilion State Park would then be designated as a school trust land, with park revenue going toward the state’s school trust fund.

“We need to have an offset, so that as this land is taken off the tax rolls, and becomes public for a state park, that we have other lands that are owned by the state that will then be put on the tax rolls,” Dill said.

Assistant Commissioner Bob Meier said the department had “drastic concerns” about the plan, noting that the DNR just finished exchanging all of the school trust lands out of the park system.

Other opponents included Judy Erickson, government relations director of the Parks & Trails Council of Minnesota, who said it would set a bad precedent for the state to pay for a new state park and then have the park's revenues go somewhere else.

Members of the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee didn’t like the plan either. A motion to approve the bill March 11 and send it to the House Finance Committee failed on a division vote of 6-6.

A companion bill, SF3076, sponsored by Sen. Tom Bakk (DFL-Cook), awaits action by the Senate Finance Committee.

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When Dill attached those strings, it immediately put the park in danger of not being established. Likely he knew it at the time, and would prefer the park not be established at all instead of establishing it under the current revenue system.

It would take a landslide of public comment for legislators to revive the current bill.

I think what's more likely is that, if there's enough public pressure, the current bills would be scrapped in favor of introducing a new piece of legislation without Dill's provision. If I remember my State Legislature 101, the Senate bill, which has not been voted on in committee if I remember correctly, could be reworded to remove that provision and if it then passes out of committee approved, the House bill can be reworked to reconcile the two before a full House and Senate votes.

I completely understand where he's coming from, since taking land off the tax rolls makes a county potentially poorer, but it doesn't look like there's enough support for the park under the current plan.

And what I see as politics as usual is that a great idea may not be realized because of that single provision.

Just my take on it.

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