Buried MLFAC meeting notice excludes citizen participation

PERM encourages Minnesotans concerned about the Mille Lacs Lake and economy surviving “co-management” to attend (now ZOOM) Mille Lacs Fishery Advisory Committee meetings. Committee members deserve and could use citizen support for their often thankless and sidelined efforts to help the DNR’s political bureaucracy make “co-management” work.

According to the DNR, “Members of the public may observe MLFAC meetings,” They even get fifteen minutes “reserved for public comments and questions.”

That’s looking like a hollow promise.

PERM monitors all DNR press releases for upcoming meetings so we can get the word out. The Monday October 12 meeting was announced in a DNR release sent out (after business hours) on Friday, October 9 at 5:26 pm. This was for a 4:30 meeting on Monday, (Columbus Day) a national holiday. But you had to go to the DNR website—by noon—for info on logging in to the online meeting.

It’s a well-known tactic for politicians to bury bad news (or anything they want under-reported) by sending press releases out late on a Friday afternoon, since there is often very limited time and space for reporters to include the story. Holiday weekends greatly multiply that effect.

Politicians at the DNR certainly know this. MLFAC members get a direct invite earlier. They likely are unaware their meeting is effectively blocked (or shadow-banned as it’s often described) from the public.

DNR meetings with the tribe are known months in advance.

On a side note, Outdoor News had the only report we could find. It never mentioned anything about the agenda’s “new committee member recruitment.” Like that’s going to happen.

If you would like to make up for a lost 15 minutes for public comments and questions, we have a link to DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen on our website, perm.org