From The Chairman’s Boat
I spent part of Sunday sharing my boat with my daughter, son-in-law, and my twin grandsons on Coon Lake. It is a joy to bring fishing to a whole new generation. It is a big job for three adults to keep two 2-year-olds dry, hook free, and entertained. This makes me realize why I and many other PERM members have stuck it out for equal hunting and fishing rights for the past 20 or so years.
I wonder if these youngsters, when they are ready, will be able to enjoy fishing on Mille Lacs Lake as I have in the past. This is a big reason PERM has joined forces with Save Mille Lacs Sporting Fishing to sue the MN DNR over the policies used to manage Mille Lacs and other lakes.
Has this lawsuit had any effect on how they do business? I say yes. Was this lawsuit partially responsible for lifting the “night ban”? I say yes. Is this lawsuit the reason the DNR now has a traveling “Hooked on Mille Lacs On The Road” forum traveling the state? I say yes. Is this the reason the DNR has an online newsletter you can subscribe to? (Hooked on Mille Lacs update at www.mndnr.gov/millelacslakenews) I say yes.
These are all things they should have been doing prior to our lawsuit. Sometimes it takes a grassroots effort to make a state agency remember who they work for. Their next meeting DNR to discuss Lake Mille Lacs walleye reproduction, will be held at 6:30 to 8:00pm on Thursday, Aug 28, at the New Brighton Community Center, 400 10th St NW, New Brighton. Citizen input will be taken.
As a supporter of PERM, SMLSF, and this lawsuit, YOU are making a difference on how the DNR does business. Help make sure that the volunteers can keep our lawsuit funded by visiting PERM.org or savemillelacssportfishing.org and donating what you feel you can afford to keep DNR conservation activities and rule making transparent. View the videos posted here for updates. Erick Kaardal just today filed our response here to the DNR brief as described in his most recent video.
(Speaking of support, congratulations to Frank M. from Hampton, Minnesota, who won the four-gun “Family Plinker Pack” at PERM’s Game Fair raffle. One gun for each mender of his family.)
Please forward this to your outdoors minded friends.
Doug Meyenburg, Perm Chairman
Mille Lacs battle still being waged in court
Legal wrangling over Mille Lacs continues, with attorney Erick Kaardal asking the Court of Appeals to invalidate the DNR’ Mille Lacs management scheme in favor of one that considers the lake’s “hunting and fishing heritage.”
“Management of Mille Lacs, like all Minnesota natural resources, must be in accordance with the state constitution, including the hunting and fishing heritage of those resources,” Kaardal said. “The DNR has failed to do so on Mille Lacs.”
The case began April 24 when Kaardal asked the appeals court to rule that the DNR has not managed Mille Lacs in consideration of the cultural heritage that has developed around more than a century of walleye fishing on the lake.
The DNR responded May 29 by filing more 18,000 pages of biological and other records the agency says support its current Mille Lacs management. But nowhere in the voluminous filing is evidence the DNR has considered Mille Lacs’ fishing heritage, Kaardal claims.
“That heritage is one of walleye fishing, not smallmouth bass fishing or northern pike fishing, which the DNR is attempting to change it to on Mille Lacs,” Kaardal said.
Kaardal again asked the court to throw out the DNR’s Mille Lacs management plan. “The omission in their 18,000 pages is so egregious we want the court to direct the DNR to follow the constitution regarding hunting and fishing in all of its actions, not just regarding Mille Lacs,” he said.
Read more from Dennis Anderson Star Tribune July 29, 2014
DNR Mille Lacs Rules Lawsuit Moves Forward
Attorney Erick Kaardal has reviewed the DNR’s response in the lawsuit challenging the DNR on it’s fishing rules for Mille Lacs. The suit was filed on behalf of Save Mille Lacs Sportfishing (SMLSF) and Proper Economic Resource Management (PERM.)
The DNR’s 18,700-Page court-ordered response shows DNR failed entirely to consider cultural heritage protections afforded by the Minnesota Constitution and the public-trust doctrine.
In their rule making process, they ignored the constitutional amendment affirming, “That hunting and fishing and the taking of game and fish are a valued part of our heritage that shall be forever preserved for the people and shall be managed by law and regulation for the public good.”
“If you voted for the 1998 Constitutional Amendment (passed by over 77% of voters), according to Doug Meyenburg, PERM President, “you are left out by the way DNR makes all its hunting and fishing rules.”
They failed to provide any legal basis for disregarding these protections.
Of particular interest to Mille Lacs walleye anglers, was Kaardal’s finding that “they failed to show that they have not mismanaged the Mille Lacs Lake walleye population in violation of these protections.”
The lawsuit is also based on Minnesota’s long-standing recognition of a public trust doctrine. Under this doctrine, certain natural and cultural resources are preserved for public use, which the government owns and must protect and maintain these resources for the public’s use. The public trust doctrine is a key tenant of environmental protection advocates nationwide.