Wednesday, October 23, 2013

October 22, 2013 Meeting Minutes

Minnesota River Watershed Alliance Meeting Minutes
Oct. 22, 2013, Turner Hall, New Ulm

Facilitators: Brad Cobb and Cathi Fouchi
Recorder: Forrest Peterson
Food and refreshments provided by Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River and New Ulm Area Sport Fishermen

Primary meeting topics:

·         The status of the national Blueway nomination.

·         Ideas for Alliance activities in 2014.

With a unanimous vote, the Alliance approved drafting language supporting continuation of the Blueway effort, to be used on individual postcards mailed or delivered to the office of the Secretary of the Interior, Sally Jewell.

The next Alliance meeting Jan. 21, 2014 at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson, will discuss ideas for the primary activities during 2014:

·         Continue the Blueway effort, either through the Department of the Interior, or by the Alliance itself.

·         Report on achievements in the two decades following the 1994 pronouncement by Gov. Arne Carlson. Success stories (some compiled by MSW-WRC).

·         Celebration event, eg. Governor’s paddle event.

·         Education plan – Schools, Facebook, social media

Blueway project discussion:

Scott Sparlin reported that Congressman Tim Walz agreed to lead the effort to advance the Blueway nomination in Washington. He plans to meet soon with Secretary Jewell. The Dept. of the Interior will be reviewing the Blueway program, and may decide by the end of November whether or not to continue. Some changes have been made to the federal Blueway website. The federal shutdown slowed the process.

A postcard mailing campaign to Secretary Jewell will urge continuing the program. Other ways to promote the program include: Sending opinion articles to news media, send a delegation to meet with Secretary Jewell in Washington, seek renewed support from the governor, greater involvement of tribes, connect with education/schools, attend meetings to distribute postcards.

Brainstorm ideas for other groups to involve in the project. Follow up on the tour to Sisseton and stay connected with that community. Tap into the recent focus on the nitrogen study and statewide nutrient reduction strategy.
The Blueway steering team will draft language for the postcard, and plan distribution.

Other business:

Scott Sparlin gave an update on the Minnesota River Board’s reorganization efforts. One option is creating a 29-member board, composed of 13 elected officials, 13 appointed by watershed organizations, and 3 from under-represented groups. A basin-wide tax could raise $8 million, most going for projects. The name would be the Minnesota River Basin Board. The Board of Water and Soil Resources is helping draft language; a new structure would require legislative approval. Scott was a member of an advisory group for the project. The next River Board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 25 at the Sheep Shedde in Olivia.


Ron Bolduan, River Rangers

Brad Cobb, Green Corridors

Cathi Fouchi, DNR

Dennis Frederickson, DNR

Deb Groebner, DNR

Chantill Kahler-Royer

Gary Lentz

Sue Loose

Kim Olson, New Ulm Area Sport Fishermen, CCMR

Forrest Peterson, MPCA

Franz Albert Richter, CURE

Greg Roiger, Brown SWCD

Scott Sparlin, CCMR, FMV, NUASF

Lee Sundmark, DNR

Ted Suss

Chad Wengert, River Rangers

Lori Wengert, River Rangers

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Minnesota River Watershed Alliance fall meeting Oct. 22 at Turner Hall in New Ulm

Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River and New Ulm Area Sport Fishermen are co-hosting the fall meeting of the Minnesota River Watershed Alliance, Tuesday, Oct. 22 at Turner Hall in New Ulm. They will provide brats, buns, kraut, and soft drinks at 6 p.m.; all are invited to bring a side dish to share. The regular meeting will be at 7 p.m. The main topic of business will be an update on the Blueway nomination for the Minnesota River. The Turner Hall is located at 102 S. State St. The Turners originated in Germany in the early 1800s as a gymnastic society. Besides serving as physical education, social, political and cultural organizations for German immigrants, Turners were also active in the American public education and the labor movements (Wikipedia).
Thanks to our event sponsors!