Reader's View: Changes needed in DNR
Well, it did take long for a major change to happen with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, after many years of Commissioner Tom Landwehr, we saw major declines and problems with fishing, hunting, trapping, chronic waste, invasive species, and even a decline in licensing. He was able to hold everyone hostage with the mining issues that are still eating away at our budget.
I know the state has a large surplus, but I would like to have seen an audit by our past state auditor to show us how much money was spent by the state Attorney General's Office, Army Corps of Engineers, and in attorney fees over mining issues. The endless number of meetings with more to come should have been taken care of by Gov. Mark Dayton and Landwehr.
The DNR needs major changes and its department heads who claim they want to be transparent with the public need to be observed closely.
A simple question on every hunting, fishing, and trapping permit form could ask whether DNR is doing its job. A rating of one to five, with one being the worst, could be used. This would be a type of evaluation of the DNR.
One more suggestion would be to make changes to the election process and eliminate the judge's category, as most everyone has never heard of those running. We could instead vote for the DNR commissioner, who would be familiar to voters.
There are only a couple years before another election; local legislators beware. Everyone who reads this can support an informal meeting between locals and the DNR for awareness in both directions. That would be a start.
I believe, in our governor's race, had either candidate promised any changes to the DNR, they would have gained support from those purchasing licenses.