Our board and staff have developed strategic priorities for 2017 with your input from the annual interest survey. Every year, Conservation Minnesota creates this survey to find out what issues are most important to you. By taking our brief survey, you can set our work plan for the next year to protect our state’s Great Outdoors.
From protecting our lakes and rivers, to advocating for clean energy and jobs, to removing harmful toxins from children’s products, we take action on the issues you tell us are most important to protecting the Minnesota you love.
Here are the issues we are prioritizing this year:
Clean Water by 2050
The problems facing Minnesota’s waters are numerous and complex. In order to solve them, we must set goals that the public can understand and that can inspire the ingenuity of state and local governments, research universities, and Minnesota’s business community to find solutions for this growing problem. The Clean Water by 2050 bill was introduced to develop tangible statewide goals and deadlines that achieve clean drinking water by 2025 and clean lakes and rivers by 2050.
Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA)
The Toxic Free Kids Act (TFKA) requires manufacturers to disclose when any of the nine priority toxic chemicals are found in products designed for children under age twelve. Conservation Minnesota wants all Minnesotans to have the information necessary to decide how to live safe, healthy lives.
Today wind energy is the cheapest form of energy to produce in Minnesota, and year after year, wind and solar technologies are continuing to improve. Over the next 25 years most of our traditional power facilities will either need to be replaced or updated and Minnesota has an opportunity to reduce pollution and contain electricity costs by investing in renewables. Renewables First would require Electric Utilities to first consider low cost renewable generation when making new energy investments. Investments in fossil fuels would only be allowed in cases where renewables are either not cost effective or are not technically feasible to meet the need for reliable power.
Support for Local Recycling
The Solid Waste Tax was created to support local recycling efforts. Several years ago the legislature diverted 30% of this revenue to the general fund to solve a short-term budget crisis. Today, with a budget surplus, it is important to restore the money for its intended purpose and help local governments fund important community recycling programs.
Respect Citizen Councils and Commissions
Minnesota citizen experts play an integral role making conservation funding recommendations on the Clean Water Council, the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, and the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota’s Resources. These groups create a transparent system where all funding recommendations are publicly vetted before moving to the legislature for approval. At Conservation Minnesota we recognize the unique value that citizen councils and commissions play in protecting Minnesota’s clean water, wildlife habitat, and natural resources. We ask legislators to respect this process and not allow science to be replaced by politics.
Pollinators play many vital roles from helping propagate fruits, nuts, and vegetables in commercial agriculture to maintaining beautiful natural flowers in our backyards. However, pollinator populations have seen dramatic losses in the past few decades. Much of the pollinator population decline has been attributed to widespread overuse of pesticides, disruption of natural habitats, and numerous species-specific diseases and parasites. Conservation Minnesota will continue to support pollinator friendly legislation to reduce pesticide use and improve habitat. Additionally, we must support pollinator research at cutting edge facilities like the University of Minnesota Bee Lab.
A minute of your time will become Conservation Minnesota’s work next year. And that work will become projects and programs that will benefit generations to come. So, please, take a moment and tell us what you think is most important to leave as a legacy for future generations.