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News & Insights
Lebanon Hills
Saint Paul Capitol at sunset
by David Pelikan, Policy Associate

This week, legislators return from their mid-session break to begin negotiating final omnibus bills and a bonding bill. Here’s an update on where the Legislature stands at half-time.

oak tree leafs out in spring
Branch out on Earth Day!
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

Born out of a movement to build awareness of pollution, Earth Day is a day to act for the environment. From its origin in 1970, it has grown into modern environmentalism today, bringing together over 1 billion people each year to work for the home we all share. Here are some easy ways to start out the season in support of the Earth this Friday, April 22.

Taking out the recycling
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

In the world of disposable masks and takeout bags—we built up a lot of waste. In 2020 the amount of garbage that ended up in landfills increased by over 30%. MN's SCORE program provides counties with grants to address waste through reuse and recycling. Today SCORE is in jeopardy as over 30% of the solid waste management tax, the primary source of funding, is being diverted to the state’s General Fund instead of being used for its intended purpose. 

recycling collection center sign near park
by Nels Paulsen, Policy Director

Increasing recycling and limiting waste is a vital aspect of protecting our environment and the people who rely on it. Conservation Minnesota is a strong supporter of returning diverted revenue from the solid waste management tax, back to counties for SCORE grants which can be used for recycling and composting. Last week, Policy Director Nels Paulsen presented to the House Environment committee in support of HF 2367.

Saint Paul Capitol lawn
Session has begun at the Saint Paul Capitol

At Conservation Minnesota, we’re committed to making changes right now to find progress and pragmatic steps forward. Building on successes in 2021, we are optimistic that we can help one of only two divided state legislatures in the country Get to Yes on key policies again this year.

Frank Moe mushing and Darby Nelson in river with a canoe
Frank Moe and Darby Nelson
by Paul Austin, Executive Director

The conservation community lost two champions within days of each other earlier this year. As board members, both Darby Nelson and Frank Moe shaped our work. They were very different people, but I’m struck by what they had in common. Both men shared a deep love for Minnesota’s outdoors.

Tomatoes for sale
by Keely Cervantes, Food & Agriculture Program Manager

Conservation Minnesota supports the companion bills by Representative Lippert and Senator Murphy to strengthen our regional and local food systems. We believe that to better understand and grow Minnesota’s food and agriculture economy, and to develop effective policy, there is a need for accurate baseline reporting and support. 

Saint Paul Capitol with daffodils blooming in foreground
by Nels Paulsen, Policy Director

Minnesota’s 2022 legislative session is underway. Before the end of May, our legislators will likely pass a bonding bill, negotiate a budget surplus, and determine any other bills they want to turn into law. Learn about some of Conservation Minnesota’s priority policy areas in the 2022 legislative session. 

Two people walk on snowy paths through wooded park
Enjoying the snow in Battle Creek Regional Park in Ramsey County
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

Winter is a special time of year filled with snowy pine trees, nights on the rink, and warm bonfires shared with friends and family. But climate change is beginning to threaten the way we recreate outdoors. Beloved activities like cross country skiing and ice fishing are becoming increasingly harder to do. 

Person stands by rocks at Mississippi headwaters
Mississippi River Headwaters at Itasca State Park
by Olivia Rivera, Storyteller & Copywriter

All over Minnesota there are relics of CCC projects—the steps across the Mississippi headwaters at Itasca, the great stone and log cabins in Gooseberry State Park. Today's Conservation Corps builds for new challenges. As the impacts of climate change grow, program leaders hope to expand the CCC legacy through a new program—the Civilian Climate Corps.