Each year, a council of legislators and citizens (the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council) makes recommendations for allocating dedicated Outdoor Heritage Funds created by the state’s Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment. The Legislature must then approve these recommendations
In 2020, the Lessard-Sams Council received project requests totaling $324 million, two and a half times the available funds of $137 million. The council reviewed the projects through a public process and ultimately recommended 44 projects for funding. These projects include protection and restoration of prairies, forests, wetlands, lakes, and rivers across Minnesota. The Council’s recommendations are strongly supported by the conservation community.
A bill was introduced approving the Council’s recommendation, along with certain consensus adjustments necessary to adjust for declining revenue as a result of the state’s COVID-19 crisis.