Two pieces of legislation are of special significance to our area. Local ATV/Snowmobile clubs maintain many miles of grant-in-aid trails. The work is done by volunteers. The Department of Natural Resources uses a portion of the user-funded all-terrain vehicle account to reimburse the clubs for materials and the special equipment involved in that work.

Crow Wing County’s 2,000-acre Mississippi Northwoods Recreational Area includes grant-in-aid trails. Sand Creek dissects the recreation area presenting the need for a multi-use bridge that will allow safe crossing throughout all four seasons. We were able to include a $150,000 grant to Crow Wing County from the all-terrain vehicle account to support the necessary environmental review and design work for that bridge.

Of very special importance to our region is $4 million in Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) funding for the National Loon Center Foundation project at Crosslake.

LCCMR funds are generated by the Minnesota State Lottery. They are available for regional and statewide conservation projects of special merit. The National Loon Center project requires a match of at least $6 million. The foundation is well on its way to meeting the $6 million match requirement.

The project will provide a world class facility dedicated to the education about and protection of our state bird, the loon.

The National Loon Center at Crosslake is well on its way to joining Minnesota’s International Wolf Center at Ely and the National Eagle Center at Wabasha as Minnesota’s third world class center for environmental excellence.

Dale Lueck (R) is the state representative for District 10B.

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