The University of Minnesota’s Aquatic Invasive Species Center will receive $8.7 million to develop new techniques for fighting the spread of AIS after a new law was signed by Gov. Mark Dayton May 9.
That appropriation is the largest recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources. The 17-member commission recommended funding 46 projects during the upcoming biennium totaling more than $38 million. The new law, which is effective July 1, 2013, allows that funding to begin.
The money comes from the Natural Resources Trust Fund administered by LCCMR. The fund was created by constitutional amendment in 1988 using money generated by the Minnesota State Lottery.
Other appropriations in the law include:
- $3 million to the Board of Water and Soil Resources to continue providing grants to soil and water conservation districts and other units of local and state government. The funds are to hire staff to reenroll expiring lands and programs for conservation purposes;
- $1 million for the Department of Natural Resources to acquire authorized state trails and critical parcels within the boundaries of state parks; and
- $1 million for the DNR to continue the update and enhancement of wetland inventory maps for Minnesota.