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IronDioPriest

Wright county: annandale boat inspection program will harm local economies

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IronDioPriest
Posted (edited)

Hi folks... I wanna specifically address fishermen and women, boaters, outdoorsmen and women, and their spouses and significant others. Also, anyone who believes that our right to access public waterways supported by our tax dollars, and managed for our benefit by the DNR, should not be infringed upon by special interests... listen up...

You may or may not know about a new program in Wright County to limit access to three lakes in the Annandale area where wealthy lake-home associations have coerced the County Board into implementing a pre-launch "AIS Inspection Station" in the city of Annandale. Anyone wishing to launch a watercraft on Lakes Sylvia, Pleasant, and John, must first travel to the city of Annandale (miles away from any boat landing), go through an inspection process, and be given permission to launch their boat in the form of a zip-tie on the trailer.

There are MANY problems with this inspection regime. One problem is its hours of operation. It is open from sunup to sundown. This means that if you wish to go fishing in the evening, or at night, or early in the morning, you must first travel to Annandale THE DAY BEFORE you wish to access the lake, and get your zip-tie. Needless to say, this will undoubtedly prove to be a big enough burden on boaters and anglers that many will simply choose to go elsewhere, which, we contend, is the unstated goal of the Lake Associations who have funded this effort to lobby the County Board. They want non-residents off "their" lake.

Another problem is the fact that these lakes are already unfortunately infested with AIS, which means inspecting boats on the way IN to the lake makes no logical sense. Only inspecting boats in their way OUT of an infested lake will have any chance of slowing or halting the spread of AIS.

Another problem is that local businesses in Annandale, Southhaven, and to a lesser extent Clearwater and Maple Lake, will be adversely affected by the reduction in commerce that WILL occur as people from outside these fine communities decide to take their watercraft elsewhere.

Another problem is the scope of this program, and the stated goals of those who are promoting it. They have said point-blank that they hope to have every county in MN look to Wright County as an example of what can be pushed through, as Lake Associations state-wide are organizing their resources and their political clout in an effort to see similar County ordinances implemented throughout Minnesota.

This could, in the future, lead to a scenario where every boater who does not own lake property will first be required to travel to a central County Inspection Station in whatever county they wish to launch their boat, before they will be given permission to launch at a lake that may be many miles away from the station.

We believe this is an infringement on the rights of Minnesota boaters and sportsmen to freely and responsibly access our public waterways. Even the DNR is skeptical of this program, but since it is a county matter, they are accepting it for now.

Sorry for the lengthy statement. Now I'd like to ask you to take action. We have organized a social media page, over 600-strong now.... Our goal is to gather as many concerned people as we can in this group - and then appeal to the Chambers of Commerce in these fine cities, to organize themselves and appeal to the County Board for a reversal of this misguided policy, on the grounds that it will harm them economically as people take their dollars elsewhere to avoid the infringement of the inspection regime.

If you haven't already, and you are concerned about liberty to access public waterways without undue burdens placed upon your access, would you consider lending your voice to ours, and joining our group? Thank you!

Join Us!

Edited by IronDioPriest

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jigginjim

If you live on the lake from what I have seen and heard they put the boasts ok n when nobody is at the ramp checking. So much for the great inspection, no decontamination after leaving the lake, that's a major issue I see. So far I have not seen any of the inspection crew at other lakes. Nobody on Constance, Buffalo or South ramp of Maple lake.

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