The Statewide Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Advisory Committee advises the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on its Aquatic Invasive Species Program. The 15 members and five ex-officio members bring a range of personal and professional experience to the discussion on preventing the spread of invasive plants and animals in our lakes, rivers, and wetlands. The Committee was appointed by DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr in December 2012 to help the DNR maintain strong relationships with AIS stakeholders.
The following outcomes are outlined in the Committee Charter:
- Excellent recommendations for improving DNR’s AIS program, including but not limited to review of current field operations, programs, research, policies and outreach materials.
- Effective suggestions and advice to other organizations on their AIS-related activities.
- Shared understanding among committee members of AIS issues and their impacts on citizens, lakeshore property owners, and recreationalists, as well as public, private, business, and non-profit organizations.
The charter describes the purpose and scope of the committee, how the members were selected, the roles and responsibilities of members, committee structure, and other details.
- Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Committee: Group Charter (Version 2 – March 24, 2016)
The 15 stakeholders appointed as members of the Committee have a range of personal and professional experiences with AIS issues, represent different parts of the state, are demographically diverse, have various recreational interests, have diverse educational backgrounds, and represent a range of private, nonprofit and public sector organizations that are actively engaged in AIS issues.
General Terms of Appointment
- The DNR Commissioner determines all appointments for up to four-year terms, based on recommendations from division managers.
- The DNR Commissioner will also consider such factors as interests, knowledge, experience, demography, and geographic distribution to maintain a mix of participation.
- Appointees may request mileage reimbursement but they are not eligible for a per diem.
- Appointees are not paid and must abide by requirements pertaining to potential conflicts of interest.
- Appointees are expected to participate in one meeting per month January through April and August through November (eight per year) in person or by phone or Skype with DNR support.
- Meetings are usually from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. in a central Minnesota location. Some individual work is done between meetings as well.
Appointed members meet eight times per year from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the DNR Sauk Rapids Office: 1035 South Benton Drive, Sauk Rapids, MN.
Angling, AIS and Access to Minnesota Lakes and Rivers: Open Space Meetings
To gain deeper understanding of natural resource issues important to Minnesotans, the DNR and the Minnesota Aquatic Invasive Species Advisory Committee hosted three public events around the theme: What can we do to more effectively address the issues of promoting access to Minnesota’s Lakes and Rivers, providing excellent recreational fishing, and stopping the spread of aquatic invasive species?
Using an Open Space format, a combined 186 attendees set the meeting agendas, led group discussions, exchanged different perspectives, and recorded notes. Active conversations among local residents, lake associations, anglers, local governments, and other interested participants explored how communities can work together better to address shared concerns. The DNR will share a summary of the meetings in its annual Invasive Species Report to the Minnesota Legislature. Both the DNR and the AIS Advisory Committee will be reviewing the notes to identify next steps and relevant management actions.
- Aug 1, Alexandria High School, Alexandria
- Aug 10, Central Lakes College, Brainerd
- Aug 15, Monticello High School, Monticello
Heidi Wolf, Invasive Species Program Supervisor, 651-259-5152