Do you purchase hunting or fishing licenses and wonder how the money is spent? Are you interested in good stewardship of budgeted funds and how agency operations are funded through licenses and related monies? If so, here is an opportunity to play an active oversight role.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is seeking at least 13 Minnesotans to fill two-year terms on the Fisheries Oversight Committee (FOC) and Wildlife Oversight Committee (WOC) for the Game and Fish Fund. Minnesotans who want to serve on an oversight committee must submit an online application by Monday, September 20, 2021.
The Game and Fish Fund contains revenue from hunting and fishing license sales, a sales tax on lottery tickets, sales of critical habitat license plates and other sources of revenue, including a reimbursement based on a federal excise tax on certain hunting, fishing and boating equipment.
The DNR is committed to appointing a diverse mix of Minnesotans who bring a variety of knowledge and interests about hunting, fishing, and trapping. Applicants must have a strong interest in monitoring the proper expenditure of funds received from licenses, permits, stamps, and related revenue sources. This request for applications provides important information about eligibility and what is needed of appointed members.
- What do these committees do?
These committees write an annual report about how DNR should spend funds from the Game and Fish Fund. The committees have served since 1995 under Minnesota Statutes, section 97A.055, subd. 4b. Meetings are usually in the evening after regular business hours.
Members work together on reviewing the agency’s annual Game and Fish Fund Report on how the DNR has spent money from the Game and Fish Fund. Each committee reviews the report in detail, requests additional information as needed, discusses questions and any issues of concern, and drafts a report on their findings. An umbrella Budgetary Oversight Committee (BOC) addresses matters of common concern and merges the FOC and WOC reports into a final joint citizen oversight report.
Each member will need an email address, access to a computer, and a broadband Internet connection to participate effectively in committee work.
Minnesotans who want to serve on an oversight committee must submit an online application by Wednesday, September 20, 2021. This is a self-nomination process.
- Are you eligible?
- To be eligible, an applicant must meet both of these requirements:
- Be a Minnesota resident; and
- Purchased a personal or commercial Minnesota licenses for hunting, fishing, or trapping since January 1, 2020, or licensed their vehicle with an active critical habitat license plate.
- Appointed members may serve up to six consecutive years. Current members interested in another term must apply again and are not guaranteed appointment to another term.
- Seasonal and temporary employees of the Minnesota DNR Fish and Wildlife Division become eligible for appointment one year after the end of their last employment with the DNR.
- Retired and former full-time employees of the Minnesota DNR Fish and Wildlife Division and all current employees of the state of Minnesota are considered ineligible for appointment.
- To be eligible, an applicant must meet both of these requirements:
- Are you available?
- At an annual kickoff meeting in early January, DNR managers give all members an overview of the latest DNR Game and Fish Fund Report. The members start getting acquainted and planning their committee work.
- Fisheries and Wildlife Oversight committees (FOC and WOC) meet on the first and third Thursdays* of the month from January to May. The meetings start at 5:30 or 6 p.m. by agreement of the group and end by 8:30 or 9 p.m.
- Budgetary Oversight Committee (BOC) meets the fourth Thursday of the month from January to May. BOC meetings start at 5:30 or 6:00 PM by agreement of the group and end by 8:30 or 9:00 PM. Five members of each committee also serve on this umbrella Budgetary Oversight Committee (BOC) and the commissioner appoints a BOC Chair to make it a group of eleven.
* Day corrected
- Can you make the time commitment?
- Members of the FOC and WOC meet twice a month in the evening. Participating in the BOC adds another meeting every month. You will need to be available for those meetings and to work on assignments between meetings in order to help the group produce results. Estimated annual hours for an FOC or WOC member are 30 to 35 hours (including meetings, research/individual work, and writing) plus travel time.
- Members chosen by the FOC and WOC to serve on the Budgetary Oversight Committee (BOC) have an additional time commitment. The BOC meets monthly, January to May, at 5:30 to 8:00 p.m. The estimated annual hours for a BOC member are 15 meeting hours, 3 hours of at-home work, plus travel time. BOC members can participate via Skype to minimize travel time. Some additional work may be necessary after the May meeting to wrap up details and vote on the report.
- What else do members need if appointed?
- Email address: These committees rely on email for communication and some file-sharing. You will need an email address and you must check it frequently when the group is active. A backup phone number will help the group chair and DNR manager liaison stay in touch.
- Access to a computer: Members works together to write a report. You will need regular access to a computer so you can contribute to and comment on documents being drafted.
- Expenses: Members can request reimbursement of mileage costs for attending meetings in person. The DNR cannot offer compensation or reimbursement of other expenses.
- How does the DNR support these committees?
- The DNR hosts a kickoff meeting for all new and continuing members. We also provide staff support for each committee to answer questions and provide more information.
- Members participate using Webex or similar online technology. When in-person meetings are possible, they are hosted at the DNR central office with online access for those who cannot travel. Supper is provided in the DNR Central Office for members attending meetings there after regular business hours.
- What are the terms of appointment?
- Minnesotans who want to serve on an oversight committee must submit an online application by Wednesday, September 20, 2021. This is a self-nomination process.
- Members are appointed to a two-year term starting in January 2022. Terms on this committee are staggered so that half of the committee is up for appointment every year.
- Appointments are competitive and members are not guaranteed another consecutive term. Appointed committee members must apply again if they are interested in continuing to serve for another term. Oversight committee members are limited to serving a maximum of six consecutive years.
- We use all of the following factors to get a diverse mix of participants in each committee:
- Interests, knowledge, and experience
- Age, gender, and race/ethnicity
- Geographic distribution
- Finalists for appointment are checked for game, fish, and aquatic invasive species law violations recorded within the past three years.
- A member must inform the DNR of current and potential conflicts of interest before and during their appointment.
- How to apply
- Read all of the above information before you start your application.
- Submit your online application by Monday, September 20, 2021.
- For more information
- The following managers are available if you have questions about this opportunity: