Friday, February 25, 2011

Hubbard COLA wins lawsuit against Hubbard County

Hubbard County Judge Rasmussen agreed with Hubbard COLA, 5th Crow Wing Lake Association and Ed Mutsch in their case against Hubbard County and Rice Bay PUD. Judge Rasmussen issued a ruling Feb. 24, 2011 that Hubbard County’s Board of Adjustment’s (BOA) decision to grant Rice Bay PUD 11 boat slips instead of the 3 authorized by the Shoreland Management Ordinance (SMO) was arbitrary and capricious and not according to law because the BOA did not consider all the factors necessary for granting a variance under Section 1104 of the SMO and that not all the findings of the BOA regarding the variance are supported by the record. The Judge further noted that the Rehkamps (owners of Rice Bay PUD) created the need for applying for a variance by filing for a final plat with more than 3 boat slips. Such a need is not permissible under the SMO. The Judge also agreed that the Rehkamps can file for a final plat and install up to 3 boat slips as allowed by law.
This decision supports COLA’s initial premise in bringing the lawsuit that the Board of Adjustment violated the SMO rules and failed to follow their own procedural rules in authorizing more boat slips than are permissible under the SMO.
A copy of the legal decision and memo, along with COLA’s offfical message can be found in COLA’s website link or by contacting Larry Roberts at


Opportunity to Voice Concerns

Sharon Natzel attended the "West Metro AIS Plant Management Stakeholder Meeting" on 2/23/2011.  There were DNR representatives from varied areas of responsibility, Minnesota Waters co-hosts, lake management service providers, watershed district representatives, citizens and many lake associations taking part in the 6:30 to 8:30 PM discussion.  Group spin-arounds allowed each attendee to share concerns about AIS plants like Eurasian Watermilfoil, animals like Zebra Mussels and ideas for improving AIS management with the DNR staff.  We were also able to submit written comments.  Discussion notes are being compiled by Minnesota Waters along with all of the written comments for the DNR.  You may also participate by submitting your written comments directly to Minnesota Waters (email  Your comments will then be compiled for the DNR too.  We'll be hearing about training for volunteers to better monitor waters for AIS later this spring.
View Minnesota Waters latest e-newsletter here:  The Confluence, February 2011 issue

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snowshoeing/Wildlife Watch on Saturday

There is an opportunity on Saturday, February 26, 2011, to snowshoe with a park naturalist in Itasca State Park from 10am to noon.  The focus will be on looking for signs of winter wildlife.
Details:  Itasca Snowshoeing: Wildlife Watch

Later the same day (1:30 to 2:30pm) is a program for families called "Snowsnakes and Snowcones."   "Snowsnakes" is a winter game outdoors and there will be snowcone treats afterward inside the Jacob V. Brower Visitor Center.
Information:  Snowsnakes/Snowcones Family Outdoor Fun

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

2011 Lakes & Rivers Conference

Registration Notice from Minnesota Waters. (see "Quick Links")

Dear Friends, 
     We are pleased to announce that registration for the 2011 Lakes and Rivers Conference is now officially OPEN!  
     Register early to guarantee your place at the conference and to receive early-bird registration pricing.  Early registration (before March 31st) for the entire conference is only $120 for Minnesota Waters Members!

The conference will be April 27 - 29 in St. Cloud.
Discount available before 3/31/11.  Register Today!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

AIS Plant Management Meetings

Share your concerns about management of invasive aquatic plants in Minnesota

Minnesota Waters in partnership with MN DNR will host 4 regional meetings on aquatic invasive plant species management. Anyone who wants to learn about or share their input on AIS plant management is invited to attend these meetings. 

The link below will take you directly to the dates, times etc. for those 4 meetings.  

If someone is able to attend, please report back to the association by emailing your impressions of the meeting to

Thursday, February 3, 2011

AIS Prevention - Is Enough Being Done?

This article provides some interesting commentary on AIS issues in the Alexandria lakes area. The cost incurred by several of the lake associations is scary.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Drinking water... Nitrates.. Well Water

The League of Women Voters held a program about Park Rapids drinking water and nitrates.  Their guest speaker was Luke Stuewe from Dept of Agriculture.  He did a very good job of explaining the current situation for Park Rapids.  He did not focus on nitrates in well water for lake shore residents but said that it is possible to have a speaker come, if more people are interested.

There was an article in the Park Rapids Enterprise (2/2/2011) by Sarah Smith which also mentioned some of the information that Mr. Stuewe presented at the League meeting.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Community Ice Fishing Derby

For anyone who enjoys ice fishing and/or a competition - the 13th Annual American Legion Community Ice Fishing Derby will be held this Saturday, February 5, 2011, on Fish Hook Lake in Park Rapids, with $110,000 in prizes, including roughly 60 raffle prizes.
Find all the details here:  Park Rapids Fishing Derby