The Crow Wing County Board approved their 2015 Aquatic Invasive Species Plan at their meeting this morning. The plan details priorities for the county in AIS prevention efforts and funding for the coming year.
2015 AIS Plan (Crow Wing County Website)
The Crow Wing County Board has approved the 2015 Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Plan for the treatment and prevention of invasive species in county waters. The 2015 AIS plan was developed with the input of area lake associations and concerned citizens in the summer and fall of 2014. Building upon the 2014 AIS plan, the 2015 plan focuses on the top priorities identified by these groups including; boat landing inspections, decontamination units, treatment of Eurasian water milfoil, education & awareness and innovative special projects. Funding for AIS prevention efforts was allocated by the state legislature in 2014 as part of the program aid given to Minnesota counties.
“Invasive species are a serious threat to our waters and the tourism business which supports our local economy. The 2015 plan builds on our status as a leader among Minnesota counties in the fight against the spread of AIS,” stated Commissioner Paul Thiede, who also sits on the statewide AIS Advisory Committee. “Definitive answers with universal agreement may not be in the cards right now but this utilizes the available resources in a manner that finds agreement with most of our partners.”
New in the 2015 plan, Crow Wing County Land Services has developed a model for focusing AIS prevention efforts based upon a risk classification system identifying lakes in greatest need of protection. The plan will also build on continuing efforts to increase coordination with the Department of Natural Resources, Mississippi Headwaters Board, local lake associations, neighboring counties and private sector interests focused on preventing the spread of AIS in our waters.
Full details of the 2015 AIS Prevention plan are posted on the Crow Wing County website, including maps identifying boat access sites where inspectors will be located during the boating season.