DNR to update state list of threatened, endangered speciesPublished 6:31pm Wednesday, December 12, 2012
A state list established nearly 30 years ago to highlight plants and animals at risk of disappearing from Minnesota’s landscape is about to get updated, and the public is invited to comment.
The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources is proposing to remove 15 plants and 14 animals from Minnesota’s list of endangered, threatened and special-concern species, while adding 67 animals and 114 plants.
“The ultimate goal of putting a plant or animal on the list isn’t to put up walls around it; it’s to find ways to get it back off the list,” said Rich Baker, DNR endangered species coordinator. “There are plenty examples of that happening. It doesn’t have to come at the expense of economic growth and prosperity.”
Many of the proposed changes arise out of new information compiled from field surveys and other sources. At the same time, some types of habitat have become increasingly rare, further jeopardizing certain kinds of plants and animals.
Minnesota’s endangered species law prohibits taking or possessing endangered and threatened species except in certain situations.
Five public hearings will be held before an administrative law judge to provide opportunities for public comment. All hearings begin at 6 p.m., with the local meeting happening Tuesday, Jan. 29 at the Ramada Hotel and Conference Room, 1517 16th St. SW, Rochester.
People wishing to comment on proposed changes may present testimony at these hearings. Written comments also may be submitted to the Office of Administrative Hearings, 600 N. Robert St., St. Paul, MN 55164-0620; or by email to email@example.com.
More information is available at www.dnr.state.mn.us/ets/rulesrevision.html.