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Governor Dayton Announces $70 Million Investment in 13 New Corridors of Commerce Transportation Projects

Posted on October 07, 2014 at 2:48 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Greater Minnesota, Public Safety, Transportation

2014_10_07_corridors_of_commerce_press.JPG

Governor Dayton announces Corridors of Commerce transportation projects


Today, Governor Mark Dayton announced the acceleration of 13 more transportation projects in addition to the 14 prior to date. In 2014, Governor Dayton and the Legislature invested in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, which will be funding twelve of these plans. The final project – the expansion of Highway 371 to four lanes from Nisswa to Jenkins – was funded in part by $45 million in cost savings at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDOT).

“These projects will reduce travel times, improve safety for Minnesota citizens, and help our businesses transport their products more efficiently,” said Governor Dayton, who working with the Legislature in 2013 and 2014 invested over $331 million in the new Corridors of Commerce initiative. “The number of projects from all over our state, which sought financing from this program, underscores the acute need for more transportation funding.”

State savings through efficiencies will accelerate the Highway 371 expansion project by two years, which means that MnDOT will begin construction in 2016, two years earlier than planned.  This was made possible with funding from new investments in the Corridors of Commerce initiative, as well as the cost savings. Altogether, 27 transportation projects have received Corridors of Commerce funding since November 2013.


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Worthington to host Pheasant Opener in October

Posted on September 24, 2014 at 4:19 PM
Categories: Outdoors

Governor Dayton at last year's opener

Worthington is proudly known for its annual “King Turkey Day,” but this southwestern Minnesota town will now be rolling out the red carpet for another tasty bird. Next month, the 2014 Governor’s Pheasant Opener will be held in Worthington, which offers hunters several thousand acres of prime public land.

This year’s Worthington Opener is expected to be a productive one for Minnesota hunters. The 2014 Pheasant hunting survey shows that southwestern Minnesota is expected to have some of the best conditions across the state this fall. 

However, hunting is hardly the only fun activity available to visitors. The Worthington area is home to great fishing, biking, and hiking opportunities as well, and for those looking for a less rigorous vacation, Worthington and surrounding communities offer great restaurants, golf courses, and museums.


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Minnesota leads Electronic Waste Recycling Initiative

Posted on September 18, 2014 at 12:25 PM
Categories: Environment, Earth Day, Technology, Public Safety, Outdoors

Governor Dayton today visited Richfield-based Best Buy to thank the company as it celebrates over one billion pounds of consumer electronic recycled since 2009. In honor of Best Buy’s progress and to highlight the continued importance of recycling, the Governor also declared it to be “Electronic Waste Recycling Recognition Day” in Minnesota.


“Best Buy is an industry leader in helping consumers to recycle their old electronics,” said Governor Mark Dayton. “Their efforts are good for Minnesota's environment and consumers. I thank Best Buy for their outstanding leadership and for their continuing commitment to responsible environmental stewardship.”

Today’s celebration builds on Minnesota’s 2007 Electronic Recycling Act, which requires all computer and TV monitors to be recycled when discarded and placed specific requirements on electronic manufacturers' treatment of waste.

What is electronic waste?
E-waste, as it’s called, is what’s created when electronic materials are disposed. This can include cellphones, computers, printers, televisions, and digital cameras. As technology continues to advance and we continue to upgrade our devices, the amount of e-waste we produce continues to rise as well.

Unlike throwing away a piece of paper, however, disposing of electronics can have a huge impact on the environment and on our health; e-waste contains high levels of lead, cadmium, and other chemicals that can pollute the ground and water supply if they aren’t properly disposed of. Electronic waste should always be taken to certified recycling facilities that are trained to manage these hazardous chemicals.

To find electronic waste collectors in Minnesota and help ensure your e-waste is properly disposed of, visit the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency website. 

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Governor Dayton with Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly



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Governor Dayton Reconvenes Stakeholders for Discussion on Propane Supply and Demand

Posted on September 09, 2014 at 2:01 PM
Categories: Trade Mission, Environment, Public Safety, Outdoors

For more than 200,000 households in Minnesota, propane is the primary source of heat. With winter steadily approaching, Governor Mark Dayton is reconvening stakeholders today in Saint Paul to discuss the current propane supply and any factors that could impact demand for heating fuel this winter.
 
After an unprecedented propane shortage last winter, Governor Dayton is convening today’s propane summit in a proactive effort to help mitigate propane supply shortages in the winter months ahead. The Governor will be joined by representatives from the propane, agriculture and rail industries as well as his Commissioners of Agriculture, Commerce, Pollution Control, and Transportation for the discussion.
 
“During last winter’s propane shortage, this group worked to ensure the safety of all Minnesotans,” said Governor Dayton, who first convened propane stakeholders and state regulators last January. “Working together in the months ahead, they will do everything possible to prevent shortages, reduce drastic price increases, and provide all Minnesotans with fuel for the fall harvest and for their winter comfort and safety.”


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Albert Lea’s Fountain Lake to Benefit from Environmental Improvements

Posted on June 13, 2014 at 3:01 PM
Categories: Environment, Outdoors

Governor Dayton joined with legislators, advocates, and community members for the signing of the 2014 Jobs Bill 

Today, overlooking beautiful Fountain Lake in Albert Lea, Governor Dayton was joined legislators, community members, and advocates for a ceremonial signing of the 2014 Jobs Bill. The legislation, signed into law by Governor Dayton last month, invested $7.5 million in environmental improvements for Fountain Lake aimed at improving water quality, fishing, and recreational opportunities. 
 
Fountain Lake, which spans 555 acres, is a popular summertime destination for boating, swimming, water skiing, fishing, canoeing, and kayaking; activities that have an important impact on the City of Albert Lea’s economy and tourism industry.
 
This project will benefit the people that live here and visit this area, as well as the kids who will benefit from the soccer complex and from better lake conditions,” said Governor Mark Dayton. The bonding bill is where we make investments in the future of Minnesota – from buildings, education facilities, and our natural resources.  So it’s a very, very good project and I am very glad to have been part of it.

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DNR’s new website makes it easy to find the Minnesota state park that’s the best fit

Posted on June 11, 2014 at 1:09 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Reform

Minnesota State Parks Website Park Finder

Looking for the perfect Minnesota weekend getaway? With the Minnesota DNR’s new website, just a few clicks will get you there.

Just in time for National Get Outdoors Day on Saturday, June 14, the Department of Natural Resources is revealing a new tool called ParkFinder, which will help users plan any outdoor adventure at one of Minnesota’s 75 state parks and recreation areas to best match their needs and interests. With just a few clicks, users can enter search criteria, view the results, and make a reservation. 

Search options include where to find: 

  • Nature programs.
  • Trails – including hiking, biking, horse, ski and snowmobile trails.
  • Rental equipment – including canoes, kayaks, stand-up paddleboards, cross-country skis and snowshoes. 
  • Overnight camping and lodging facilities – including drive-in, cart-in and canoe-in campsites; RV sites; camper cabins and more.
  • Amenities – such as beaches, playgrounds, fishing piers and picnic shelters, including which ones are accessible to wheelchairs and other mobility-assist devices.

This year, Governor Dayton signed the first Plain Language Initiative as part of the Unsession, which directs all state agencies to use commonly used language, write in clear and concise sentences, and present information in a format that is easy to understand for Minnesotans.


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Reasons to Preen: Minnesota's EagleCam

Posted on March 11, 2014 at 10:24 AM
Categories: Outdoors

An EagleCam still from the MNDNR website

An EagleCam still from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's website

Minnesota’s winter has ruffled a few feathers over the past few months for Minnesotans, but the Bald Eagles featured on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s EagleCam are taking the cold weather in stride. For the second year the EagleCam project features a live feed of a Bald Eagle nest in the Twin cities metro area. It is a great opportunity to see Minnesota’s thriving wildlife up-close without a trek through the ice and snow. 

Despite the frigid weather, these Bald Eagles continue to soar in internet hits and views. EagleCam received 21,771 visits from 50 states and 54 countries on its first day broadcasting. These eagles don’t just preen for the camera though—viewers watch the Bald Eagle couple work hard together, switching between incubating the eggs, feeding, and protecting the nest. 

These two eagles aren’t the only team featured in this project. EagleCam is a collaborative project between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, their information technology staff, and the Minnesota Information Technology Central staff. This year their teamwork has brought the addition of mobile support to viewers. People from all over can enjoy a glimpse into the life of some of Minnesota’s finest residents.


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Worthington to Host 2014 Pheasant Opener

Posted on October 12, 2013 at 10:00 AM
Categories: Economy, Sports, Outdoors, Jobs

On Lake Okabena in Worthington

Move over turkeys.  Come next fall, pheasants will get top billing in the City of Worthington. The Minnesota community known for its annual King Turkey Day will be making room for visiting pheasant hunters.  

Governor Mark Dayton announced Worthington as the 2014 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener Host City, during this year’s opener banquet in Madelia. Hunters who attend the 2014 Pheasant Opener will have the opportunity to enjoy more than 4,800 acres of public hunting land in the Worthington-area.

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New License Plate Unveiled At Pheasant Opener

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 8:00 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Public Safety, Commerce

The new license plate unveiled at Pheasant Opener

The new license plate unveiled at the Pheasant Opener.


On Friday Governor Mark Dayton announced that a new ring-necked pheasant critical habitat license plate will be available later this fall. Governor Dayton made the announcement during the Governor’s Banquet at the Pheasant Hunting Opener, hosted by the City of Madelia. 

The first critical habitat plate was created in 1995 as a way for Minnesota citizens to voluntarily contribute to conservation and show that commitment with a special outdoor-themed vehicle license plate. More than 100,000 Minnesota vehicles have critical habitat license plates, with the 2002 loon plate being the most popular. These plates generate about $3.5 million per year. They have generated more than $44 million for habitat conservation since the program began. 

Motorists who have purchased habitat plates have helped wildlife in every corner of the state. They have funded Wildlife Management Area acquisitions, trout stream easements and helped support loons, eagles, rare plants and many other species. The new pheasant plate will help us preserve some of our rapidly disappearing grasslands – which are critical to the future of pheasants.


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Minnesota: Land of 10,000 Outdoor Experiences

Posted on June 28, 2013 at 3:09 PM
Categories: Outdoors, Sports

Minnesota Outdoor Experiences
Minnesota is home to 72 beautiful state parks,  including Bear Head Lake State Park shown above.

Forget your Facebook. Ignore that Netflix cue. Quit Instagramming your lunch, and fry up a walleye caught fresh from the crystal clear waters of Minnesota’s beautiful lakes. 

It’s Friday, Minnesota – and that means it’s time to turn off your smartphones and discover all that the Minnesota outdoors have to offer (you won’t have service where you’re going anyway).The Minnesota outdoors simply has too much to miss out on.

Our great state is home to 72 state parks, 58 state forests, 24 biking and biking trails, 33 water trails, 16.3 million acres of forest land – and of course 10,000 lakes (Shh, it’s actually 11,842, but if you won’t tell, we won’t either.) Not to mention, we're the Best Trails State in America.

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