Cable Television Shows

Conservation Sportsman News is nonpartisan and seeks to inform the public about policies, programs and practices that affect Minnesota’s great outdoors.

January 2012

Seen January - June in seven-county metro cable stations on Channel 6:
- Charter
- Comcast
- Mediacom
Also in outstate Minnesota: Buffalo, Hutchinson, Litchfield, Marshall, and Saint Cloud.

March 2011

Date Topics Summary & Commentary
02/26/2011 "Hunting Works for MN and Economic Impact of Hunting"

Ron Schara and MDHA's Mark Johnson tell about a new group on the scene.
Ron Schara and Mark Johnson of the Minnesota Deer Hunters Assn. spoke about a new group they Co-Chair, Hunting Works for Minnesota. This organization is composed of individual citizens, sportsman groups and businesses that seek to get the word out about the economic importance of hunting and shooting sports to Minnesota. According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, hunting brings almost one-half BILLION dollars to Minnesota's economy. While Hunting Works for Minnesota is not a specific lobbying group, it does allow information on issues to be disseminated to its members. Then it is up to individuals to take their own action on matters whether it be contacting their legislators or other officials.

Kevin's Commentary:Hunting Works for Minnesota definitely takes a different emphasis than most other groups. Its focus is on the economic benefits of hunting and might help tremendously in getting the attention of our legislators who often dwell only on the costs associated with managing our fish and wildlife. One-half BILLION dollars annually cannot be ignored. Since membership in the organization is free via signup at www.huntingworksformn.com, why wouldn't everyone join their efforts?
“Legislators Discuss Legacy Funding and also No-Net-Gain of Public Lands”

Sen. Ingebrigtsen & Rep. McNamara discuss Lessard-Sams Council and their views on new acquisition of land.
Two of the most influential committee chairs in our State Legislature on hunting, fishing and outdoor issues joined me on the show. Senator Bill Ingebrigtsen, Chair of Senate Environment & Natural Resources and Rep. Denny McNamara, Chair of House Environment, Energy & Natural Resources shared their views about the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council and future legislation regarding land acquisition. It appears that both legislators see the need for continued acquisition but No-Net-Gain bills will likely still be heard in their committees.

Kevin’s Commentary:While it appears that both of these legislators are in favor of continued acquisition of lands for public use, the dynamics at the Capitol do involve 199 other legislators. If sportsmen and sportswomen feel it is important to continue to have lands purchased for public enjoyment including hunting and fishing then it is necessary for legislators to hear their comments.
“Minnesota Walk-In Access – New Era for Hunters”

DNR’s Bill Penning and BWSR’s Kevin Lines share how this program is being developed.
Bill Penning of the Minnesota DNR and Kevin Lines of the Board of Water & Soil Resources, shared how the new Walk-In Access program for additional hunting opportunities is being developed. Bill Penning is the DNR Farmland Wildlife Manager and is in charge of the overall administration of this program including the grant application for Federal Farm Bill funding. Kevin Lines is responsible for working with the various County Soil & Water Districts that will eventually do voluntary signups with landowners into the program. These lands will be open to the taking of all wild game during Minnesota’s open hunting seasons beginning in September of 2011 through the spring turkey hunt of 2014. Currently, 21 counties in southwest Minnesota are within the Walk-In Access Pilot Program. Funding for walk-in access will expire in 2014 unless it is renewed in the 2012 Farm Bill.

Kevin’s Commentary:Walk-In access does not add additional new habitat acres but does provide temporary access to existing habitat already in place in Federal and perpetual easement programs of CRP, CREP, RIM and WRP. There is no additional habitat improvement funds available for the duration of this program and no walk-in stamp is planned at this time. A person has to wonder if it might not be worthwhile to consider a Walk-In Stamp of perhaps $10 to augment these new walk-in areas to become even more wildlife productive. Perhaps such a stamp could provide food plots and practices to rejuvenate grasslands on these old CRP tracts and easement lands. This might be enough to pull more wildlife through our severe winters and provide quality nesting cover when Spring returns.