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Wright County News

Posted on: April 18, 2019

DNR rejects expanded 2019 boat inspection program

Boat inspection

At this week’s Wright County Board of Commissioners meeting, Chairman Darek Vetsch shared a letter from the Department of Natural Resources which rejected the County’s proposed 2019 boat inspection program.

“Wright Regional Inspection Program at this time will not be in operation in Wright County in any of the lakes,” Vetsch stated. “The DNR would allow the program to continue in its same capacity, basically not adding any lakes and not modifying any enforcement. Through committee discussions, it wasn't found favorable to continue the program in that small capacity.”

Commissioners expressed disappointment that the expansion to include more lakes and creating a self-inspection program were flatly denied by the DNR. Commissioner Christine Husom called the outcome ironic. She referenced a 2013 DNR study on regional inspections and their cost-effectiveness. “The County passed the ordinance in support of their (DNR) findings,” Husom said. “They found reasons to not let us operate, essentially.” Husom added that the proposed self-inspection training for boaters would have increased the number of citizens educated about invasive species.

Vetsch said that Wright Soil and Water Conservation District would transition back to 2016 protocol when random inspections were done at ramps throughout the county. Allocation of funds will be based on lake size and traffic flow.

“This AIS (aquatic invasive species) group is still intending to meet and there will be some more discussions on where to go from here,” Vetsch said.

See the full board discussion in the video replay, the boat inspection topic starts at 1:49:50 

Click here to see the DNR letter with a memorandum from the County Attorney’s office related to the repeal of section 131.07 of the County’s Code of Ordinances.

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