Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council
Also known as:
Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council
Function: Minn. Stat. 97A.056, Subd. 3.Council recommendations. (a) The council shall make recommendations to the legislature on appropriations of money from the outdoor heritage fund that are consistent with the Constitution and state law and that take into consideration the outcomes of, including, but not limited to, the Minnesota Conservation and Preservation Plan, that directly relate to the restoration, protection, and enhancement of wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife, and that prevent forest fragmentation, encourage forest consolidation, and expand restored native prairie. The council shall submit its initial recommendations to the legislature no later than April 1, 2009. Subsequent recommendations shall be submitted no later than January 15 each year. The council shall present its recommendations to the senate and house of representatives committees with jurisdiction over the environment and natural resources budget by February 15 in odd-numbered years, and within the first four weeks of the legislative session in even-numbered years. The council's budget recommendations to the legislature shall be separate from the Department of Natural Resource's budget recommendations.
(b) To encourage and support local conservation efforts, the council shall establish a conservation partners program. Local, regional, state, or national organizations may apply for matching grants for restoration, protection, and enhancement of wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife, prevention of forest fragmentation, encouragement of forest consolidation, and expansion of restored native prairie.
(c) The council may work with the Clean Water Council to identify projects that are consistent with both the purpose of the outdoor heritage fund and the purpose of the clean water fund.
(d) The council may make recommendations to the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources on scientific research that will assist in restoring, protecting, and enhancing wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife, preventing forest fragmentation, encouraging forest consolidation, and expanding restored native prairie.
Active dates:Effective November 15, 2008 upon approval of constitutional amendment Nov. 4, 2008.
An Outdoor Heritage Fund was created by the legislature to receive 33 percent of the sales tax revenues resulting from the constitutional amendment passed by the voters in the November 2008 election.
Minn. Stat. 97A.056, Subdivision 1 - An outdoor heritage fund, under article XI, section 15, of the Minnesota Constitution, is established as an account in the state treasury. All money earned by the outdoor heritage fund must be credited to the fund. At least 99 percent of the money appropriated from the fund must be expended to restore, protect, and enhance wetlands, prairies, forests, and habitat for fish, game, and wildlife.
The original name of the Council, the Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council, was changed by the 2009 legislature. The council was named for former Senator Bob Lessard in honor of the lawmaker's 10-year effort to put the tax proposal on the ballot. Lessard, long a champion of hunting and fishing causes in the state, sought the council's establishment in order to prevent lawmakers from "redirecting the money at their political whims." In 2009 the name was changed to include former Senator Dallas Sams and related naming legislation was passed (see 2009 Minn. Laws Chap. 101 Art. 2 Sec. 17. NAMING. Laws enacted on or after July 1, 2009, must not be named for living people, and laws may not name councils, buildings, roads, or other facilities or entities after living people).
See 2009 Laws of Minnesota, Chapter 172, Article 1, Section 8. Revisor's Instruction regarding the name change. The 2009 Legacy bill is effective July 1, 2009.
The Lessard Outdoor Heritage Council of 12 members was created in the legislative branch in 2008, consisting of:
(1) two public members appointed by the senate Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration;
(2) two public members appointed by the speaker of the house;
(3) four public members appointed by the governor;
(4) two members of the senate appointed by the senate Subcommittee on Committees of the Committee on Rules and Administration; and
(5) two members of the house of representatives appointed by the speaker of the house.
Record last updated:
Additional print information on this group may be available in the
Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for
assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.