January 2013 Meeting

For the start of the new year, one item of business was for the chair of the commission to appoint a new vice-chair to run meetings when he is absent, and I'm excited to say he chose and the commission approved me for that position.

We also considered a master plan boundary amendment for Rice Creek Chain of Lakes RP. The background for this is that there are parcels within the previously-approved boundary of the park but that are still privately-owned inholdings, and the owner approached Anoka County with an offer for sale. The county has approval to use funds from the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council (the habitat portion of the Legacy funds) for this acquisition, but those dollars are earmarked for places that allow regular-season hunting. So, in order to take advantage of the opportunity to acquire the land, make it into public open space, and do so with available dollars, the land needs to be administratively shifted out of the regional park and open space system (which does not allow regular-season hunting) and into a county wildlife management area. The one question I raised about this development was regarding signage for hunting. The staff recommendation as presented specified that there would be signage facing the new wildlife management area indicating that hunting was not allowed in the regional park, but in the interest of the safety of park users I moved that we add that signage should be posted in the other direction as well notifying park users that hunting IS allowed beyond that point. That amendment passed. The other half of this proposal was for the addition of a parcel on the southeastern edge of the park to the park boundary. This parcel has a structure on it that the county would like to use as a maintenance facility for the park and surrounding trails. The parcel also includes a native burial mound that would be properly signed/fenced as a cultural interpretive site. The amended motion to approve those two modifications to the master plan passed.

Chair Dean Johnston will be taking a previously-planned vacation, so I will be chairing the February and March meetings.

Full minutes

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