Online DNR system makes applying for plant management permits easier

It’s now easier to apply for permits to manage native or invasive aquatic plants, using the MNDNR Permitting and Reporting System (MPARS). 

MPARS is an online system for water use reporting, permit applications, permit change requests, and well construction preliminary assessment requests.

The DNR annually issues nearly 5,000 aquatic plant management permits and about 300 invasive aquatic plant management permits on about 1,900 public waters. These numbers have been steadily increasing.

“MPARS not only makes applications faster and easier, but it also provides transparency and record keeping by documenting site inspections, management history and other details,” said Kylie Cattoor, DNR natural resources specialist. “Aquatic plants are essential to healthy lake ecosystems and with less of our time spent processing permits, we can do more to prevent the spread of invasive species and provide more technical guidance to property owners.”

Permit activities added to MPARS include bog relocation and removal, offshore and nearshore plant management, and use of automated aquatic plant control devices. Renewal of native aquatic plant management permits through MPARS is also available now, and invasive aquatic plant management permit renewal is in development for 2018.

In addition to native and invasive aquatic plant management, the online system supports permits for water appropriation, public waters work, and dam safety. Details on how to create a user account and more information is available on the MPARS page.

MPARS is just one of the new digital tools the DNR has launched in the last few years to simplify permit applications and outdoor information. Fish Minnesota is a mobile-friendly website that makes it easy to find and understand fishing regulations for lakes, rivers and streams. The agency’s “ParkFinder” application gives visitors to Minnesota state parks an easy and fun way to plan trips and vacations. An interactive geology tool called “What’s Under Your House” allows users to zoom to any location in the state, to find information on different geologic formations.