DNR seeks citizens to serve on spending oversight committees

Minnesotans who would like to serve on committees that review how the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources spends game and fish fund dollars are welcome to submit an application by Sept. 25.

The DNR is seeking at least 12 people to serve on the Fisheries Oversight and Wildlife Oversight committees. Appointees will be responsible for reviewing the agency’s annual Game and Fish Fund Report in detail and, following discussions with agency leaders and others, write a report on the findings of this review. About half of the current members’ terms expire on Dec. 14, 2017, and are subject to this open application.

The two committees are comprised of members identified through a self-nomination process. Those who want to serve on the committees should have a strong interest in natural resource management and how it is funded. DNR Commissioner Tom Landwehr will appoint committee members for three-year terms. Applications are being accepted until Sept. 25 online at the DNR’s Game and Fish Fund Budgetary Oversight webpage at mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight.

Though not well known, Minnesota’s Game and Fish Fund is the fiscal foundation for many of the state’s core natural resource management functions. Upwards of $110 million a year is deposited into this fund from hunting and fishing license sales, a sales tax on lottery tickets, and other sources of revenue, including a reimbursement based on a federal excise tax on certain hunting, fishing and boating equipment.

Committee members participate in a mid-December orientation meeting and one to two meetings per month January to May. Meetings are generally two hours in the evening at DNR headquarters in St. Paul, with the total time commitment estimated at 20 to 40 hours, plus travel time. Some members also attend monthly joint Budgetary Oversight Committee meetings January to May and may complete their report via email correspondence. Estimated additional time commitment is 12-15 hours, plus travel time. Members are asked to make three-year commitment.

Past DNR Game and Fish Fund expenditure reports and citizen oversight committee reports are also available at mndnr.gov/gamefishoversight.