Committee recommends lottery money for loons, Lake Vermilionby Stephanie Hemphill, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — The new Lake Vermilion State Park could get a small chunk of money to improve access and develop trails, under a recommendation from the Legislative-Citizen Committee on Minnesota Resources.
The LCCMR is recommending $3 million for early development work on the park. LCCMR spokesman Mike Banker says it's small change compared to the total development cost, but it should help.
"Being able to get some trails in, some basic facilities so people can start using the park right away, because the long-term building is going to take a lot longer than a year," he said.
The money won't be available until a year from now, however.
The committee is also hoping to invest some money in projects to help migrating birds that might be affected by the Gulf oil spill.
Banker says the LCCMR is setting aside $250,000 to use on projects next year that could help birds like migrating loons.
"Regulating lakes in specific ways, or there's things called loon breeding platforms, and building those so loon populations in Minnesota would increase, that would make them more resilient to the effects of the oil in the Gulf," he said.
Altogether, the LCCMR recommended $50 million worth of environmental projects. Requests totaled about three times that amount. The money is from the state's lottery trust fund.
Final decisions will be made by next year's legislature.