It was about two decades ago that the idea of constitutionally dedicating funds for natural resources came into being. Over the ensuing years, proponents worked hard to sell state legislators on the idea of carving out a portion of the state sales tax proceeds and making sure they were spent to better our state’s natural resources. There were a lot of fits and starts, long and seemingly unproductive days at the state Capitol, and plenty of disappointment.
But there were some people who never gave up hope that we could do something to leave a legacy for our children and their grandchildren; to leave the state in better shape than we found it. They fought and fought and fought, refusing to take no for an answer. And finally, in 2008, the state Legislature voted to give citizens the opportunity to decide at the ballot box whether they wanted to increase taxes on themselves (by three-eighths of 1 percent). More than half of them decided they did, and the 2008 election remains a high point in Minnesota’s conservation history.
Now 10 years later, the Clean Water, Land and Legacy Amendment continues to do great things for our state, helping to clean water and acquire more public lands among them. With that in mind, we’ve decided to honor those who worked so hard to pass the amendment by including them in this year’s class of inductees into the Minnesota Waterfowl Hall of Fame. In coming weeks we will devote more space to each, but for the time being we’ll unveil the list. This year’s inductees are:
Please join us in congratulating these men and thanking them for their commitment to conservation.