Enjoy the beauty of Minnesota

Theodore Roosevelt once said, “The beauty and charm of the wilderness are his for the asking, for the edges of the wilderness lie close beside the beaten roads of the present travel.” He was referring to the easy access we have to enjoying the great outdoors. Minnesotans are blessed with abundant local, regional and state parks. No matter where you live there are opportunities close by.
Spring is here, I encourage you to get out and enjoy everything this magnificent area and state has to offer. With hiking, biking, fishing, bird watching, camping, canoeing and more, there are several ways to get out there.
The metro council website, www.metrocouncil.org/parks/r-pk-map.htm, is an excellent guide for parks in the Twin Cities area. Our regional parks system, which is the best in America, includes 51 parks and park reserves and seven special recreation areas. There are also 38 trails totaling 231 miles. Wherever you are in the Twin Cities, a park or camp site is close, enjoy it!
Helpful state park information is available at www.mnstateparks.info, or you can call (651) 296-6157. The website also provides details on permits, reservations, rules and firewood restrictions for the parks.
I suggest you also check out the Parks and Trails Council of Minnesota, www.parksandtrails.org. The Council is a strong advocate for parks and trails and has raised significant funds to help acquire land. Excellent information and pictures about state parks are available on their web site.
In addition to our state and regional parks and trails, our local communities provide many excellent places to enjoy nature. Visit the web site for your community, or call city hall, to find out more information. I am grateful for the hard work of members of area parks and recreation commissions, volunteers and staff, and the leadership and support of city councils, for providing these local opportunities.
Every year there is discussion on what we can do in the Senate to improve Minnesota’s environment. This year, much of the discussion has surrounded the recommendations of the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Recources (LCCMR). The LCCMR’s function is to make funding recommendations to the legislature for special environment and natural resource projects, primarily from the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. These projects help maintain and enhance Minnesota’s environment and natural resources.
Working with the LCCMR recommendations, the state will invest just over $50 million into projects around the state. These projects range from studying impacts of biomass harvesting to providing grants to local units of government for regional park and trail development. For more information on the LCCMR, visit their website at http://www.lccmr.leg.mn/.
As always, please contact me with questions or suggestions about any issue. Please visit my Senate website at senate.mn/senatorwiger. I also encourage you to visit me at the Capitol, or let me know if you’d like me to stop by your home or apartment. Also, please tune in to my local cable TV show, “Your Capitol: What’s Up?,” which appears on public access channels 15 and 16.
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Senator Chuck Wiger
Chuck Wiger represents District 43, which includes portions of Ramsey and Washington counties in the northeastern Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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