Senator Erik Simonson Votes for Science-Based Wild Rice Protection Strategy
St. Paul, Minn. – Senator Erik Simonson (DFL-Duluth) today voted to pursue a science-based wild rice protection strategy by eliminating a law based on data collected in the 1940s that has not been enforced by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) since the 1970s.
The vote occurred several days after the MPCA itself announced plans to withdraw its proposed wild rice regulation from the rule-making process and turn to the Legislature for guidance on how to move forward.
“There are good people on both sides of this issue who want what’s best for Minnesota, and that’s the starting point from which the conversation about wild rice deserves to begin,” said Sen. Simonson. “The state of Minnesota has been working to address concerns about wild rice for nearly 10 years. As a result of this process, the MPCA determined that current regulations were not workable. Above all else, we need to respect the decision-making process of our institutions and be respectful of each other as we move forward. I will not accept any solution that does not take the concerns of Native American tribes and local governments into account.”