Senate Counsel, Research
and Fiscal Analysis
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Tom Bottern
State of Minnesota
S.F. No. 865 - Omnibus Environment Policy Bill (Delete Everything Amendment)
Author: Senator Carrie Ruud
Prepared By: Greg Knopff, Senate Analyst (651/296-9399)
Ben Stanley, Senate Counsel (651/296-4793)
Date: March 15, 2017


Section 1 [Appointment of legal counsel] authorizes the commissioner to appoint attorneys or outside counsel to render title opinions, to represent the department in severed mineral interest forfeiture actions, and to represent the department in quiet title or title registration actions affecting real property interests in land administered by the commissioner.

Section 2 [Exemption from registration of certain off-highway motorcycles registered in another state] exempts from registration requirements off-highway motorcycles that are operated on boundary trails and registered in another state or country that has reciprocal exemptions.

Section 3 [Eligibility for off-highway motorcycle safety certificates] clarifies that operators of off-highway motorcycles must be at least 12 years old to receive a safety certificate upon completion of an off-highway motorcycle environment and safety education and training course.

Section 4 [Written explanation of denial of off-road vehicle grant-in-aid application] requires the commissioner to provide a written explanation of any denial an off-road vehicle grant-in-aid application.

Section 5 [Additional allowable use of NRAPR funds] authorizes natural resources asset preservation and replacement money to be used to remove life safety hazards and to fix building code violations and structural defects in capital assets of the department.

Section 6 [Report on use of NRAPR funds] requires the commissioner to establish priorities for use of NRAPR funds and to report annually to the commissioner of management and budget a list of projects that received NRAPR funding during the prior calendar year.

Section 7 [Flexibility in assignment of Naturalist Corps mentors] provides that the naturalist mentor assigned to each Minnesota Naturalist Corps member need only be an interpretive naturalist and not necessarily a state parks naturalist.

Section 8 [Uniform pin required for Naturalist Corps] changes the requirement that uniforms of members of the Naturalist Corps bear a patch that includes the name of the Corps into a requirement that uniforms bear a pin with that designation.

Section 9 [Changes in eligibility for Naturalist Corps] limits eligibility for Naturalist Corps membership to those who participate in approved college internship programs, but broadens the type of eligible internships to those in a field related to natural resources, cultural history, interpretation, or conversation.

Section 10 [Naturalist Corps members ineligible for unemployment benefits] makes all Naturalist Corps members ineligible for unemployment benefits. Currently, they are ineligible only if their employment constitutes noncovered employment under Minnesota’s unemployment statutes.

Section 11 [Bait for sale cannot be held in infested waters] generally prohibits the holding of bait intended for sale in infested waters.

Section 12 [Use of commercial fishing equipment in infested waters] allows the use in other waters of specified equipment used to commercially fish infested waters once the equipment is decontaminated. Current law permanently prohibits the use of such equipment in non-infested waters.

Section 13 [Greater specificity in classification of nonnative species] requires greater specificity in the classification by the commissioner of nonnative species of aquatic plants and wild animals.

Section 14 [Transportation of prohibited invasive species from riparian property] authorizes the transportation of a prohibited invasive species from riparian property to a disposal site that is at least 100 feet from any surface water, ditch, or seasonally flooded land if the transportation is by vehicle specifically designed to haul trash.

Section 15 [Expansion of authority to return certain water-related equipment to Lake Minnetonka] expands to municipalities bordering the Lake Minnetonka Conservation District the area in which service providers returning water-related equipment that previously had zebra mussels into Lake Minnetonka may be based.

Section 16 [Gull Lake pilot study] authorizes the commissioner to conduct a targeted pilot study to include water-related equipment with zebra mussels attached at certain access sites. The authority to conduct the study expires on December 1, 2019.

Section 17 [Issuance of permit to tag and release certain fish] authorizes the commissioner to issue a permit to departmental divisions to tag and release certain species of fish for research and control. This authority expires on December 31, 2021.

Section 18 [Process for designation of state water trails] requires the commissioner to establish criteria and a process for designating new state water trails and makes changes to the bodies of water on which state water trails may be established.

Section 19 [Watercraft floatation device requirements] amends requirement that all persons on board a personal watercraft have a floatation device so that the floatation device is no longer required to be approved for water skiing.

Section 20 [Prohibition on use of certain lights on watercraft] prohibits the use of lights on watercraft that are not approved navigation lights if the lights interfere with the visibility of required navigation lights or are red, green, or blue. This section also provides exceptions for certain public safety and law enforcement activities.

Section 21 [Form of auxiliary forest supplemental agreements] deletes the requirement that supplemental agreements to make auxiliary forest contracts subject to subsequently enacted laws be in a form approved by the Attorney General.

Section 22 [Tree planting stock purchase agreement format approval] deletes the requirement that the Attorney General approve the format of agreements entered into by those who purchase tree planting stock from the commissioner.

Section 23 [Definition of affiliate] defines “affiliate” for the purpose of the bidding for timber permits as a person who is controlled by, or is in common control with any other person.

Section 24 [Definition of permit holder] modifies the definition of “permit holder” in the timber lands statutes to include an affiliate of the person.

Section 25 [Definition of responsible bidder] modifies the definition of “responsible bidder” in the timber lands statutes to include an affiliate of the person.

Section 26 [Sale list and notice] allows the copy of the timber sale list to be posted on the Internet instead of in the forest office.

Section 27 [Settlement of casual trespass on state land claims] deletes the requirement that commissioner notify the Attorney General about settlement of state claims of casual and involuntary trespass on state lands or timber.

Section 28 [Form of bond obtained for state timber appraisal and sales employee] deletes the requirement that the Attorney General approve the form of the bond required to be obtained for the departmental employee delegated to supervise state timber appraisals and sales.

Section 29 [Auction sale procedure] provides for the sale to a “responsible bidder” of timber instead of the actual bidder. Deletes the requirement that the Attorney General prescribe the form a purchaser of state timber may use to elect to purchase a permit based solely on the state appraiser’s estimate of the volume of timber described in the permit.

Section 30 [Purchaser registration] allows an “affiliate” to be verified as a responsible bidder to purchase a timber permit.

Section 31 [Form of permit to enter state land and remove timber] deletes the requirement that the Attorney General approve the form of the permit issued to purchasers of state timber authorizing entrance onto state land and removal of the timber that is subject to the permit.

Section 32 [Form of surety given to state by timber purchaser] deletes the requirement that the Attorney General approve the form of a surety provided to the state by the purchaser of state timber in lieu of a security deposit.

Section 33 [Form of scaling, weight scale agreements] deletes the requirement that the Attorney General approve the form of scaling agreements and of agreements to use weight scales owned by others for state timber scaling purposes.

Section 34 [Allocation of surplus wetland credits to mining projects] authorizes the commissioner to allocate surplus wetland credits approved by the commissioner under a mining permit after July 1, 1991, that are not allocated in a state wetland bank. 

Section 35 [Class A land to be acquired by state through a land exchange] deletes the requirement that the Attorney General provide a written opinion that the title to class A land proposed to be acquired by the State as part of a land exchange is good and marketable. This is replaced with a requirement that the commissioner merely determine that the title is good. This section also authorizes the commissioner to acquire title insurance.

Section 36 [Class B land to be acquired through a land exchange] deletes the requirement that a county attorney’s opinion on the quality of title in class B land proposed to be acquired through a land exchange is subject to the approval of the Attorney General. Instead, it would be subject to the approval of the commissioner.

Section 37 [Definition of minnows] amends the definition of minnows in the game and fish chapter so that it includes all members of the Catostomidae family and not only members of that family that are 12 inches or less.

Section 38 [Definition of protected wild animals] adds the following to the definition of “protected wild animals”: bats, snakes, salamanders, lizards, any animal species listed as endangered, threated, or of special concern in Minnesota Rules, chapter 6134.

Section 39 [Definition of rough fish] removes from the definition of “rough fish” any fish species listed as endangered, threated, or of special concern in Minnesota Rules, chapter 6134.

Section 40 [Definition of small game] adds the long-tailed weasel to the definition of “small game.”

Section 41 [Definition of unprotected birds] removes magpies and blackbirds from the definition of “unprotected birds.”

Section 42 [Definition of unprotected wild animals] removes the following from the definition of unprotected wild animals: weasels, gophers that are not plains pocket gophers, and any animal species listed as endangered, threatened, or of special concern in Minnesota Rules, chapter 6134.

Section 43 [Form of reciprocal game and fish agreements] deletes the requirement that the Attorney General approve reciprocal agreements with federal or other state game and fish authorities.

Section 44 [All hunters can take deer with a scoped muzzleloader] allows hunters of all ages to use a muzzleloader with a scope to take deer during the muzzleloader season. Current law limits this privilege to those who are 60 or older.

Section 45 [Blaze pink as an alternative to blaze orange] modifies blaze orange hunting requirements to allow blaze pink.

Section 46 [Bear hunting permit reservation for a member of a Minnesota veterans home] requires the commissioner to reserve one permit for, and give first preference to, a resident of a Minnesota veterans home if the commissioner limits the number of persons that may hunt bear in an area.

Section 47 [First aid or CPR training not a prerequisite for bear-hunting outfitter licensure] prohibits the commissioner from requiring a person to have certification or training in first aid or CPR as a prerequisite to obtaining a bear-hunting outfitter license.

Section 48 [Taking of certain animals causing damage] authorizes owners or occupiers of land, and their agents, to take bats, snakes, salamanders, lizards, and weasel if the animals are causing damage. 

Section 49 [Imported minnows no longer required to be processed] Repeals requirement that minnows imported into the state be processed and not released into public waters.

Section 50 [Deletion of prohibition on possessing more than one large Northern Pike] deletes prohibition on possession of more than one Northern Pike that is more than 30 inches. 

Section 51 [Exemption from minnow retailer’s vehicle licensure for resorts] Exempts resorts that are minnow retailers from the requirement to obtain a minnow retailer’s vehicle license when transporting minnows purchased from a minnow dealer's place of business directly to the resort.

Section 52 [Importation of minnows authorized] Authorizes the importation of minnows under a permit issued by the commissioner if the imported minnows are certified healthy and free of certain diseases, originate in a biosecure facility that is free of invasive species.

Section 53 [Harvesting mussel shells] prohibits harvesting of live mussel shells. Allows limited taking by hand of dead freshwater mussels by those who possess a valid angling license (or who are not required to have one). Prohibits sale of mussel shells.

Section 54 [Public water quality improvement initiative] sets a statewide goal for water quality improvement of 25% by 2025 and requires enumerated state agencies to broadly engage the public and stakeholders and to produce a report and recommendations by December 2017.

Section 55 [Definition of constructed management facilities for storm water] Adds a definition of constructed management facilities for storm water to the waters of the state chapter of the Minnesota statutes.

Section 56 [Greater than 80 percent area] applies the definition of a “greater than 80 percent area” to a wetland bank service area.

Section 57 [Less than 50 percent area] applies the definition of a “less than 50 percent area” to a wetland bank service area.

Section 58 [Generation of wetland credits for future mining projects] authorizes projects requiring a mining permit to include surplus wetland credits to be allocated by the commissioner to offset future mining-related wetland impacts under any permits to mine held by the permittee, the operator, the permittee's or operator's parent, an affiliated subsidiary, or an assignee.

Section 59 [Wetland replacement siting] prohibits wetland replacement siting in a greater than 80 percent area when the wetlands drained or filled are in an area outside of an 80 percent area.  This section also removes certain wetland replacement siting limitations.

Section 60 [Appropriation of storm water without a water-use permit] authorizes appropriation of waters of the state without a water-use permit if the water is collected and used to reduce storm-water runoff volume, treat storm water, or sustain groundwater supplies and is extracted from constructed management facilities for storm water.

Section 61 [Stipulations in civil actions relating to bodies of water] removes the requirement for Attorney General approval of state stipulations related to the location of the ordinary low-water mark on riparian land that is the subject of a civil action relating to the navigability or ownership of the bed of the adjacent body of water.

Section 62 [Conforming change] makes a technical change to conform a statute with the change made in section 63.

Section 63 [Heating oil vendors not responsible for certain fuel oil releases] provides that a heating oil vendor is not responsible for a heating fuel oil release at a residential location if the release was caused solely by the failure of a tank owned by the homeowner.

Section 64 [Extension of prohibition on new open air swine basins] extends to June 30, 2022, the current ban on Pollution Control Agency approval of permits for the construction of new open air swine basins. The prohibition is currently set to expire on June 30, 2017.

Section 65 [Deeming of certain trails and portages as dedicated for public use] changes the statute that deems certain trails or portages to have been dedicated to the public to forest trails on established canoe routes, rather than state water trails.

Section 66 [Removal of requirement to adopt silica sand rules] deletes language requiring the Pollution Control Agency to adopt rules pertaining to the control of particulate emissions from silica sand projects.

Section 67 [Cancellation of water-use permits that are no longer required] cancels water-use permits that are no longer required in light of the changes enacted in section 60.

Section 68 [Extension of certain solid waste permits] extends solid waste permits issued to existing class I demolition debris landfill facilities that are operating under certain Pollution Control Agency guidance for a period of five years.

Section 69 [Repealer] repeals the following statutes and rules:

  • 84.026, subdivision 3 (Requires contractual and grant agreements to provide natural resources services to comply with section 16C.05)
  • 97B.031, subdivision 5 (issuance to visually impaired hunters of permits to use scopes on muzzelloaders)
  • 97C.515, subdivisions 4 and 5 (restrictions on importing minnows)
  • 97C.701, subdivisions 1a and 6 (taking mussels)
  • 97C.705 (mussel seasons)
  • 97C.711 (undersized mussels)
  • Most of Rules Chapter 6258 (mussels)




















Source of SF 865 Bill Sections

Original Bill:

SF 865 Section:

SF 289 (Ingebrigtsen)

44, 69

SF 844 (Johnson)


SF 865 (Ruud)


SF 922 (Ruud)


SF 1093 (Ruud)


SF 1123 (Ruud)

23, 24, 25, 28, 29

SF 1155 (Dahms)

62, 63

SF 1310 (Ruud)


SF 1370 (Ruud)

37, 49, 52, 69

SF 1417 (Ruud)


SF 1458 (Chamberlain)

56, 57, 59

SF 1482 (Bakk)

34, 58

SF 1695 (Ruud)

All sections not otherwise listed

SF 1731 (Ruud)

55, 60, 67




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