A friend passed along a press release for an environmental listening session that Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) will be holding in Olivia on Thursday, February 4 in the basement of the Renville County Administration Building, 105 S. 5th St., from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
UPDATE: The Renville County SWCD just posted text from an email from Representative Miller that confirms that he's got a preferred sort of constituent for this meeting and an agenda that hasn't been shared in the press release below. There's also mention of the Governor's Water Summit--so Miller's trying to manipulate what he can report there as public opinion in his district.
Here's the text of the email that went out earlier in the week (giving some groups the advantage for notifying their members about the event):
On February 4 at 2:00 pm Chair Denny McNamara and a couple other members of the Environment Committee will be joining me for a listening session in Olivia in the basement of the Renville County admin building. The focus will be the DNR's involvement and actions concerning buffer mapping. However, if there are ANY other concerns, I will be welcoming those as well. This is a key chance to be heard, particularly in light of the Governor's Water Summit February 27, which I will also be attending. [emphasis added]
There will be a media release going out by the end of this week. If you would like a copy let me know. I ask you help me to encourage members of your organization to attend. Invite others as well. It is very important for Ag voices to be heard at this time.
Thank you. Let me know if you have any questions.
MN House of Representatives 17A
Miller is trying to stack his own meeting--and doing so in order to shape debate at the Governor's Water Summit. We also have to wonder how many members of the Environment committee can be invited before this becomes on an official House hearing.
UPDATE #2: We've learned that Representative McNamara will also be attending a "listening session" in Chokio the same day. Will the "couple of other members" of the Environment committee also tag along? Who of the committee members were invited? How many of these are happening around the state--and which organizations got the heads-up from state representatives before the general public knew?
Jeff Backer is even more slanted in his take on for whom this "listening session" is for, a local radio station reports in Rep. Backer Holding Environmental Session:
“Since taking office, I have received countless phone calls from folks around the area expressing frustration with the DNR, MPCA, and other environmental regulatory agencies,” Backer said. “It is my hope that this listening session will give farmers, local officials, sportsmen, and other concerned citizens the opportunity to speak with Chair McNamara and ensure that their voices are heard.” [end update]
The press release below is a masterpiece of dog whistling to those who want to see environmental protection itself as the problem rather than preserving water quality, soil health and such essentials, since Miller lets folks know that he's been hearing from those " who were concerned about land, water, and wildlife laws and regulations."
Note the construction of that phrase: "land, water, and wildlife" modify "laws and regulations."
Bluestem urges our readers in West Central Minnesota who are concerned about water quality, wildlife habitat, soil health to attend and let Representative Miller and Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee Chairman Denny McNamara.
We also hope that our readers in the audience will live tweet and Facebook the event using the hashtags #mnleg and #mnag.
The press release:
MINNESOTA HOUSE ENVIRONMENT CHAIR McNAMARA, REP. MILLER TO HOLD ENVIRONMENT LISTENING SESSION IN OLIVIA
ST. PAUL – After hearing from numerous constituents who were concerned about land, water, and wildlife laws and regulations, State Representative Tim Miller (R-Prinsburg) announces he will hold an environmental listening session in Olivia on Thursday, February 4 in the basement of the Renville County Administration Building, 105 S. 5th St., from 2:00 to 4:00 p.m.
Also attending will be Minnesota House Environment and Natural Resources Policy and Finance Committee Chairman Denny McNamara (R-Hastings).
Representative Miller said he invited McNamara to the listening session so he can hear firsthand from area landowners, hunters, and anglers.
“Whether its buffers, groundwater regulations or fish and deer management, I've heard consistently from residents in our area about environmental concerns,” Miller said. “By bringing the chairman of the environment committee to west-central Minnesota, residents can share their views with someone that directly tackles these issues at the State Capitol.”
Miller strongly encourages area residents to attend the listening session and share their thoughts, opinions, and questions about environmental rules and regulations in the State of Minnesota.
Photo: Representative Tim Miller, R-Prinsburg. via Facebook.
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