In Thursday's Montevideo American News, Bruce Olson reported in Hot ticket: Governor's Pheasant Hunting Opener banquet is sold out:
Friday’s banquet for the Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener is sold out as Montevideo and the surrounding area welcome Gov. Mark Dayton and his entourage for the pheasant opener for the second time.
Montevideo hosted the inaugural Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener in 2011 and our area is the first to host the event for a second time. . . .
At the West Central Tribune Friday, Tom Cherveny reports in Montevideo gears up for return of Governor's Pheasant Opener:
. . . All eyes will be on the community Saturday as it hosts the sixth annual Governor's Pheasant Opener. Gov. Mark Dayton and U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson will be among the elected officials taking to the fields around Montevideo for the start of the state's pheasant season at 9 a.m. Saturday. . . .
Montevideo is looking at the Governor's Pheasant Opener as an opportunity to showcase all that the area has to offer for pheasant hunters and all of those who enjoy outdoor recreation, according to Steinbach.
And in this case too, it provides Montevideo with a national audience. That was one of the benefits the community discovered after hosting the inaugural Governor's Pheasant Opener.
The community saw a "big, reverberating effect'' from the ongoing digital presence the event provided, Steinbach said. News articles, videos and blogs continued to pop up on phone and computer screens whenever anyone searched pheasant hunting in Minnesota.
Over 20 different media outlets, including print, broadcast and online, are expected to be represented at the activities Friday and Saturday, according to Steinbach.
With this opportunity at hand, the number one point the community wants to emphasize this weekend is the availability of public lands for hunters. There are 47,004 acres of public lands open to hunting within a 25-mile radius of Montevideo, thanks to a mix of wildlife management areas, waterfowl production areas, and walk-in access areas. The Lac qui Parle Wildlife Management Area, with over 33,000 acres of the total, has long been a state magnet for pheasant hunters. . . .
All this excitement (and the dollars that the hunters bring to the area) has prompted Bluestem Prairie to look back at Representative Tim Miller's , R-Prinsburg sudden "No" vote against the Outdoor Heritage (aka Legacy) funding conference committee report on May 21, 2016.
We say "sudden" because the freshman Republican lawmaker had voted for the 2015 regular session and special session funding for Legacy projects and had voted for the 2016 House version earlier in May. Moreover, in the video archive of the vote (3:01:24- ), Miller cast a green vote until apparently changing to "no" at the very last second as the clerk closed the roll.
As Legacy Chair Dean Urdahl, R-Grove City, points out at the 2:33:18-20 mark on the House's YouTube archive of the floor session that "there are no major changes in funding and projects" from the earlier House bill. True, a compromise had been worked out that allowed the White Earth Nation to run a disputed project, but since the nation offered to pay property taxes on the land, objections to the project were quelled under that compromise.
All that we can imagine is that Miller experienced an epiphany in that last split second, jumping into the anti-Legacy Act camp, agreeing with Steve Green, R-Fosston, that--despite the expressed wishes of the citizens of Minnesota, who voted in 2006 to fund projects that would protect, enhance and restore wildlife habitat--that there's too much publicly owned land.This is the only objection against the bill that's raised in debate by a lawmaker who voted against it.
Never mind, as Tony Cornish, R-Vernon Center, pointed out, that it's open to hunters and other members of the public. And that the public voted for this.
Miller frequently gripes about how--in Miller's mind at least--Governor Dayton hates the region of the state in which House District 17A is located. And yet the Governor has actively promoted hunting opportunities in the area.
Indeed, the Department of Natural Resources is touting the opening of a locally funded shooting range--the Governor and agency head Tom Landwehr are likely there as we type this--in a press release that promotes the region:
The dedication is part of the 2016 Minnesota Governor’s Pheasant Hunting Opener. Gov. Dayton leads the weekend festivities, which highlight the many hunting, recreational, travel and local opportunities the Montevideo area has to offer visitors. More information and updates on the event can be found at www.mngpho2016.com. Explore Minnesota and the DNR are assisting the Montevideo Area Chamber of Commerce in planning the event.
Montevideo has a population of 5,500 and is located 130 miles west of the Twin Cities at the intersections of U.S. highways 212 and 59, and Minnesota Highway 7. The city actively promotes hunting and outdoor recreation. Within 25 miles of Montevideo, there are 25 Walk-In Access areas totaling 3,335 acres, 16 Waterfowl Production Areas totaling 4,366 acres and 76 WMAs totaling 47,004 acres. All are open to public hunting.
Why did Representative Miller vote against the interests of his district?
Photo: MN07 Congressman Collin Peterson (DFL, left) and Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (DFL, right) at the first Governor's Pheasant Opener in Montevideo in 2011. West Central Tribune file photo.
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