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AIS hearing set to update state's list of special concerns

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news Park Rapids, 56470
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

A public hearing to gather input on proposed updates to the state list of endangered, threatened and special concern species will be held before an administrative law judge at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 5 at the Sanford Center - Bemidji Regional Event Center, 1111 Event Center Drive NE, Bemidji.

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The DNR is proposing to remove 15 plants and 14 animals from Minnesota's list of endangered, threatened and special concern species, while adding 67 animals and 114 plants to the list.

Minnesota's threatened and endangered species law was passed in 1971, with subsequent revisions in 1974 and 1981. The law recognizes the value of the state's rich natural heritage by affording special protections to plants and animals at risk of extinction within the state. It prohibits the taking or possession of endangered and threatened species except in certain situations.

If a proposed project cannot avoid a protected species, the state can issue a "taking permit" that is combined with mitigation, such as funding for research or acquisition of other sites to protect the species. Over the past decade, DNR has received 23 applications for development-related taking permits and has issued all but one.

People wishing to comment on proposed changes may present testimony at the hearing. Written comments also may be submitted to the Office of Administrative Hearings, 600 N. Robert St., St. Paul, MN 55164-0620; or by e-mail to rulecomments@state. mn.us.

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