An EagleCam still from the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource's website
Minnesota’s winter has ruffled a few feathers over the past few months for Minnesotans, but the Bald Eagles featured on the Minnesota Department of Natural Resource’s EagleCam are taking the cold weather in stride. For the second year the EagleCam project features a live feed of a Bald Eagle nest in the Twin cities metro area. It is a great opportunity to see Minnesota’s thriving wildlife up-close without a trek through the ice and snow.Despite the frigid weather, these Bald Eagles continue to soar in internet hits and views. EagleCam received 21,771 visits from 50 states and 54 countries on its first day broadcasting. These eagles don’t just preen for the camera though—viewers watch the Bald Eagle couple work hard together, switching between incubating the eggs, feeding, and protecting the nest.
These two eagles aren’t the only team featured in this project. EagleCam is a collaborative project between the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, their information technology staff, and the Minnesota Information Technology Central staff. This year their teamwork has brought the addition of mobile support to viewers. People from all over can enjoy a glimpse into the life of some of Minnesota’s finest residents.
The Unsession: Creating a Better Government for a Better Minnesota
Governor Mark Dayton and key members of the Cabinet today unveiled his administration’s legislative agenda for the 2014 Unsession. Governor Dayton’s reform proposals include over 1,000 ways to make state government work better for the people of Minnesota. From reforms that will improve state government services, to the elimination of unnecessary and outdated statutes, to simplifying the language of our state laws, the Governor’s Unsession proposals have one overriding goal: creating a Better Government for a Better Minnesota.
“Some people like to talk about reform. We really mean it,” said Governor Dayton. “During the past three years, we have worked hard to improve and streamline state government – saving Minnesota citizens and businesses time and money. I look forward to working with the Legislature to build on that progress and give Minnesotans the high-value, efficient services they deserve.”
In his 2013 State of the State Address, Governor Dayton proposed making the 2014 Legislative Session an “Unsession.” During the Unsession, the Governor has asked legislators to devote their efforts to eliminating excessive laws, rules, and regulations; and getting rid of anything else that makes government nearly impossible to understand. After months of preparation – having gathered input from thousands of citizens, legislators, and state employees – Governor Dayton today laid out a roadmap for reforms, both big and small, that will make a difference in the lives of Minnesotans.
Plain Language Executive Order
Dense forms, documents, and websites full of complicated jargon and hard-to-find links create confusion and waste Minnesotans’ time. To make state government work better for the people it serves, Governor Dayton has signed an Executive Order implementing the state’s first-ever Plain Language policy. The Governor’s Plain Language initiative will direct all state agencies to use commonly used language, write in clear and concise sentences, and reduce the use of jargon and acronyms that make state government nearly impossible to understand. More information about the Governor’s Plain Language initiative is available here. Examples of what Plain Language looks like are available here.
Since taking office, Governor Dayton has made streamlining environmental permitting a top priority. The Dayton Administration has made permitting faster and more predictable for Minnesota businesses, while ensuring strong environmental protections remain in place. Today, 97 percent of environmental permits for economic development projects are issued in less than 150 days. Governor Dayton believes we can do better. As part of the Unsession, the Governor is proposing new reforms that would ensure that 11,000 of the 15,000 permit requests each year are completed in 90 days or less. Many of the remaining permits would be completed in less than 150 days. More information about this initiative is available here.
The new license plate unveiled at the Pheasant Opener.
On Friday Governor Mark Dayton announced that a new ring-necked pheasant critical habitat license plate will be available later this fall. Governor Dayton made the announcement during the Governor’s Banquet at the Pheasant Hunting Opener, hosted by the City of Madelia.
The first critical habitat plate was created in 1995 as a way for Minnesota citizens to voluntarily contribute to conservation and show that commitment with a special outdoor-themed vehicle license plate. More than 100,000 Minnesota vehicles have critical habitat license plates, with the 2002 loon plate being the most popular. These plates generate about $3.5 million per year. They have generated more than $44 million for habitat conservation since the program began.
Motorists who have purchased habitat plates have helped wildlife in every corner of the state. They have funded Wildlife Management Area acquisitions, trout stream easements and helped support loons, eagles, rare plants and many other species. The new pheasant plate will help us preserve some of our rapidly disappearing grasslands – which are critical to the future of pheasants.
The 66th annual Governor’s Fishing Opener will kick off this weekend in the Park Rapids Lakes Area, a popular destination for outdoor recreation. This extended weekend in northwest Minnesota will be full of fun activities for the whole family, leading up to opening day across Minnesota on Saturday, May 11, 2013.
To celebrate the kick off of the fishing season across Minnesota, Governor Dayton has launched a “Best Minnesota Fishing Opener Photo” contest for his new Facebook Cover photo. To participate, all you need to do is submit a photo you have taken during fishing opener weekend in Minnesota. Please submit your entries to Dayton.firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday, May 17, 2013 (See details at the bottom of the blog).
The Governor’s Fishing Opener has been a tradition in Minnesota since 1948. The event was designed to promote the development of Minnesota’s recreation industry, and in recent years, it has served as a kick-off celebration for the summer tourism season. Travel and tourism generate $11.3 billion in leisure and hospitality gross sales in Minnesota annually.
Fishing in Minnesota is more than a pastime; it’s vital to the economy and offers so much more beyond its face-value. Help support a Minnesota tradition and get your fishing license today, either online or at any DNR supported location. See you at the lake!
Photo contest submissions:
Please include your name, a description of the photo, the location where the photo was taken, and the date that the photo was taken with your email submission to Dayton.email@example.com.
The Governor will choose a photo that will be displayed on his Facebook cover on Friday, May 17, 2013.