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State lawmakers delivered a patchwork of wins for outdoors enthusiasts this year, from minor expansions at three state parks to approving $12 million for a sound-and-bubble deterrent to block invasive carp from swimming up the Mississippi River.

Votes taken inside the Capitol were as minor as redirecting conservation money to loons from the sale of Minnesota United-themed license plates. Then there was the grand unleashing of $192.7 million from the Outdoor Heritage Fund, a record one-year amount to enhance and restore wetlands, prairies, forests, fish and wildlife.

Early in the session, the House and Senate approved a record number of outdoors projects funded separately by state lottery proceeds. Those awards were recommended by the Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR), totaling $77.6 million. They'll pay for hiking trails, a blend of environmental education projects, a walleye conservation effort by the Science Museum of Minnesota and many other initiatives.

The LCCMR package was adopted so quickly it was considered a promising break from past years when politics often delayed or reconfigured the LCCMR bill.

This year's approval of the larger Outdoor Heritage Fund bill happened late and included the negotiated addition of an invasive carp deterrent long sought by University of Minnesota researchers. To be located at Lock and Dam 5 in Winona County, the project intends to pair the Department of Natural Resources with federal agencies. Mark Johnson, executive director of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, said the carp deterrent group is likely to beat the 2029 project deadline by installing the system within three years.

For the DNR, the biggest disappointment at the Capitol was the Legislature's failure to pass a bonding bill that held the promise of $100 million for needed asset preservation — including an overhaul of the Badoura State Forest Nursery to support a new era of widespread tree planting.

"It wasn't the end-all, be-all for us but we were disappointed it wasn't able to occur,'' DNR assistant commissioner Bob Meier said.

But legislators fulfilled the DNR's top priority: An appropriation of $2.6 million and rewording of licensing laws to enable the creation of an electronic licensing system for everything from hunting and fishing to boating, snowmobiling and Nordic skiing. The policy change, including electronic validation for wild game harvesting, is on schedule for next March.

Here's a sampling of other legislative actions impacting outdoor life in Minnesota. The session ended Sunday.

Lawmakers considered abolishing the state's "shotgun-only" zone law for deer hunting but clung to the status quo. The impetus for change came from the Senate, where Steve Drazkowski, R-Mazeppa, argued that rifles used for deer hunting are safer than modern-day shotguns. Minnesota is an isolated holdout nationwide on disallowing rifles for deer hunting. They are outlawed in a zone starting north of the Twin Cities and going all the way south. Drazkowski, a former DNR firearms instructor, couldn't overcome resistance from legislators who were raised to associate rifle usage with potentially dangerous, long-traveling stray bullets in nonforested areas.

As expected, the Legislature embraced a DNR initiative to protect native rough fish from exploitation by empowering the agency to set bag limits and other regulations for more than 20 lesser-known species viewed by many anglers as disposable junk fish. State Rep. Rick Hansen, DFL-South St. Paul, hailed the move as the first such recodification in the country.

The DNR sought to repeal a law connecting the size of Minnesota's elk herd to elk damage, giving the agency greater ability to manage the herds for growth. The effort fell short, but lawmakers made alterations allowing for some population expansion and for genetic sustainability in the herd. The change was enough to keep hopes alive for Minnesota to possibly start a new elk herd in the northeast by moving some of the animals from the northwest. Elk are native to northeastern Minnesota and the effort to reintroduce them is led by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa.

Sustainably harvesting timber from state lands has been an issue since a large group of DNR wildlife managers raised objections in 2018 to a then-new DNR logging program. As part of this year's Outdoor Heritage appropriations approved by the Legislature, the state will add to its inventory of forested land by purchasing over 18,000 acres of old PotlatchDeltic Corp. property. Less than 11,000 acres will go to the DNR and the rest will go under the control of nine counties in north-central and northeastern Minnesota. The $22.6 million acquisition expands space for public hunting and will be logged and managed for wildlife habitat.

Additional Outdoor Heritage money will enhance Lake Alice in Fergus Falls, restore a bat hibernaculum in St. Cloud's Highbanks Ravine and improve brook trout habitat in Devil Track River near Grand Marais.

Other assorted moves abolished Hill Annex Mine State Park but added land to Banning State Park, Lake Louise State Park in Mower County and Father Hennepin State Park on Mille Lacs Lake. In addition, lawmakers set the stage for a public contest to redesign Minnesota's state park license plate.

Still other moves sent $1.3 million to the International Wolf Center, provided $1.5 million to the ATV grant-in-aid trail maintenance program and awarded another $1.2 million to the Prospector Loop ATV Trail System in northern Minnesota.