Tricounty News

Aquatic Invasive Species training



For Lake Service Providers coming to St. Cloud March 15

Lake Service Providers are required by law to attend Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) training and obtain the permit prior to working in waters of the state. A training session is scheduled in St. Cloud Thursday, March 15. The free training will be held from 1-4 p.m. in the Cascade Room at the Atwood Memorial Center on the SCSU Campus, located at 720 Fourth Avenue South. Lake Service Providers should act now and be sure to attend the training session and obtain a new permit before ice-out.

State laws passed in 2011 aim to help prevent the spread of AIS between waters in the state. They also require service providers to apply for a permit, pay the $50 application fee, attend training in person and pass a test. Upon completion of all mentioned tasks, a permit will be issued to the service provider.

Information about the service provider training and permitting can be found on the DNR website www.dnr.state.mn.us/lsp/index.html. The online permit application for service provider businesses will be available on the DNR website. The service provider permit, which will be valid for three years, must be in possession while providing any services. Persons who work for a permitted service provider must take an online training prior to working in waters of the state. The online training for the employees will be available after March 1, 2012, on the DNR website.

Through a partnership with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Minnesota Waters is conducting statewide trainings for businesses that install and remove water recreation equipment. The training sessions provide the information needed to understand and pass the required test. In addition, service providers are taught how to integrate AIS prevention strategies into their business.

Additional training sessions are scheduled for various locations across the state through April. The schedule of training locations and dates are being updated periodically and service providers should check the Minnesota Waters' website www.minnesotawaters.org, for the list of scheduled training sessions and future additions.

"Hundreds of lake service businesses across the state have now attended one of the AIS trainings," said Lois Sinn Lindquist, Executive Director, Minnesota Waters. "We look forward to working with hundreds of more businesses in the coming weeks and are confident that the businesses receiving this mandatory training will undoubtedly play an integral role in helping to prevent the spread of AIS in Minnesota."

Minnesota Waters believes an engaged citizenry will effectively protect and restore Minnesota's irreplaceable natural assets, clean and healthy lakes, rivers and streams, for current and future generations. The non-profit organization provides issue advocacy, training, connections, and support to empower citizens and citizen-led groups to be active, effective advocates for Minnesota's unique waterscape.