Great Lakes Water Division Request

Minnesota Environmental Partnership  •  Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy • 

Clean Water Action of Minnesota • Minnesota Conservation Federation


Environmental Advocates Issue Statement on Today’s Vote on Precedent-Setting

Great Lakes Water Division Request 


Steve Morse, Minnesota Environmental Partnership: 651-290-0154, Cell: 651-756-1769
Louise Segroves, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy: 651-223-5969

Steve Schultz, Clean Water Action of Minnesota: 612-627-1530

Gary Botzek, Minnesota Conservation Federation, 651-293-9295

June 21, 2016 (Saint Paul, Minn.) — Earlier today, the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council met and voted on the City of Waukesha’s Lake Michigan water diversion proposal. The final action on the diversion request includes significant changes and conditions added by the Great Lakes Governors and Premiers that modified the original diversion application. All states voting supported granting the limited Diversion.

We applaud Governor Dayton and the Department of Natural Resources for their leadership and for conducting an open process that engaged Minnesotans on this issue. Minnesota’s amendments will help clarify the key issue of enforcement of the conditions placed on the diversion today by the Compact Council.

Minnesotans hold their lakes near and dear, including Lake Superior and the other Great Lakes, which provide drinking water to 40 million people, create habitat for thousands of plants and animals and support a $4 billion sports fishing industry. It is critical that we protect these great resources by keeping water from the lakes within the Great Lakes basin.

We appreciate the serious consideration that was given by the Compact Council to the tens of thousands of Great Lakes residents who voiced their concern that Waukesha’s original application did not meet the requirements of the Great Lakes Compact. We are pleased that the original diversion application was significantly narrowed and the amount of water to be diverted reduced.

We remain concerned that the Compact Council did not fully recognize other major flaws in Waukesha’s proposal and didn’t take the steps necessary to ensure that this precedent-setting application meets all of the rigorous requirements for diversion of Great Lakes water. We believe the Waukesha application should have been denied until all these areas of non-compliance were resolved.

We will hold the Compact Council and its member states accountable to their obligations to monitor and enforce the conditions under which the precedent-setting application was approved. Effective implementation of the Great Lakes Compact will hinge on rigorous enforcement of the conditions approved today.

We acknowledge that Waukesha, like many Minnesota cities, has water quality issues to address, but we continue to believe that Waukesha can safely meet its community drinking water needs, now and well into the future, without a diversion of water from the Great Lakes.

 We have learned a lot in this initial diversion request under the Compact Council. One lesson that is clear is that it is very difficult for the public to participate in the regional process. For example, there was no video or audio link available for the public to monitor today’s historic vote. Minnesotan’s either needed to make the trek to Chicago to attend the meeting or rely on Twitter for snippets of information. The Compact Council must amend their processes to include improved opportunities for the public to participate in a meaningful and timely way throughout the regional review process no matter where they live.


The Great Lakes – St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact is an agreement adopted by all eight of the Great Lakes states (MN, WI, IL, IN, MI, OH, PA, NY), passed by Congress in 2008, and backed by a parallel agreement between the U.S. and Canada. It provides a structure within which the Great Lakes states and provinces work together to manage, protect, and conserve Great Lakes Water and bans the  diversion of Great Lakes water outside the basin, except under extraordinary conditions. Under the Great Lakes Compact, any diversion application must be approved by all eight Great Lakes states if they determine it meets the conditions established under the Compact. The two Canadian provinces bordering the lakes, Ontario and Quebec, are allowed to provide input. Any state may veto the diversion application.

Waukesha, Wisconsin’s application to divert water from Lake Michigan to supplant its own groundwater supply is the first test of the Great Lakes Compact. Under the Compact, any community located outside the Great Lakes Basin that applies for a diversion of Great Lakes water must demonstrate that it is applying for the diversion only as a last resort , never as a preferred option; i.e., that it has exhausted all other available options to obtain water. A community also must show that the amount of water requested is not more than what is needed.

Across the region, residents have fought hard to keep Lake Superior and the entire Great Lakes basin clean and plentiful. The Great Lakes give us drinking water, cool air, and a distinct culture. The decision on Waukesha’s proposal is an important first test of and a critical proving ground for the Compact.

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DU Summer Newsletter

16 Rules for Hunting Safety

Adhering to these precautions won’t fill a bag limit, but it will make you and your hunting companions safer in the blind this season

For waterfowlers, enthusiasm grows exponentially as opening day approaches. We double-check decoys, spend time at the range, practice calling, and find ourselves daydreaming about early mornings in the marsh. But even a picture-perfect hunt can turn into a nightmare if safety isn’t a priority. Before heading into the field this season, make sure that you and everyone you hunt with is safe and responsible. To avoid any mishaps, keep these 16 things in mind every time you head to the blind.

View tips »


June Gear Guide

Summer gear for waterfowlers

Kick back and relax this summer, waterfowl season is coming soon. This collection of summer gear for duck and goose hunters caters to off season activities and may improve the opening-day waiting game.

Find your gear »


“New Room”

Artist Bob White’s step-by-step illustration process

I love the elegance and simplicity of pencil drawings, and I was very pleased when the editors at Ducks Unlimited suggested that I illustrate Doug Larsen’s closing column in the magazine with pencil.

The very first chore any artist has when creating an image to illustrate the written word, is to come up with a visualization that tells, or supports the story.

See how he did it »


Practice Like You Play

Improve your shooting skills for waterfowl with these clay-target tips

Recently, a well-known basketball coach told a rookie player to practice only the shots he would take during games. The coach’s point was that not all practice is equal. The same advice holds true for waterfowlers wanting to sharpen their shotgunning skills in the off-season. The closer you mimic actual hunting conditions, the more you’ll get from your time on the skeet range or sporting clays course. Here’s how.

View tips »


2-for-1 DU Membership Deal

Join DU now, get a second membership FREE

For a limited time, you can get two DU memberships for the price of one. That’s one for you and one for your buddy. DU memberships make perfect gifts for Dads and Grads, and are a great way to show your support of the wetlands you love and share them with someone special. You and a friend will each get a full year membership PLUS your own Camo Duffle Bag, all for just $35!

Act now, while supplies last »


Watch “Big Sky” Online

Newest DU Film is about passing on waterfowling traditions

The film visits the Pierce family at their home in Montana for some unbelievable late season mallard shooting and conversations about the importance of family traditions. Marc Pierce is a longtime DU volunteer and former DU board member. He learned to love duck hunting from his father, and now he is passing on the traditions of waterfowling and conservation to his son and grandson.

The 2016 season of DU Films includes six installments, one released each month. DU Films is produced by Rock Road Creative. Watch this year’s films, as well as films from last season, at



DU News: Recent Headlines

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Backcountry Hunters & Anglers

BHA in the News:

-“Don’t let copper mines ruin pristine Boundary Waters.” Duluth News Tribune: 6/2/16.

-WTIP: A reporter and a chef (i.e., MN BHA board member Lukas Leaf) join Dave and Amy Freeman in the Boundary Waters:


-Backcountry Hunters & Anglers Get It Right with ‘Keep It Public’:

-Hook and bullet group stands up against sell-out of federal public lands:

-WWII hero and sportsman group team up to protect steelhead:

-Bulis and Koch Join National Board of Backcountry Hunters & Anglers:

-Join sportsman Randy Newberg (hosts The Sportsman Channel’s “Fresh Tracks”) for a discussion on fighting the public land seizure movement: at 7 PM (MT) on June 15th:


BHA Events/Member-Chapter Action/Tips:

-MN BHA is looking for volunteers to staff a BHA table at the Rapids Archery traditional shoot on June 18th & 19th. Hours are 8:00 am-4:30 pm Saturday and 8-2 Sunday: Contact MN BHA board member Brent Rivard ( for additional information.


-Train to Hunt (TTH) Challenge in partnership with MN BHA (July 30-31). For more information see: The Challenge will be located just across state line in WI, at the Chilakoot Bowhunters Club: Contact Will Jenkins ( or Joe Lang ( for additional information.

–Here’s info for anyone who is planning on competing in the TTH Challenge:

–News segment from the Missoula Train To Hunt Challenge Event:


-The fourth annual MN BHA Rendezvous is scheduled for August 19–21, 2016. We’ll be setting up camp in Wild River State Park on the St. Croix River north of Minneapolis-St. Paul near Center City:


Sulfide Mining:

-Sign The BHA Petition: No Sulfide Mine in the Boundary Waters Watershed:

-Save a National Treasure (BWCAW):

-Bureau of Land Management Requests Information from Forest Service for Lease Application in Minnesota:

-Veteran for the Boundary Waters page on Save the Boundary Waters’ website:

-Save the Boundary Waters video:


Public Lands/Waters/OHVs/Trails:

-Randy Newberg: STEALING YOUR PUBLIC LANDS – Destroying the Myths (Episode 3 of 15):

Randy Newberg: Stealing Your Public Land-Costs of Land Management (Episode 4 of 15):

-Randy Newberg Discusses Federal Land Transfers:

-Get your BHA Public Lands Stickers:


Dept. of Natural Resources/Legislature/Fish/Big Game/Upland Game:

-Will your Deer Unit be Bucks only or Unlimited Antlerless for 2016?

-Lawmaker limits DNR plans to expand elk herd in northwest Minnesota:


Other News/Events/Updates:

-Donnie Vincent Launches New Website, Offers Films in HD Streaming:

-Hunting Among Wolves:

-Yellowstone History: President Theodore Roosevelt’s 1903 Trip:

-Bear vs. wolf, and other stunning photos from Minnesota’s Stan Tekiela:

-Sam Cook: Superior Hiking Trail celebrates 30 years:

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