84A.55 COMMISSIONER'S CONTROL OF CONSERVATION LANDS.
Subdivision 1. General control.
Game preserves, areas, and projects established under
, are under the management, operation, and control of the
commissioner of natural resources. The commissioner has the powers and duties provided
in this section.
Subd. 2. Forest protection.
The commissioner shall care for, preserve, protect, and develop
the forests in preserves, areas, and projects; shall prevent forest fires in them so far as means are
available; and may experiment in and practically advance afforestation and reforestation there.
Subd. 3. Timber sales.
The commissioner may sell merchantable timber on lands held by
the state under section
. It must be sold in the same way as timber
on other state lands.
Subd. 4. Waters.
The commissioner may impound, control, and regulate the waters of
meandered and other public lakes in preserves, areas, and projects and the flow of natural streams.
Subd. 5. Wildlife.
The commissioner shall care for, protect, and preserve any species of
wildlife there, so far as means are available.
Subd. 6. Regulation; licensing.
The commissioner may regulate and license, subject to
revocation for violation of any state law relating to wild animals or of this section, the breeding,
propagation, and disposition of wildlife in preserves, areas, or projects by any person as necessary
to execute subdivision 5.
Subd. 7. Hunting and other licenses.
The commissioner may issue, subject to revocation
for violation of state law relating to wild animals or of sections
, special licenses
or permits for hunting, fishing, camping, or other uses consistent with those sections or any
other applicable state law.
Subd. 7a. Snowmobiles on certain lands.
Unless specifically prohibited by a rule of the
commissioner, snowmobiles may be operated on lands subject to this section that have been
identified by the commissioner as wildlife management areas.
Subd. 8. Policing.
The commissioner may police the game preserves, areas, and projects
as necessary to carry out this section. The commissioner may employ and designate individuals
according to section
to enforce laws governing the use of the game preserves, areas,
Subd. 9. Drainage.
The commissioner may make necessary investigations and surveys
for and may undertake projects for the drainage of state-owned lands within a game preserve,
conservation area, or other area subject to this section so far as the commissioner determines that
the lands will benefit from the project for the purposes for which the area was established. The
commissioner may pay the cost of drainage projects out of funds appropriated and available for
them. If the commissioner finds after investigation that a project for the construction, repair, or
improvement of a public ditch or ditch system undertaken by a county or other public agency
as otherwise provided by law will benefit the lands for those purposes, the commissioner may
cooperate in the project by joining in the petition for the project or consenting to or approving it
on any conditions the commissioner determines. The commissioner shall authorize the imposition
of assessments for the projects on the lands in any amounts the commissioner determines, or may
make lump sum contributions to the county or other public funds established for the payment of
the cost of the project. The assessments or contributions must not exceed the value of benefits to
the state-owned lands as determined by the commissioner and specified by written certificates
or other statement filed in the proceedings. Assessments or contributions are payable only out
of funds appropriated and available for them in amounts the commissioner determines. The
commissioner of natural resources shall establish by rule before January 1, 1986, the criteria for
determining benefits to state-owned lands held or used to protect or propagate wildlife, provide
hunting or fishing for the public, or serve other purposes relating to conservation, development, or
use of soil, water, forests, wild animals, or related natural resources.
Subd. 10. Roads; landing strips.
The commissioner may construct and maintain and
contribute funds for construction and maintenance of roads and airplane landing fields or strips
within a game preserve, conservation area, or other area subject to this section. Payments for
highway purposes under this subdivision may be made to any governmental subdivision or to the
United States in amounts set by the commissioner from the account created by section
Subd. 11. Rules.
The commissioner may promulgate rules necessary for the execution of this
section, including the conditions of licenses and permits under subdivision 7 and the amount of
license fees. In addition to notice required by other law, the commissioner must give 30 days'
notice posted in each township affected by the rules. The rules have the force of law, and any
violation of rules is a misdemeanor. Lands within a game preserve, area, or project referred to
in subdivision 1, whether owned privately or by the state or any governmental subdivision, are
subject to the rules consistent with the constitutional rights of private owners or other applicable
Subd. 12. Compensation.
Nothing shall be done under this section that will interfere with
the operation of ditches or drainage systems existing in any game preserve, area, or project
referred to in subdivision 1, or damage or destroy any existing road or highway in it, so far as
constructed, improved, or maintained by any governmental subdivision or public agency or
person other than the commissioner, unless the right to them is first acquired by the commissioner
by purchase or condemnation, upon payment of just compensation to the political subdivision,
public agency, or person affected and damaged.
Subd. 13. Buying land.
The commissioner may acquire by purchase or condemnation any
land or interest in land or any public work or project or right in it necessary for any purpose
authorized in this section.
Subd. 14. Source of funds.
Salaries and expenses incurred to carry out this section must be
paid from money appropriated from the consolidated account or other fund or account designated
in the applicable appropriation.
History: 1949 c 498 s 6; 1953 c 654 s 1; 1955 c 792 s 1; 1969 c 1129 art 10 s 2; 1978 c 674
s 14; 1984 c 654 art 2 s 82; 1985 c 248 s 70; 1986 c 444; 1987 c 229 art 1 s 1; 1989 c 335 art 4 s
21,106; 1992 c 573 s 3; 2003 c 128 art 1 s 39; 2004 c 260 s 7