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Bud Grant to Gov. Dayton: Block part of that Legacy bill

The former Vikings coach and avid outdoorsman objects to using $9 million in outdoors Legacy funds for metro parks and the fight against exotic species.

Former Vikings Coach Bud Grant has asked Gov. Mark Dayton to remove from the Legacy Fund bill more than $9 million in funding for metro parks and to fight invasive species.

The Pioneer Press reports that Grant sent a letter to the governor about eliminating those two parts of the Legacy Amendment funding bill that weren’t approved by the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council, a citizens group that makes recommendation on outdoors spending.

Said the letter:

“If you strike a deal to include projects that went around or ignored the path through the council, you are not being a friend to the sportsmen and women. I would hate to see you jeopardize the valid concerns of those who supported you in your election campaign.”

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Minneapolis state Rep. Phyllis Kahn has pushed the metro parks funding. The story said:

“The Mississippi Flyway is one of our greatest assets in the state, and it doesn’t stop at the metro,” Kahn has said. “That duck you shoot in Crow Wing County might have had lunch in Hennepin County.”

But Grant told the paper that the Lessard-Sams Council knows best:

“There’s not a committee out there that’s as conscientious as Lessard-Sams,” Grant said in an interview. “These are not legislators, these are people who are interested in the natural resources of the state. Legislators are interested in their pet projects, getting re-elected and popularity contests.”

Star Tribune outdoors editor Dennis Anderson, too, has railed against the Kahn plan and is urging the governor to cut the funding not recommended by the Lessard-Sams Council:

Minnesotans are waiting for Gov. Mark Dayton to tell us who he is.

He could sign a bill brokered by big shots in the waning hours of the just-concluded legislative session — a deal that would send a knife into the heart of the Lessard-Sams Outdoor Heritage Council.

Or he could honor a campaign promise he made to hunters, anglers and other conservationists to stand up for the state’s natural resources and the many opportunities they afford Minnesotans, especially the 99 percent who depend on public lands and waters to hunt, fish, camp, boat and paddle.