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Last chance for lake service provider training before ice-out

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The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) has added two aquatic invasive species (AIS) training sessions for businesses that install or remove water-related equipment such as docks, lifts, rafts, boats, or sprinkler systems from Minnesota lakes and rivers.

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"Businesses are rushing to complete the training before the spring thaw,” said April Rust, AIS training coordinator. “We’ve added two sessions to accommodate people that missed classes earlier this year. We intentionally chose St. Cloud because it’s centrally located and accessible to people from around the state.”

Lake service providers will learn about current AIS laws and how to integrate prevention strategies into their business practices.

Lake service businesses are required by law to attend AIS training and acquire a permit before being hired by property owners. The law, passed by the Minnesota Legislature in 2011, aims to help prevent the spread of AIS between waters of the state. The permit is valid for three years and must be in possession while providing services. There is a $50 fee for the permit.

The additional classes are:

April 22, 1 - 4 p.m., Voyageurs National Park, Kabetogama Visitor Center, 9940 Cedar Lane, Kabetogama, MN 56669.

May 9, 1 - 4 p.m., Mn/DOT Conference Center, Granite North Room (lower level). 3725 12th St. N., St. Cloud, MN 56303.

More classes are planned during the summer. Several will include an optional afternoon class for business owners interested in becoming trained in AIS decontamination. A list of all 2013 training opportunities is available at http://files.dnr.state.mn.us/rlp/permits/lsp/lsp-ais-training.pdf

Visit the DNR website at www.mndnr.gov/lsp to learn which businesses need a permit. To register, or for more information, contact Rust at april.rust@state.mn.us or 651-259-5706.

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