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Does your business need training in AIS prevention?: Workshop for owners of resorts, lake service providers set for Wednesday

Do you own a lakefront resort or a lake service provider business such as dock and lift installation and removal, diving services or watercraft rental?

Then under state law, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) requires that you must attend training for the detection and prevention of aquatic invasive species (AIS) infestation, apply for a permit and pay a $50 permit fee once every three years.

In order to assist with that process, the Becker Soil & Water Recreation District (SWCD), Becker County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) and the Minnesota DNR are co-hosting an AIS workshop for waterfront business owners this Wednesday, March 22 at the Holiday Inn in Detroit Lakes.

"This meeting does not count as meeting the lake service provider training requirements," says workshop facilitator Karl Koenig, who serves as AIS program coordinator for the Becker SWCD.

"But it is a good opportunity to find out if businesses are required to hold this permit, as some resorts are not required to have this based on what they offer guests," he added

Though Wednesday's session is free and open to the public, it is geared specifically toward the owners of waterfront businesses such as resorts and lake service providers, Koenig said.

Its purpose is to help these business owners:

• Learn about what state and local AIS programs are available;

• Learn what it takes to prevent AIS infestation from having a negative impact on water-based recreation;

• Request free resources for your business;

• Obtain free signs, printed materials and watercraft inspection training for your business to use during the 2017 season.

"We'll also be asking the resorts and business owners what the SWCD and Becker County COLA can do for them," says COLA board member Steve Lindow. "We want to know how we can help you.

"Our ultimate goal is to protect Becker County from AIS," he added. Besides watercraft inspection and decontamination, Koenig said, a big part of that goal involves AIS education and "getting the word out" on what people should look for on their docks and watercraft, as well as how to report a possible sighting of zebra mussels, starry stonewort, flowering rush etc.

"The DNR handles that aspect," said Koenig, adding that Becker SWCD's AIS inspection program is still fairly new.

"We (SWCD) want to make sure these businesses know what we have to offer," he said.

For more information about Wednesday's workshop, please contact Karl Koenig at 218-849-6438 or kikoenig@co.becker.mn.us.

Vicki Gerdes

Staff writer at Detroit Lakes Newspapers for the past 16 years, currently editor of the entertainment and community pages as well as covering city council and the Lake Park-Audubon School Board. Living in DL with my cat, Smokey.

(218) 844-1454
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