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Otter Tail COLA to host DNR Public Water Access Program, Lake Improvement Districts

The general board meeting of the Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) will be held Saturday, Sept. 26, at 9 a.m. at the Community Center in Ottertail. Two speakers are scheduled following the business meeting.

Bruce Winterfeldt will provide an overview of the local DNR Public Water Access Program. Winterfeldt is the DNR Area Parks and Trails supervisor located in Fergus Falls. He is a graduate of North Dakota State College of Science and has been an employee of the Minnesota DNR for 28 years. He has previously worked for the U.S. Department of the Interior and the U. S. Forest Service. In addition, he also has 10 years of experience in the private sector where he worked for a land surveying and engineering firm.

Kaitlin Steiger-Meister will speak on the topic of Lake Improvement Districts (LIDs). Steiger-Meister is a Ph.D. candidate in Natural Resources Science and Management at the University of Minnesota. Her research focuses on the links between policy and citizen engagement with an emphasis in aquatic and marine resource management.

The bulk of Steiger-Meister's fieldwork for her doctoral dissertation took place in Minnesota where she interviewed a diverse array of stakeholders involved in the management of the state's surface waters. Steiger-Meister received her M.A. in Marine Affairs Policy and Management from the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science housed by the University of Miami.

She also received her B.A. from the University of Miami where she majored in Marine Science Affairs with minors in Anthropology and Studio Art. Currently, Steiger-Meister is in her final year of her program and in the process of writing her dissertation.