AIS trailer decals: Still unanswered questions
Last week I wrote about the upcoming AIS trailer decal and the require course completion information to receive your decal. If you tried to log on to the website on the 31st and were unable to complete the course, there is a reason. On Wednesday,...
Last week I wrote about the upcoming AIS trailer decal and the require course completion information to receive your decal.
If you tried to log on to the website on the 31st and were unable to complete the course, there is a reason. On Wednesday, Jan. 28, the DNR postponed the AIS decal requirement. The 10-question course is already completed and was ready to ready to “roll out,” with the exception of the cost for the course and decal.
The DNR is holding off the implementation of the decal program that was passed by legislators in 2012, and was set to take effect as of July 1 this year, as there is current legislation in the House and Senate to repeal the requirement.
The DNR is anticipating some changes or modifications to be worked out in the next legislative session, rather than a full repeal of the proposed program. One significant issue with the current proposal that will need to be worked out is the requirement for anyone transporting a boat through Minnesota that would be required to complete the course and display the decal on their trailer. The agency recognizes there are some concerns with the law regarding that requirement. Cost of the program and the process for implementation will also need to be debated as will who will really be required to complete the course.
My guess is those that have been trained as watercraft inspectors, didn’t like the fact that they would also then be required to complete an additional course and pay a fee to transport their own trailer. Many aspects to this previously passed bill of 2012 that will need to be re-visited and more specifics worked out.
The AIS training program is very controversial. It seems almost everything having to do with AIS these days is creating controversy. There are many stakeholders to consider when implementing plans. Stakeholders include, but are not limited to, lake property owners, lake associations, fisherman, pleasure boaters, and all the local and state agencies that are in charge of lakes and water quality.
I don’t believe the controversy is such a bad thing, as debating issues will usually help create some balanced, thoughtful approaches to the issues. We defiantly have had our fill of “knee jerk” reactions to controversial issues in the past. This issue becomes very emotional for many, and opinions get expressed with passion.
I believe approaching solutions by getting emotions in check help create more logical and sensible decisions. Most good decisions in our life are made when we explore options, consider variables, and make informed decisions.
How many good business decisions, relationship decisions, financial decisions, or life decisions get made when they are made in the middle of strong emotional reactions?
I think the program will pass with some modifications made by the legislators. I hope the debate helps calm the emotional over-reaction and promote common sense responses and AIS intervention strategy.
I do believe the structure for compliance will not be as rushed to implementation as this course requirement and decal program seemed to be for most anglers and boat owners.
Now is a good time to just focus on the rest of your ice fishing season. When the ice melts and we can start getting the boats on the water….clean and drain. When I learn more regarding what will be implemented when the legislators are done with this issue, I will pass it along.
(Laabs runs Brad Laabs’ Guide Service in Detroit Lakes.)