Stauber Hosts Public Call to Hear from Minnesotans Concerned with Restrictions Surrounding Outdoor Recreation

May 11, 2020
Press Release

HERMANTOWN, MN – Ahead of Minnesota’s Fishing Opener, Congressman Pete Stauber (MN-08) hosted a public conference call to hear from Minnesotans concerned about the impact that Governor Walz’s Stay at Home Executive Order has on their outdoor recreation traditions, livelihoods, and Northern Minnesota’s economy.

Of this call, Congressman Stauber stated, “Every year, after the long and harsh months of winter, Minnesotans look forward to heading into the great outdoors to cast their lines or pitch a tent. As we find ourselves in the midst of a pandemic, I know Minnesotans are especially looking forward to this tradition to relieve stress, find comfort in nature, and spend precious time with loved ones. Minnesotans deserve this time. Unfortunately, in the days and weeks leading up to Fishing Opener Weekend, I have heard from many who are concerned about their ability to partake in these favorite pastimes because of Governor Walz’s Stay at Home Executive Order.

Stauber followed stating, “I have also heard from countless resort owners, campground owners, houseboat owners, guides and outfitters who are concerned with the impact that the Governor’s Stay at Home Order continues to have on their livelihoods and economy. For many across Minnesota’s Eighth District, the summer months serve as the most profitable time of the year, and this Executive Order has already resulted in cancelled reservations and lost revenue. Many Minnesotans face the risk of losing their entire life’s work should this trend continue.

Stauber concluded, stating, “It was important for me to host this call today because I share my constituents’ concerns and I wanted to give them a platform for their voices to be heard. As a former law enforcement officer, I believe the health and safety of Minnesotans is paramount. However, Minnesotans are practical people, and I trust them to make smart decisions as they recreate and reopen for business. It is my hope that Governor Walz hears these valid concerns and crafts a better plan that meets the needs of those living, recreating, and working in northeast Minnesota.”

During this call, Congressman Stauber heard from the following speakers:

  • Liz Rammer, President & CEO of Hospitality Minnesota
  • Bill and Tom Dougherty, Owners of Rainy Lake Houseboats in International Falls
  • Matt Kilian, President of Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce
  • Alissa Boser, Owner of Pete’s Retreat on Lake Mille Lacs
  • Paul McDonald, St. Louis County Commissioner representing Northern St. Louis County
  • Blayne Hall, Owner of Williams & Hall Outfitters in Ely
  • Senator David Tomassoni, Senate District 6, Ranking Member of the Senate Environment and Natural Resources Finance Committee

Earlier this week, Stauber sent a letter to Governor Walz urging him to allow Minnesotans access to overnight campsites ahead of the fishing opener. Read the full letter HERE.

Yesterday, Congressman Stauber sent a letter to the Minnesota DNR, requesting that they not hand out citations to Minnesotans who choose to share a boat with someone outside of their household. Read the full letter HERE.