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Posted by W von Papinešu on March 09, 2003 at 22:25:35:
In Reply to: Minn Press: Koering unveils bill to shield turtle races posted by W von Papinešu on March 01, 2003 at 10:12:39:
BRAINERD DAILY DISPATCH (Minnesota) 07 March 03 Turtle race bills racing through Legislature
St Paul: Let the races begin. Turtle races, that is.
A House committee on Thursday embraced a bill that would ensure the tourist-drawing events could continue as usual in Minnesota's lake country.
Earlier this year, officials in several small towns said they were concerned the turtle races they'd been organizing for years were endangered by a DNR interpretation of a turtle harvesting law.
"There is some confusion," said Rep. Larry Howes, R-Walker, who worked with the DNR on the bill he presented to the House Environment and Natural Resources Committee.
The proposal would allow people to take, possess, rent or sell up to 25 turtles to provide to children under 18 for turtle races. The person would be responsible for the well-being of the turtles and after the race, they must return the animals to their "place of origin."
Not all turtle race proponents are backing Howes' bill, however.
Kathy Newton, marketing director with the Nisswa Chamber of Commerce, said today only one of her organization's four turtle vendors is under 18 and finding reliable young vendors could be difficult. She said she favors the version of the bill being offered in the Senate by Sen. Paul Koering, R-Fort Ripley. That measure allows an exemption that would permit the trapping of turtles by nonprofit groups or chambers of commerce to conduct turtle races.
The House committee set the proposal aside for possible inclusion in a larger game and fish bill.