To conserve and use water resources of the state in the best interests of its people, and to promote the public health, safety, and welfare, it is the policy of the state that:
(1) subject to existing rights, public waters are subject to the control of the state;
(2) the state, to the extent provided by law, shall control the appropriation and use of waters of the state; and
(3) the state shall control and supervise activity that changes or will change the course, current, or cross section of public waters, including the construction, reconstruction, repair, removal, abandonment, alteration, or the transfer of ownership of dams, reservoirs, control structures, and waterway obstructions in public waters.
(a) Wetlands identified in the state under section 103G.005, subdivision 19, do not:
(1) grant the public additional or greater right of access to the wetlands;
(2) diminish the right of ownership or usage of the beds underlying the wetlands, except as otherwise provided by law;
(3) affect state law forbidding trespass on private lands; and
(4) require the commissioner to acquire access to the wetlands.
(b) The legislature finds that the wetlands of Minnesota provide public value by conserving surface waters, maintaining and improving water quality, preserving wildlife habitat, providing recreational opportunities, reducing runoff, providing for floodwater retention, reducing stream sedimentation, contributing to improved subsurface moisture, helping moderate climatic change, and enhancing the natural beauty of the landscape, and are important to comprehensive water management, and that it is in the public interest to:
(1) achieve no net loss in the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's existing wetlands;
(2) increase the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of Minnesota's wetlands by restoring or enhancing diminished or drained wetlands;
(3) avoid direct or indirect impacts from activities that destroy or diminish the quantity, quality, and biological diversity of wetlands; and
(4) replace wetland values where avoidance of activity is not feasible and prudent.
Copyright © 2014 by the Revisor of Statutes, State of Minnesota. All rights reserved.