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AIS Task Force will be 'standalone' for now

Otter Tail County's Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force won't be combining its efforts with other counties, at least for now. That doesn't mean, however, that there won't be collaboration or sharing of ideas.

"For the time being, it looks like we'll be a standalone task force," said County Land and Resource Administrator Bill Kalar. "A regional coordinator is not needed at this time."

The task force met with county board members at their regular meeting last week. They discussed things such as the Minnesota DNR grant process and coordination of boat inspections.

The county board and AIS Task Force work closely with area lake associations and the Otter Tail County Coalition of Lake Associations in efforts to control the spread of invasive species.

"We have representation from a variety of interest groups, and the Aquatic Invasive Species Task Force is well received by the public," said Kalar. "Lake associations have donated to the AIS program. We see efficiency from having our group and the DNR jointly coordinate inspections."

The 2013 AIS budget will be approved in December. Educating the general public about invasive species will be one of the goals for the coming year, as was the case during 2012.