This report is intended to provide the Lake of the Woods Keep it Clean Committee with an improved understanding of the environmental management challenges related to increased ice fishing pressure on Lake of the Woods, particularly in relation to the use of independent wheelhouses on the lake. Uncertainty about the extent and nature of the impacts from ice fishing and wheelhouse use is currently impeding the effective management of lake usage and the delivery of public services.
Based on a synthesis of qualitative research, case studies, and literature on environmental management, this report provides the following policy and process recommendations that the Keep it Clean Committee can utilize to help address pollution concerns, protect their fisheries, reinforce strong local governance systems, support a robust ice fishing economy, and serve both residents and visitors to LOW now and in the future:
• Develop and implement a lake access surcharge to secure additional project funding
• Focus educational efforts on the lake access point-of-contact with wheelhouse users
• Expand the role of resorts in the work of the Keep It Clean Committee
• Continue community engagement through surveys, town halls, or other methods
We have also identified two specific project directions that could form the basis for continued collaboration between the Keep It Clean Committee and the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. These projects are:
• Educational program design for angler orientation on sustainable ice fishing
• Case study research on local governance approaches to environmental management
Capstone paper for the fulfillment of the Master of Science in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy degree.
Dix, Alec; Freesmeier, Claire; Helgesen, Erik; Pattsner, Max.
Lake of the Woods Sustainability Assessment.
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