ACCL 2021 YEAR IN REVIEW
· January- BOD Met via ZOOM – Charting the year, asking questions for the future of ACCL
· February- BOD ZOOM- Visitors to BOD. John Ringle, Jessica Manifold, Jenny Blue, Levy Bergstrom, Dana Gutzmann(Starts March 1, 2021). Discussed AIS initiatives including Bait Bags, Dive team, Resort Ambassador status, decontamination location update.
· March- BOD ZOOM – Visitors – Sharon Netzel – Hubbard Cola and John Kruse, Otter Tail County and COLA. Created committee assignments for board directors, thereby having work shared among the directors. Discussed where ACCL money should go re: various organizations.
· April- BOD ZOOM – AIS phone line is shifting to Cass County responsibility. The ACCL will no longer fund the out of date format. Concern re: how many lakes are not regularly having water tested. Financial moves to Calendar year. Wagner has interviewed sixteen lake associations thus far. Discussed AIS Detector training, but not having much interest from lake associations. Wagner assigned each director to review and update mission statements for their respective committees.
· May- BOD –Visitors– Jim Kutzner, MN COLA and Lynn Goodrich, Hubbard COLA/ MN COLA- reviewed their Grassroots Agenda and asked for feedback. FIRST MEMBER MEETING Backus/Zoom: FOCUS = Water Quality .Water test cooler handoff. Ellie Kriese, RMBEL, presented on the state of our Cass County Waters. Mark Larison, Birch Lake, presented his format for sharing the water quality of Birch Lake . Dana Gutzmann, Cass county AIS Technician updated us on AiS.
· June- BOD- Visitors: Rob Rabasco, DNR MN Loon Initiative; Amy Westmark, DNR, Non-Game supervisor. Voted to give free membership for the first year to new lake associations. Howard and Big Bass Lakes are attempting to develop lake associations. Member meeting Hackensack/Zoom: Focus – Fisheries. Speakers Doug Schultz, DNR Fisheries Supervisor; Kelly Amoth, MN Pollution Controlw Agency, “Get the Lead Out” Campaign (ZOOM); Meg Durh, MAISRC- Reporting on latest Zebra Mussel research; Dana Gutzmann, Cass County AIS update.
· July- BOD- Visitors- John Sumption, Northern Waters Land Trust. Calendar year was changed; update on loon initiative; AIS article for Lakes Line; voted to order 1000 Spiny Water Flea Cloths to sell to our members at cost. Member Meeting Backus/ZOOM: Focus- Watersheds. Speakers: Kelly Condiff, Cass County Environmental Services; Ron Meyer, Pine River Watershed Alliance; Jim Chamberlain and Nicolle Bauman, Happy Dancing Turtle.
· August- BOD – No visitors. Seeking directors to help shape the future of ACCL. Spiny Water Flea Cloths are being purchased. John Eaton reported on protocol for volunteering with DNR. Member Meeting: Hackensack/Zoom: Focus on Conservation, Preservation, and Protection. Speakers: Northern Waters Land Trust- Annie Knight, John Sumption, George Selke; Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe- Kate Hagsten, Keith Karnes, Jacob Grandia; Jaqueline Hughes, DNR Conservation Officer; Dana Gutzmann- AIS update.
· September BOD- Visitor- Steve Johnson Concern re: Townline Lake and Eurasian Milfoil. Dana Gutzmann updated regarding the Starry Stonewart on Leech Lake.
Please check the web site for more in depth information from BOD minutes, focus features in the Lake Lines and newsletters. www.acclakes.org
2021 Donations from ACCL
· MAISRC- $100
· MN Lakes and Rivers $100
· Northern Waters Land Trust $100
· Pine River Watershed Alliance $100
· MN COLA -$150
· AIS Decon Maps- $50
Committee Mission Statements and strategic steps accomplished in 2021:
WATER Quality: Strategic Action
Mission: To guide and organize ACCL member Lake Associations on issues of water quality.
1) Work with ACCL member Lake Associations to encourage the consistent monitoring and reporting lake quality data into the MPCA/ RMBEL or other appropriate data systems.
2) Provide an annual, spring RMBEL communication and sampling supplies pick up date for all Cass County sampling volunteers.
3) Provide a format for member Lake Associations to easily and clearly communicate their water quality (Trophic State Index, TSI) trends to their members.
4) Advise lake associations if any significant changes in water quality are detected or reported by the MPCA/RMBEL/other appropriate partner in its reports on lakes. Assist the association to determine the cause for the changes in water quality.
5) Report to the ACCL BOD and member lake associations on a yearly basis or sooner if water quality issues occur for any member lake associations in the previous year.
ACCL actions in 2021
· Hosted the RMBEL cooler hand out prior to the first water sample week.
· Invited RMBEL ‘s Ellie Kriese to speak at first member meeting.
· Invited speakers from Cass County and Pine River Watershed to educate attendees regarding the importance of good water quality.
· Shared Birch Lake’s format for communicating water quality trends to members in a clear and easy manner.
Aquatic Invasive Species: Strategic Action
Mission: To prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species into the lakes, rivers, streams and wetlands of Cass County, and when necessary, assist action agencies to effectively control/manage any infestations.
Strategic Action: Work with all federal, state, county, city and township units of government as well as other NGOs and lake associations in the coordination and implementation of authorized/legitimized AIS plans as they pertain to Cass County.
1) Prevent the spread of AIS
a. Support and influence Cass County public access watercraft inspections and decontamination stations.
b. Educate stakeholders: Lake associations, boaters, bait sellers, dock/lift workers, resorts, and water service providers.
c. Broadcast/publicize best prevention practices to all member lake associations and the water user community.
2) Detect and measure AIS in Cass County waters
a. Support the University of MN AIS Detectors program. Increase trained Detectors to include detector activities for every lake.
b. Share best detection practices among all lake associations.
3) Control known AIS infestations in Cass County
a. Support and influence Cass County, DNR, MPCA, and U of M, to act with urgency in controlling AIS infestations.
ACCL actions in 2021
· Cass County AIS technician, Dana Gutzmann has given an AIS update at each member meeting and offered articles for the monthly newsletter.
· We purchased 1000 Spiny Water Flea cloths for our lake associations to purchase at cost.
· Invited MAISRC to speak at the August member meeting.
· Contributed $50 towards the printing of the Cass County Decontamination maps.
FISHERIES – Strategic Action
MISSION: Considering the importance of our fisheries recreationally, economically, and ecologically to Cass County, it will be our mission to work with regional MNDNR fisheries personnel in monitoring, investigating, sustaining and/or improving fisheries resources of Cass County lakes.
1. Through the initiative of ACCL Fisheries Team members, develop relationships with regional MNDNR fisheries personnel that promote exchanges of information and ideas on management activities on specific county lakes or lakes in general.
2. Support the needs and interests of Lake Associations in conducting timely discussions between MNDNR fisheries personnel and individual lake representatives, the ACCL BOD, ACCL General Membership, or all these groups, as appropriate.
3. Provide information from fisheries-related interactions between ACCL and MNDNR to the BOD and General Membership by appropriate means, such as the newsletter, website or through regularly scheduled presentations at ACCL meetings.
4. Arrange for an annual appearance by a MNDNR representative at an ACCL General Membership meeting to initiate, facilitate or sustain contact for all the above purposes.
ACCL actions in 2021:
· Invited Doug Schultz, DNR Fisheries, to speak to members in June.
· Sent out LAKES LINE focus on fisheries to members
· Connected with DNR re: how to volunteer
· Developed positive relationship with various DNR members
Community: Strategic Action
MISSION: To utilize multiple communication strategies to communicate ACCL’s Mission and related activities to all stakeholders.
1). Provide a current and relevant website.
2). Create Facebook Account offering informative current happenings; member meeting topics and presenters; show decontamination locations; offer short educational You Tube videos; update members on AIS.
3) Promote ACCL in local newspapers by running ads.
4). Select an identifying Logo
5). Provide regular newsletter to all stakeholders.
6). Maintain current e-mail lists for lake association members and various stakeholder groups for the rapid distribution of information and/or a call for immediate action.
ACCL actions in 2021:
· Sent out newsletters to stakeholders and posted them on website
· Selected an identifying logo
· Developed in depth current contacts for lake associations
· Sent newsletters to townships
· Maintained the web site
· Purchased ZOOM account to allow for larger audience participation.
Civic Engagement- Operational team
Mission: To serve as the organized voice for its membership with township and county government in order to have a stronger collective voice in government.
1) Encourage public officials to develop and implement comprehensive plans for wise and prudent management of lakes and shore land; encourage partnerships with governmental entities; contribute in developing township, municipal and county shore land policy; monitor and participate in governmental administration of lakes, rivers, watersheds, and non-riparian land.
2) Monitor local governing agency’s plans and decisions and regularly update the ACCL BOD.
3) Assemble and express consensus viewpoints of lake associations to government officials and agencies (particularly county) and to private organizations and the general public.
4) Appraise the county’s land use ordinances and comprehensive plans.
5) Coordinate local efforts to influence state and federal legislation relating to lake issues.
ACCL actions in 2021:
· Sent all 50 townships the ACCL newsletter and focus feature.
· Submitted editorials to local newspapers
· Invited state and county officials to attend member meetings via ZOOM
Financial: Operational Team
Mission: Manage the financial activities of the association.
1) Checkbook activities: deposits and records income into categorized sources. Pay all board approved bills, donations and contributions. Maintain financial software to document these activities. Reconcile external bank statements to internal financial record and software.
2) Develop an annual budget to guide expenditures.
3) Manage 501(c) 3- record donations for tax deduction purposes and oversee Lobbying efforts to ensure costs are below the minimum allowed. Lobbying by a 501(c)3 is limited to 20% of total expenditures and only 5% for grassroots Lobbying (encouraging the public to contact legislators).
4) Annually register with the MN Secretary of State the association’s Articles of Incorporation.
5) Participate in periodic audits of the associations finances.
6) Research ACCL/member lake associations financial grant opportunities. Assist in any fund raising efforts by the association.
7) Establish and maintain correspondent relationships with financial director positions within ACCL lake association members.
ACCL actions in 2021:
· Opened a P.O Box in Longville, MN
· Closed the Security Box in Hackensack, MN
· Transferred the responsibility of an AIS decontamination phone service to Cass County.
· Changed to calendar year in concert with application.
· Confirmed that due to our small size (less than $25,000 in annual receipts) that our singular reporting requirement is to submit form 990N annually with 4 ½ months after the end of our fiscal year.
· Confirmed that there is no requirement to report cash receipts and expenditures until the level of your cash receipts exceeds $750,000 annually.
MEMBERSHIP: Operational Team
Mission: To assist and support existing associations as may be requested, support those lake associations that are struggling to operate, and assist in the formation of new associations.
ACCL actions in 2021:
· Identified 45 lake associations in Cass County
· BOD decision that first year of ACCL membership is free.