Winter Newsletter

Upper Hay Lake Association P.O. Box 769 Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472 

Winter Newsletter January 2020 Page

Greetings From Your President! 

It seems that winter has officially arrived. Today it was rather chilly which probably makes the people who enjoy ice fishing on Upper Hay Lake excited. Just be sure to save us enough pan fish to catch in the spring. To get out of the cold, I am heading to Arizona for a few weeks. 

The proposed 2020 Crow Wing County AIS Prevention Plan is out for a 30-day comment period until Saturday January 18 at 5:00 PM. If you have any questions, contact Nicole Erickson, Environmental Services Specialist, at 218-824-1142 or email We have been very fortunate on Upper Hay Lake to get 300 hours of AIS inspection at our public landing. 

On December 31, 2019, I attended the Crow Wing County Board public hearing on an ordinance that would license and regulate short-term rentals. The meeting lasted for more than three hours and speakers ranged from resort owners, vacation rental operators, concerned neighbors and other interested citizens. Dozens of people shared their opinions and suggestions on a proposed ordinance which outlines requirements for annual licensure along with regulations concerning septic systems and solid waste, occupancy, noise and parking. The overlying issue is how to balance property rights of those operating vacation rentals with neighbors impacted by the properties. The January 1, 2020 issue of the Brainerd Dispatch has a cover article on the hearing. The Crow Wing County Board decided to delay a decision on an ordinance until January 28, 2020. At that time commissioners may decide to vote on the draft ordinance or they could discuss potential changes to the ordinance. If you have questions or comments, you can email Bill Brekken at:

The UHLA annual meeting will be held at the Jenkins VFW on Saturday May 16, 2020 at 8:00 AM. We look forward to seeing you. A new event that we are hosting is a Burger Night at the Jenkins VFW on Thursday August 6 at 5:00 in lieu of the annual picnic. 

Now….for my annual question: Did you remember to include Upper Hay Lake on your list of New Year’s Resolutions? With a precious resource such as Upper Hay Lake, perhaps we can consider setting goals of improving our water quality or taking better care of our shorelines in the year 2020. I am committed to making improvements on our lake. How about you? 

Claire Steen 


The state now has an official state bee and official state bee program to help them and other pollinators thrive. 

In 1988 MN Voters approved the creation of the Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund which is supported by 40 % of the MN State lottery’s net proceeds. The other 60% is deposited in the state’s general fund. The Trust Fund is required by law to be used on activities that protect, conserve, preserve and enhance the state’s air, land, fish, wildlife and other natural resources. 

Projects that receive money are recommended by the legislator/citizen commission on MN Resources and approved by the legislature and the governor. During the past legislative session, the MN Legislature approved about 64 million in funding for 65 projects. 

One of the projects approved for trust fund support during the 2019 legislative session is Lawns to Legumes. The goal is to help residential and lake landowners convert traditional turf grass lawns to pollinator friendly lawns composed of native grasses, forbs and legumes. The MN Board of Water and Soil Resources (BWSR) will partner with local conservation organizations on projects starting in the spring and summer of 2020. 

Lawns to Legumes will help residents create new habitat for the federal endangered Rusty Patched Bumble Bee whose populations nationwide have dropped 87 % in the last 20 years. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimate that the Rusty Patched is present in just 0.1% of its historical range in MN. Many of the areas where the bee is likely to live are urban and suburban communities.

Richard “Whitey” Larson 

Environmental Stewardship Today, for Tomorrow 

Winter Newsletter January 2019 Page

  1. Conservationist of the year is from Pequot Lakes Ron Meyer of Pequot Lakes, MN was honored as the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD) Outstanding Conservationist at the annual meeting of the Minnesota Association of Soil and Water Conservation Districts (MASWCD), December 9-10, 2019 in Bloomington, Minn. 

Since 2004, Ron has led the Pine River Watershed Alliance (PRWA), a nonprofit group whose main goal is to improve water quality. From 2008-2019, Ron Meyer and the PRWA partnered with the Cass County Farm Bureau to host 11 annual Harvest Dinners with over 1,650 people in attendance. Harvest Dinners connected ranchers and lakeshore owners through a sit-down local food meal. In 2016, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency identified Arvig Creek as an impaired stream. Ron took the initiative to build a relationship with a farmer adjacent to the stream. Now the farmer has fenced off the creek, began adaptive grazing techniques, and is working on implementing cover crops. In 2019, CW SWCD and PRWA hired two farmers to talk with landowners about conservation and cattle. 

Each year the state’s SWCDs recognize individuals and organizations for outstanding accomplishments in implementing conservation practices and improving Minnesota’s natural resources. Ron was selected by SWCD for the county award and was also awarded The Area 8 (9 county area) Conservationist of the year by The MASWCD award committee. The Crow Wing SWCD is proud to support Ron’s efforts in improving the soil, water, and habitat quality in Crow Wing County. The award program is conducted with support from The Farmer Magazine

For information on the Pine River Watershed Alliance and the SWCD visit: or 

Ron has spent many hours personally working with the Upper Hay Lake Association on a myriad of projects. Congratulations to Ron. 

  1. Impaired waters It is obvious that pristine lakes are Minnesota’s most revered resources. The tourism industry is huge in our state. For that reason, we monitor our lakes constantly. The bad news is that many of our lakes are becoming impaired. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the DNR work together to do everything possible to protect these valuable resources. The following appeared in the Brainerd Dispatch in December: 

“MPCA to hold public meetings on substandard waterways Written By: Matthew Guerry, Brainerd Daily Dispatch | Dec 4th 2019 – 10am. 

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will hold a series of public meetings on tentative additions to its list of streams and lakes that fail to meet state water quality standards. The agency is proposing the addition of nearly 730 new entries to the list, which would bring the total number of known water quality cases to 5,774. A total of 3,416 bodies of water are included on the list. A review of the Minnesota’s 80 watersheds major watersheds turned up previously unknown water quality issues in the Minnesota River Basin that could affect aquatic life, recreation and fish consumption. Among the basin’s affected watersheds are the Blue Earth, Chippewa, Cottonwood and Le Sueur river watersheds, as well as the Minnesota-Yellow Medicine, Pomme de Terre and Redwood river watersheds.” 

The above explains why the Upper Hay Lake Association is so involved in water quality testing and constantly promoting policies and practices that protect our lake. We enjoy the fact that our only inlet comes from nearby farmland and not other lakes that may be impaired and have a negative impact on ours. Our major problems can only come from the public access and our own properties. We must constantly think about what impact our actions may have on Upper Hay. 

  1. Grant Money for Forest Plans and Land Management Activities Do you want to know more about your woodlands? Do you want to manage your property for wildlife? Are you interested in lower tax rates, conserving your land for the future, or improving soil and water quality on your property? If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, have 20+ acres of contiguous property and are interested in learning more about funding possibilities, contact the Crow Wing Soil and Water Conservation District (SWCD). Have a Minnesota certified plan writer walk your property with you and help you improve your land! “After the 2015 storm about 1/3 of our woods were devastated. This spring, with the help of Clayton and the SWCD, they planted 1,000 trees. Our future generations will be able to enjoy the woods like we have.” – Rhoda Drake                                                                                          Funding deadlines are coming up and funding is limited, so contact the Crow Wing SWCD today! 

Winter Newsletter January 2019 Page

For more information contact Clayton Lenk, District Forester, Email: or by phone at 218-828-6197. 

  1. Radon Is Persistent Health Risk In Minnesota Radon is something I’m sure most of us do not dwell on; BUT, it is in the environment and is a health hazard. It is something for which we would be wise to consider testing. 

Crow Wing County Land Services Department will offer free radon testing kits to area residents. Every hour, one person in the US dies from radon-related lung cancer. It is the largest environmental cancer risk and the leading cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. 

Fortunately, the risk is largely preventable. Crow Wing County and the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) recommend that all homes in Minnesota be tested for radon. It’s the only way to know if your home has an elevated level of radon, which can cause lung cancer. Radon is an odorless, colorless and tasteless radioactive gas that occurs naturally in Minnesota soils and can enter homes through cracks and openings in basement or foundation floors and walls. 

To obtain a test kit, contact the Land Services Department at 218-824-1125 or visit the office at 322 Laurel Street Suite 14 Brainerd MN 56401. Land Services Department may also be contacted by email at MDH estimates that one in three existing Minnesota homes have radon levels that pose a large health risk over many years of exposure. 

Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer in the United States and more than 21,000 deaths are attributed to radon each year. Radon exposure, however, is largely preventable. First, test your home to see if you have elevated radon levels. Testing is easy, inexpensive and only takes 3-5 days. In homes with levels over 4.0 pCi/L, homeowners should consider verification testing and possibly installing a mitigation system, which will remove radon from your home. The final step is to encourage friends, family, and coworkers to test their own homes for radon. 

For more information on radon testing and mitigation visit or call the Minnesota Department of Health Indoor Air Unit at 651-201-4601 or 1-800-798-9050. 

Bruce Ohland 

Treasurer’s Report The fiscal year for our association runs with the calendar year and on December 31, 2019 our total bank balance was $39,658.29. We had $4,354.54 in checking, $10,303.75 in savings, and $25,000.00 in a CD. 

We had 97 paid members again this year. We received $2,315.00 in dues; $1,689.94 in extra individual donations and $100.00 Vanguard Redemption Check/ Clean Water program, plus $800.00 from Thrivent Financial. That total is $4,904.94. 

Everyone will be receiving their 2020 Membership Application with this newsletter. The Association is no longer participating in the Aquatic Vegetation Permit process. You will need to work directly with the DNR on permits. If you have worked with PLM Lake and Land Management in the past, or wish to this year, you can call Kristy Hoge at 218-270-3338 Ext 3003 or email her at You can also email me: and I will email you a copy of their contract with pricing. 

Ken Meyer 

Upper Hay Lake Association P.O. Box 769 Pequot Lakes, Minnesota 56472 

Winter Newsletter January 2020 Page

Upper Hay Lake Association Board of Directors 2018/2019 

Beaverson, Neil 417 Bear Ave. S. Vadnais Heights, MN 55127  651-429-6672 Term Ends


Larson, Whitey 33061 W Shady Beach Ln 218-568-5831 2019
Marshall, Jan 4309 Acorn Lane 218-568-4738 2021
Secretary 763-486-5484 Cell 
Meyer, Ken 4345 Acorn Lane 218-568-5414 2021
Treasurer 218-820-7683 Cell 
Murphy, Judy 33424 S. Oak Drive  218-330-1890 Cell 2020
Perwien, Mickey 33546 N. Oak Drive 612-386-4858 Cell 2019
Steen, Claire 33161 Osprey Circle  29 Kingwood Street, Brainerd, MN  56401  218-330-7059     218-829-3757 Cell 2021
Schultz, Brad 33143 Osprey Circle 218-568-1070 2020
OPEN       2019


Note: Unless listed otherwise, all addresses are Pequot Lakes, MN 56472 

Environmental Stewardship Today, for Tomorrow 

Winter Newsletter January 2019 Page

2020 Membership Application 

Name (s): __________________________________________________________________________ 

Lake Address: _______________________________________________________________________ 

Summer Mailing Address (if different than lake address) Winter Mailing Address (if different than summer address) 

Lake Phone: ________________ Cell Phone: ________________ Other Phone: ______________ 

e-mail address: ______________________________________________________________________ 

Would you like to receive Newsletters etc. by e-mail rather than US mail? Yes ______ No ______ 

I am particularly interested in seeing the Lake Association do the following: 




I would like to participate in the following committees: _____ AIS Monitoring _____ Shoreline Restoration _____ Public Access _____ Fund Raising / Grant Writing _____ Social Committee (Picnic / Breakfast) _____ Other ______________________________ 

_____ _I would like my name placed on the ballot for a Board of Directors position. 

_____ _Enclosed is my tax deductible membership dues of $25. 

_____ _Enclosed is my additional tax deductible donation of $__________ in support of UHLA’s mission 

to promote environmental stewardship throughout the Upper Hay Lake area. 

Make check payable to Upper Hay Lake Association and mail to: 

Upper Hay Lake Association P.O. Box 769 Pequot Lakes, MN 56472