2018 PLA Membership Form

PLA 2018 PLA Membership Renewal Form_Updated Final 12.9.2017

Membership Dues & AIS Watercraft Inspection Donation 2018 Potato Lake Association Form

The Potato Lake Association is an alliance of people interested in preserving and protecting the aesthetic, environmental and economic value of Potato Lake and the surrounding area. The Association is devoted to preserving water quality, including the prevention of Aquatic Invasive Species, promoting responsible land use, and supporting our fishery and lake wildlife. Funds are used to educate lake residents, conduct water quality testing, perform an aggressive AIS management program including launch site inspections, and promote healthy shoreline management practices and to provide communication to Association members and others that enjoy Potato Lake.

Annual membership dues are only $25 and due each calendar year.

Please print, fill out the information, and mail the following form along with your payment to:

Potato Lake Association – PO Box 625 – Park Rapids, MN 56470

First Name________________________________LastName_____________________________________

Potato Lake Mailing Address _____________________________________________________________________

Park Rapids, MN 56470

Mailing Address if different from above:

Street__________________________________________________ City___________________________

State_______________  Zip Code______________________  Phone______________________________

Email Address (please print) _______________________________________________________________

I have enclosed the following:

_______ I am a new member to the PLA, please waive my dues this year!

_______ $25 made out to the PLA for my annual dues.

_______ A donation of $_________ made directly to the PLA for AIS watercraft inspection


_______ I’m making a tax-deductible donation for AIS watercraft inspection to the NMF Potato Lake

               Charitable Fund for $_______.

               Please write Boat Inspections in the memo on your check and send it to:

  •     Northwest Minnesota Foundation
  •     201 3rd St. NW
  •     Bemidji, MN 56601


I am interested in the following:

___ Board Member      ___ Membership       ___ Aquatic Invasive Species

___ Water Quality        ___ Land Use             __ Shoreline Restoration        ___ Loon Program

___ Social Committee ___ Website                 ___ Fisheries


One of our goals as an association it to keep you informed about the ongoing efforts to fulfill the mission of the Potato Lake Association. We also want to hear from you! Do you have some great sunset pictures? Do you have a pair of loons nesting near your lakeshore? Did you catch a big fish? Send stories and photos to us or post them on our Facebook page.





PLA 2018 Goals and Objectives


 Membership PLA Lead Director: Tom Conzemius

  • Continue to increase membership with a 2018 goal of 150. Focus on getting all new residents to be PLA members. (In 2017, our Lake Association had 120 members)
  • Continue the launch of the Neighborhood Captain’s Program. This program has been instrumental in increasing year over year participation and remains a key method in reaching our residents
  • Work toward being a more welcoming organization by engaging with new and inactive members for opportunities to participate in PLA programs
  • Identify new lakeshore owners and provide them with information about the Lake and the Association
  • Release 2018 membership dues/AIS donations letter and form by mid-February

Neighborhood Captain’s Program: PLA Lead Director: Mike Vold

  • Expand on our Neighborhood Captains Program to insure we visit with each lakeshore owner before the annual meeting
  • Deliver the hard copy of the Potato Laker within 30 days of publication to those lakeshore owners who do not receive one via USPS
  • Insure Neighborhood Captains have knowledge about PLA plans and objectives and can answer most questions from lakeshore owners
  • Work in conjunction with the membership committee to insure we reach our 2018 membership goal

Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) Prevention Efforts PLA Lead Directors: Bob Berdahl, Dale Kunz, and Ken Grob

  • Complete 1267 hours of watercraft inspections per established plan and schedule
  • Secure funding from townships consistent with 2018 efforts
  • Conduct AIS early detection including vegetation, Zebra mussel veliger, and spiny waterflea monitoring
  • Complete the Rapid Response plans for the lake and build the needed PLA people support network
  • Work to have an organized AIS lake monitoring program with committed and trained monitors


Lake Management Plan PLA Lead Director: Ken Grob and Chuck Diessner

  • Form a committee of PLA directors and members to review the Lake Management Plan developed in 2006
  • If new information supersedes the content of the current plan, modify it as appropriate
  • Communicate contents of plan and results over the years at our annual meeting

PLA Charitable Fund PLA Lead Director: Chuck Diessner

  • Continue to support donations to the fund; both for AIS inspections and for the general fund
  • Recruit additional Fund members to insure we are at full staff
  • Develop a pre-approved AIS Rapid Response fund request in conjunction with the Northwest Minnesota Foundation
  • Improve the process for obtaining AIS watercraft inspection funding to assure annual funding in a timely manner each year





Communication PLA Lead Directors: Kolt Ringer and Tom Conzemius

  • Continue to provide timely information to our members via newsletter and through informal communication
  • Maximize the capability of the Neighborhood Captains program
  • Publish one hard copy, multi-colored Potato Laker annually
  • Insure our website has both timely and accurate information
  • Expand the use of social media

Fisheries PLA Lead Director: Kolt Ringer

  • Communicate with DNR staff so that we understand the fisheries plan for the lake
  • Insure fisheries plan is available to members via website and other communications
  • Sponsor a 2018 fishing contest similar to that in 2017 including communicating it to members prior to the commencement of the opening of the season.

Loon Program PLA Lead Director: Bob Berdahl coordinating with Jerry Olsen

  • Place loon nesting platforms in lake at ice out
  • Monitor loon activity including numbers, nesting sites and chicks
  • Complete annual DNR loon survey and communicate it to members via website and newsletters.

Land Use PLA Lead Director: Exec Committee coordinating with Chuck Diessner

  • Seek to protect the environs of the lake using best practices of land use management
  • Monitor various land use applications and make recommendations to the PLA board regarding input to applicable government groups
  • Proactively consult with resort owners considering a transition to a Planned Unit Development (PUD).
  • Seek out potential conservation opportunities including the purchase of property or conservation easements

Social PLA Lead Director: Organization and effort provided by Jan Vold

  • Plan and organize PLA social events
  • Encourage direct participation of PLA Directors
  • Encourage inactive or non-member participation
  • Publish and communicate via website, newsletters and email

Hubbard County Coalition of Lake Associations (COLA) PLA Lead Director: Ken Grob

  • Actively support the work of COLA
  • More effectively communicate the focus, programs and activities of COLA to PLA members.
  • Insure we have attendance at all COLA meetings.
  • Proactively communicate COLA information to the Water Quality Monitor (Rich Rothermel) and AIS Veliger Monitor (Dale Kunz)

2018 President’s Letter

PLA 2018 PLA Membership Renewal Form_Updated Final 12.9.2017PLA GOALS AND OBJECTIVES — 2018                                                                                                                                January 2018

Greetings from your Potato Lake Association (PLA) Board,


In 2017, 120 of our residents became members of the association, which is a slight decrease from previous years. This represents a little less than 50% of our lakeshore residents. In trying to improve on that number, your board is continuing neighborhood groups, whose purpose is to improve communications about PLA activity and to encourage direct input from you about lake issues and the role of the PLA.

The PLA has an introductory offer to all new members:  COMPLIMENTARY DUES FOR THE FIRST YEAR OF MEMBERSHIP!! That’s a no obligation, no cost membership for 2018 for anyone who has not previously been a member! If you have never been a member, please take advantage of this opportunity to participate in our efforts to protect your lake.

Watercraft inspection is currently the most effective way to help prevent the spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS), particularly zebra mussels, from entering our lake. In case you missed the late summer news release, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has confirmed zebra mussels in their larval stage in Garfield Lake. This is the first incidence of a potential infestation of a reproducing population of zebra mussels in Hubbard County.  Please keep in mind that the purpose of our lake association is to protect and preserve our lake.  With an infestation close, it is even more urgent that we continue the high level of watercraft inspection and lake monitoring we have supported in the past years. 

In 2017, there were approximately 1267 hours of watercraft inspection provided at the two public launch sites on Potato Lake. Hubbard County has recommended keeping the hours for watercraft inspection at the 1267 hour level during the 2018 boating season. Total cost is $23,440. While the state allocation of $13,320 (720 hours funded through Hubbard County) and support from Lake Emma Township (~$3000), will greatly help to monitor our two launch sites, we still need lakeshore owners to contribute the balance of the inspection costs.

The PLA property owner contributions needed for 2018 is $7120 to maintain the 1267 hour level of protection. These donations are critical in order to preserve the fishing and recreational qualities of Potato Lake.  An infestation of AIS could substantially reduce the market values of lake property. If lake property owners are as generous as in past years, we feel certain the funds will be available for this important watercraft inspection program.

Membership in the PLA is on a calendar year basis and annual dues remain at just $25 per household.  Please take a few moments to fill out the enclosed form and send it in with your dues today, or if you are a first time member check the applicable box. In addition, please consider including your watercraft inspection donation. You can choose one of the two options listed on the application form.

Thank you for your support of the Potato Lake Association and Potato Lake!


Ken Grob, PLA President

Relocating Sandpiper



 Enbridge is requesting that the Public Utilities Commission (“PUC”) grant it a Certificate of Need (“CN”) and a Route Permit (“RP”) to replace the portion of its  existing Line 3 pipeline from the ND/MN border through Clearbook, MN to Superior, WI.  The existing Line 3 would be abandoned in place because of its deteriorating condition.  The replacement Line 3 from Clearbrook to Superior is proposed to be located in the same corridor Enbridge proposed for the Sandpiper pipeline.

Line 3 will carry diluted bitumen or tar sands oil which is known as “dilbit.” Dilbit is especially troublesome because it sinks to the bottom, is very difficult and many times impossible to remove and does not quickly decompose.   Enbridge’s preferred route for a portion of its proposed new Line 3 goes through and crosses highly sensitive, water-rich environmental areas and natural resources, including the Mississippi River, other rivers ( including Straight River), streams (including Hay Creek), lakes, wetlands, aquifers (including in Park Rapids) and wild rice lakes.

A spill or leak from the proposed new Line 3 could have major adverse impacts not only on our environmental areas and natural resources we all enjoy, but also lake property values, negative health impacts, tourism, businesses, resorts and other local economies.


         On September 15, 2015 the Minnesota Court of Appeals agreed with Friends of the Headwaters (“FOH”) that an Environmental Impact Statement (“EIS”) was required before the PUC could determine whether or not to grant a CN and RP for a large crude oil pipeline such as the Sandpiper and the replacement of Line 3.  That decision is a landmark decision for Minnesota. It ordered the first state EIS on a large crude oil pipeline in Minnesota history   In response to that decision, Enbridge withdrew its Application to build the Sandpiper pipeline on October 28, 2016.

Consistent with the requirement of an EIS for the proposed replacement Line 3 the Department of Commerce (“DOC”) has now submitted to the parties, agencies and the public its proposed final draft of the EIS (“FEIS”) after taking into consideration  comments from the parties, agencies and the public on its draft EIS.  Everyone has until September 25, 2017 to submit their written comments on the FEIS.


         The balance of the PUC process includes the following activities on the indicated dates which are subject to change.  The process provides many opportunities for the public to be involved and influence the PUC’s decision.

11/2                 Final date for written comments on the FEIS.

11/23                Last day for filing of testimony by the parties.

9/25-10/26       10 Public Hearings for the public comment regarding the CN and RP

11/1                   Filing of the Report and Recommendation by the Administrative Law Judge (“ALJ”) to the PUC on the “Adequacy” of the FEIS.   The law requires that the PUC determine that the FEIS is Adequate as required under the law before it can be admitted as evidence and relied on in this matter.

11/1-3- 11/6-10    Contested Evidentiary Hearing before the ALJ on the request for a CN and RP

11/21                 Final date for the parties, agencies and public to file exceptions to the ALJ’s Adequacy Report

11/22                 Public Comment Period on Evidentiary Hearing

11/30-  12/11     PUC Hearing during this period to determine the if the FEIS is Adequate.  Friends of the Headwaters (“FOH”) is contesting this schedule because the Adequacy of the FEIS will not have been determined until after the parties, agencies and the public have taken actions involving the FEIS. FOH argues that any actions taken that involve the FEIS, such as the parties filed testimony, the Public Hearings, the Evidentiary Hearing and the 11/22 Public Comment Period must be based on an EIS that has been determined to be Adequate by the PUC.

12/11-1/15/18       Parties Briefs on CN and RP Filed

2/28/18                ALJ Findings of Facts, Conclusions of Law and Recommendations regarding the CN and RP.

April 30, 2018   Scheduled date for a PUC public hearing at which it will decide whether or not to grant Enbridge a Certificate of Need and a Route Permit for Line 3.


         For more information go to “www.friendsoftheheadwaters.org”

         Without the work of Friends of the Headwaters and the public involvement oil would be pumping by now through the Sandpiper line and probably Line 3 as well.

         Friends of the Headwaters is trying to relocate Line 3 to an alternative route away from our water-rich environmental areas and natural resources.  It is not opposed to pipelines. 

         In order for FOH to be successful relocating Line 3, those that support it must take advantage of the public opportunities to get involved in the above process.

Chuck Diessner

August 26, 2017