DNR to appeal court's ruling about naming of Bde Maka Ska

DNR to appeal court's ruling about naming of Bde Maka Ska Photo: KSTP

May 01, 2019 10:11 AM

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has announced that it will appeal the Minnesota Court of Appeals' recent decision regarding the naming of Bde Maka Ska.

The DNR said in a news release Wednesday it will submit its petition for review to the Minnesota Supreme Court by May 29.


"DNR is very concerned with the implications of the Appeals Court's ruling for our ability to work with county boards to reflect community standards in how the state's waters are named. We have long worked with counties in eliminating offensive or derogatory names," said Minnesota DNR Commissioner Sarah Strommen.

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Strommen also said the DNR is concerned by the ruling because it could open a range of agency decisions up for challenge well after established appeals periods, which could considerably disrupt the normal order of government decision-making.

In a ruling Monday, the Minnesota Court of Appeals said the DNR lacked authority to rename Lake Calhoun as Bde Maka Ska, which it did in January 2018 by request of Hennepin County.

The DNR said it based its approval on the longstanding understanding of its authority under relevant state statute, the fact that Bde Maka Ska met all state naming criteria, and the fact that Hennepin County met all public process and other procedural requirements in asking DNR to approve the name change request.

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